A recessed economy means fewer chains to go around, so it's been a fine week for a-fussin'-and-a-feudin'. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the weeks in beef . . .
50 CENT VS. RICK ROSS | This one's like all the great rivalries of history in that nobody really knows how it started. Somebody stole someone's goat 10,000 years ago or whatever, and now the bloodstains are so deep that it'll end only when one side is destroyed. 50 has stalked Ross's mom and released a tape of Ross's girlfriend having sex with some dude. I'd expect to side with practically anyone against 50 (whose mouth always seems to write checks his records can't cash), but he's put in such a villainous effort in this beef that I can't help but love it. Ross's credibility had already been dealt a near-fatal blow by the revelation that he used to be a prison guard. (He denied it, then equivocated, then finally came clean.) A poor showing here could spell disaster for his upcoming Deeper Than Rap (Def Jam).
The beef is not going well. Some new skirmishes were waged this week, with Ross bringing out an ill-advised new dis track that seemed only to strengthen 50's case: the new remix of "Mafia Music" (a previous 50 dis) features the Game, Ja Rule, and Fat Joe. When you're trying to win a feud, it's not a great idea to align yourself with guys whose careers have been famously annihilated by 50.
Meanwhile, Ross's recent allegation that a 50 employee had offered him half a million dollars to drop the beef was summarily dismissed by 50. It's such an absurd accusation that I halfway suspect 50 of having had somebody extend the offer to Ross just so Ross would boast about it and sound like a flamboyant liar.
MAKIN MOVES ENTERTAINMENT VS. LIL WAYNE | Mixtapes, as copyright-infringing as they may be, are such a vital part of hip-hop that everyone always figured the music industry would look the other way — until 2007, when DJ Drama got busted for racketeering while the RIAA folks steepled their fingers and cackled like Mr. Burns. The charges seem to have fizzled, and the flow of mixtapes remains unstanched, but all legal bets are off.
Last year, Lil Wayne's label, Cash Money, filed suit against a distributor called BCD Entertainment charging that BCD was selling mixtapes illegally (even more illegally). In a recent filing, Cash Money piled on several other defendants, among them DJ Drama (a frequent Wayne collaborator) and Makin Moves Entertainment, a production company that had put together a free Lil Wayne/Juelz Santana mixtape. Now, Makin Moves has struck back with a Web site, lilwaynegonnasueyou.com, where several videos taunt Weezy for biting the hand that fed him.
"The Dedication tapes are responsible for creating the big buzz that Wayne got during the year or so before Carter 3 came out," Lique Tropicana from Makin Moves tells me. "Before the Dedication 1 mixtape, nobody was listening to Wayne, so it's disrespectful to sue DJ Drama." Beyond the principle of the thing, I can see why Makin Moves is pissed. The company made an underground mixtape — perfectly customary, in the hip-hop world — that got picked up by the embattled BCD. "We expected them to clear the songs before releasing it," says Lique. "They have other mixtapes in stores, so I would assume they know the process." Makin Moves, it should be noted, wasn't even profiting from the thing. "We didn't make any money from the sales. It's even available for free download on the net."
Last month, out of the blue, Makin Moves was served with court papers from Cash Money. Lique: "I think they could have contacted Drama and us before just suing everyone. It's not hard to find us and talk, you know?"
Reconsider your defendants, Weezy.