Alas, poor Jermaine. Forest Hills Drive was a huge success, the wider public had recognised your musical and lyrical talent, and you were being mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Kendrick; you’d made it big. Why did you have to sabotage it all by taking shots at Yeezy? Now, beef is nothing new in the Hip-Hop world but, as with the recent Drake-Cudi conflict, it’s the timing and targeting of these insults that’s suspect. Why go after him now, when he’s been hospitalised? And why target his mental health? Cole falls into the classic trap of painting Kanye’s struggles as something of his own doing. He paints West’s issues as deliberate manifestations of an over-indulgence of ego, rather than recognizing that likely the inverse is true. It would stand to reason that, perhaps, this projection of ego is an attempt to mask insecurity and depression, and ridiculing it publicly would only serve to worsen it. You either don’t get this, or are deliberately ignoring it. Not cool, Jermaine. Oh, and as an aside, if you’re going to go after one of the greatest producers of all time, don’t do it on a recycled Joey Bada$$ beat.
Jesse Hughes, frontman of the Eagles of Death Metal, is a fairly tough nut to crack. EoDM’s music can generally be described as a lighter, more pop-like take on Queens of the Stone Age. So, it came as somewhat of a surprise to me when I discovered that Jesse Hughes was a full-on gun toting right-wing Republican. Now, this didn’t really bother me at first because he kept his politics to himself and didn’t actively support any of the crazies. However, the Bataclan incident changed all that. Hughes has since made comments that could be construed as islamophobic, and has taken the bizarre alt-right stance of blaming liberalism for terrorism. Given the traumatic experiences he’s had, and given his history with drug use, I’m inclined to somewhat forgive this behaviour. But, I can’t deny that his views have coloured my feelings about the music. Sure, I’m all for separating the art from the artist, and I still enjoy the music; just, perhaps a little less than I used to. Another thing to consider is that music is, at the end of the day, commercialised art. Jesse’s may say some suspect things, but he’s been through a lot and, at the end of the day, he’s pretty harmless. So, I plan to keep listening: at least for now.