Here's the thing: Drake won before this even started. Though the "feud" or "beef" or whatever it's being called today is being framed as a "versus" affair—as in, Drake versus Meek Mill—that implies there was a debate at some point in time as to who might emerge victorious. There was never a question. Drake's too big to fail.
Setting these facts aside, the little skirmish between Meek Mill, who raps too loudly, and industry titan/cultural phenomenon/legend of our time Aubrey "Drake" Graham ended today (hopefully) in violent fashion with Drake's second diss track in five days dropping this morning. "Think before you come from the great one," Aubrey chastises Meek. Meek never had a chance. Let's recap the carnage.
Where did this start?
With Nicki Minaj. There's some kind of weird love triangle thing going on between Meek Mill, Drake, and Nicki. Drake and Nicki Minaj have been close for a long time, and maybe dating—on the opener "Tuscan Leather" to his 2013 album Nothing Was The Same, Drake writes, "Not even talking to Nicki, communication is breakin'/I dropped the ball on some personal shit, I need to embrace it." Also, she gave him a lapdance in a music video once. So, whatever the nature of their relationship, clearly Drake and Minaj share some level of intimacy, and have for a while.
Nicki and Meek Mill, on the other hand, are definitively romantically involved in some capacity. Wading through the half-truths of gossip websites and Instagram makes it difficult to ascertain exactly how involved the two were, but they were maybe engaged at one point, and Meek Mill's on tour with her and making out with her in music videos, so, ostensibly, they're still involved.
So, to recap: Drake and Nicki are close friends and perhaps exes. Nicki and Meek Mill are probably dating. And then, on July 21, Meek Mill decided to start tweeting.
Why did Meek Mill decide to start tweeting?
Who knows. This happened the same day as all the Nicki Minaj/Taylor Swift VMA drama, so maybe Meek felt inspired by Minaj's social media grievance-airing, and decided to engage in some of his own. Whatever the case, he called Drake out for not writing his own raps. This became its own mini-scandal (which isn't really a scandal, as Naomi Zeichner of The Fader aptly explained), but the point is, Meek was all upset about something, and called out Drake for not being "real," whatever that means.
Anyway, this wasn't really smart—Drake's verse on Meek's latest single, "R.I.C.O," helped launch Meek into a respectable amount of sales for his album, Dreams Worth More Than Money, that dropped June 29. Or, it was really smart, because now Meek Mill's name is in headlines all over the country right after his album was released. So, that's probably the answer to the above question.
Meek's Twitter rant happened on a Tuesday night. By Saturday night, Drake had dropped "Charged Up," a shot fired right past Meek's ear.
How did Drake attack Meek Mill on "Charged Up?"
Obliquely, mostly. Many remarked the tone of the song—laid-back, droning—indicated Drake didn't feel compelled to get worked up over such an unworthy challenger. Mostly, Drake simply referred to his own success—"I got me a deal with Apple and I still feel entitled"—while taking some vague shots at Meek's submissiveness to Nicki ("No woman every had me star-struck/Or was able to tell me to get my bars up.") Pretty good, I guess, but mostly whatever. Nothing to write home about. "Trap Queen," this wasn't.
Did Meek respond?
Nah. He said he was going to debut his track on Hot 97, a radio station in New York, but he didn't do that and instead just posted this late Monday night:
Which, all right.
How did Drake end it?
With little mercy, in my opinion. His track, "Back To Back," starts with some obvious Michael Jordan references, dancing around the subject for a few bars, before making an explicit reference to the "feud": "When I look back, I might be mad I gave this attention," he says. A few lines later, he expresses the same confusion most of us probably share: "I'm not sure what I did to make y'all mad." And then, another few lines later, he drops the knockout blow:
This for y'all to think that I don't write enough
They just mad cause I got the midas touch
You love her, then you gotta give the world to her
Is that a world tour or your girl's tour?
I know that you gotta be a thug for her
This ain't what she meant when she told you to open up more
Yeah, trigger fingers turn to twitter fingers
Yeah, you gettin' bodied by a singin' nigga
And later: "I don't wanna hear about this ever again/Not even when she tell 'em that they better as friends."
Well, at least Meek got a bunch of publicity.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.