11 Biggest Beefs of 2015 - Rolling Stone
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11 Biggest Beefs of 2015

The year in celebrity tiffs, disses, feuds and other assorted drama

Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj got into one of 2015's biggest celebrity feuds.

Illustration by Ryan Casey

What's beef? In 2015, it could mean anything from a Twitter tiff to a Grammy-nominated single to an endless stream of Instagram memes … and that was all just for Meek Mill's disastrous sally against Drake. Poor guy. Join us as we review that one and 10 more of this year's biggest, baddest, beefiest celebrity feuds.

Birdman and Lil Wayne

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Lil Wayne vs. Birdman

Birdman was Lil Wayne's childhood mentor, the man who recognized the New Orleans MC's talent at a very young age and made him a hip-hop superstar. They were once so close that Wayne regularly dubbed himself "Birdman Jr."; they even recorded a joint album called Like Father, Like Son. But like fathers and sons in a Greek tragedy, the two rap stars turned on each other this year. In January, Lil Wayne sued Birdman's label, Cash Money, for $51 million, citing alleged accounting discrepancies and accusing the label of refusing to release his long-delayed Tha Carter V album. Wayne told RS he and his former father figure were no longer on speaking terms: "I have no words. I'm super-numb to it, to tell you the truth." The story took a scary turn when an assailant shot up Wayne's tour bus in April; a few months later, a Georgia prosecutor indicted an associate of Birdman for the shooting. However, in July, Birdman forcefully denied any involvement in the incident, calling the prosecutor's version of events "the craziest shit I ever heard in my life." He added: "Any nigga gonna bust a gun at Lil Wayne, I got a problem with that … I'd rather a nigga pop at me than pop at my child … That's my son, no matter what."

Roger Waters and Howard Stern

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Roger Waters vs. Howard Stern

Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has never been shy about criticizing Israeli policies toward the Palestinian people. After the singer boycotted any performance in the country, Howard Stern went on a seven-minute rant against Waters in October, saying, "Why does Roger Waters live in America, a country that was founded on white people coming in and obliterating the native population? How does he stand it? The Jews are getting killed all over the world. Israel has a tiny little country and it bugs the shit out of Roger Waters." The next month, Stern doubled down, saying Waters "comes off like an anti-Semite." Waters seemed unconcerned with the criticism. "I wouldn't waste a single one of my precious breaths on that asshole, and I just did," Waters told Rolling Stone. "That was a waste of breath. Let's move on."

Dee Snider and Paul Stanley

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Dee Snider vs. Paul Stanley

Where rap and pop artists take their beefs to awards shows and social media, headbangers do it a little differently: On a September installment of Eddie Trunk's show, Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider went into full "We're Not Gonna Take It" mode when he lit into Kiss for allowing non-original members to wear makeup that the kabuki-painted rockers' ex-bandmates pioneered. "It's insulting," he said. "Not only did [guitarist Tommy Thayer] play in a tribute band of Kiss, he's imitating Ace [Frehley] in his entire act."

In response, Kiss' Paul Stanley did not mince words in shredding Snider. "This guy is a wannabe, has always been a wannabe and desperately wants attention and to be taken seriously," he said on wrestler Chris Jericho's podcast, "and that will never happen because he's obviously clueless that he and his whole band are a bunch of buffoons."

Snider later wrote an open letter to Stanley, saying the Kiss singer must be "oddly threatened" by him. He also called Kiss "King of the Buffoons" and challenged them to a battle of the bands, taunting, "I will bury you, son." In another radio interview, Snider laughed about the attention the feud got, saying it's "not bad for a 'wannabe' or a 'buffoon.'" He then ended it by taking the high road … sort of. "Paul, I love your band, I love your music," Snider said. "Why do you have to be such a dick?"

Hall & Oates

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Hall and Oates vs. A Granola Company

Say it isn't so. In March, pop-soul veterans Hall and Oates sued Brooklyn granola company Early Bird over its use of the name "Haulin' Oats" for one of its products. In the lawsuit, the group claimed that the name was an "obvious play" on the duo and that the company was trying to "trade off of the fame and notoriety" of the band's trademark. While artisanal Brooklyn granola purveyors might seem like a prime demographic for the group, Early Bird owner Nekesia Davis recently told Rolling Stone, "We have happily wrapped up our lawsuit with the duo. Our previous naughty name has been changed to Kiss My Oats, so hopefully everyone is happy!!"

Trump and Humanity

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Donald Trump vs. Human Decency

We'd be remiss if this list didn't include 2015's biggest blowhard, bar none. Diss tracks and sarcastic interviews are small potatoes compared to the Donald's endless sluice of outrageous and offensive statements this year – implying that all Mexican immigrants are rapists, recirculating neo-Nazi statistics to back up his anti-black bigotry, proposing a wide range of hateful and unconstitutional anti-Muslim policies, openly spewing sexist rhetoric against Megyn Kelly and more. Keeping up with his steady march toward outright fascism is a full-time job, and it's getting exhausting. Here's hoping we don't have to endure another year of Trump's toxic rhetoric before Americans come to their senses and force this loser out of the race. Some celebrity beefs are fun to watch, but this one's just depressing.

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