Bayou City

Hard Road: When Artists' Beefs Boil Over on Tour

Drake and Future have an interesting history. Two of the hottest rappers in the game over the past few years (Drake is arguably the biggest pop star on the planet right now), the two will roll into Toyota Center on September 3-4 as part of the Summer Sixteen Tour. Drake will headline, and Future will open; hell, the two might even share the stage for a little collaboration. It wasn’t always this way, however.

The beef began in October 2013, when Future issued a semi-diss at Drake’s Nothing Was the Same, his third straight No. 1 album. “Drake made an album that is full of hits but it doesn't grab you,” Future told Billboard. “They're not possessive; they don't make you feel the way I do. I want to make you want to fall in love.”

The comments allegedly led to Drake kicking Future off his "Would You Like a Tour?"run, though this was later disproven. The two made up, and even collaborated on the 2015 mixtape What a Time to Be Alive. The mixtape was a success; it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album charts and eventually went platinum. Future, apparently, didn’t view What a Time… as a success. In a video that dropped last year, Future weighed in on each of his releases. When it came time to discuss his Drake collaboration, he was less that complimentary.

“Um, it never happened,” he said. “You know what I mean? It never happened.”

Give Future credit — the man speaks his mind. Considering Drake is the reigning, defending and undisputed king of today’s rap game, it’s unlikely he read too much into Future’s remarks. Besides, he’s had Meek Mill to deal with over the past year anyway. Either way, Drake and Future don’t have to be the best of friends to give Houston rap fans one hell of a weekend. If anything, their “beef” pales in comparison to that of tours past.

The Beautiful Monsters Tour was suspect from the get-go. For starters, co-headliners Marilyn Manson and Hole (fronted by the enigmatic Courtney Love) weren’t exactly known as the most pleasant of people. The 1999 tour was to run for two months and cover nearly 40 dates; it lasted nine before Hole left the tour. What little became of the tour was marred by Love and Manson’s fighting via the press and financial disagreements. Once Hole left the tour, Manson continued on under the Rock is Dead Tour moniker. More than 15 years after the tour, Manson and Love finally squashed their beef.

Courtney Love, at it again! This pairing never even came to pass; Hole withdrew from Australia’s Soundwave Festival in 2012 after Love learned her band would be opening for Limp Bizkit. She took to Twitter to air her grievances — “What bloody flight of crazed fancy made you think we’d open for Limp Bizkit dude? No offense, that’s nuts,” she wrote. In Love’s defense, she would not be the only musician uneasy with sharing a bill with Limp Bizkit front man Fred Durst…

The falling out between these two didn’t actually happen until after they co-headlined the Anger Management tour in 2000. Rather, this beef kicked off the following year, when Eminem and Everlast started going at it. Limp Bizkit – which included DJ Lethal, Everlast's former bandmate in House of Pain – offered their services to Eminem in an Everlast diss track, but bowed out at the last minute. So Eminem did what Eminem does and slayed 'em all on wax with the track “Girls.” Choice lyric? “So from doing a song with Method to begging to get accepted/ I'm pegging Fred with the bottle of dye that he bleached his head with.” Suffice to say, Limp Bizkit was not invited back to the Anger Management Tour in 2002.

Hey, not all beefs are reserved for rockers and rappers; old-time pop legends go at it on occasion too. In 2011, a year after sharing the stage on yet another Face 2 Face Tour, Elton John said of Billy Joel to Rolling Stone: “At the end of the day, he’s coasting.” John elaborated that Joel’s much-publicized drinking problems led to some cancellations. The two sniped in the press for a bit before making up. “We sat down and were like, ‘Don’t throw your friends under the bus,’” Joel told Entertainment Weekly last year. This is good news; Elton John and Billy Joel are international treasures.


Ah, when arrogant front men collide. This all began in 1994, when Pavement's Stephen Malkmus sang of potentially touring with Corgan: “I don’t understand what they mean/And I could really give a fuck.” Corgan took exception to the diss, so much so that he got Pavement booted from a Lollapalooza date. As of 2010, the feud was still brewing, when Corgan – known for his high-profile beefs — took to Twitter when learning the Pumpkins and Pavement would be sharing a stage in Brazil: Pavement “represents the death of the alternative dream, and we follow with the affirmation of life part… funny how those who pointed the big finger of ‘sell out’ are the biggest offenders now…yawn. they have no love.” This is, without question, the whitest beef this side of Justin Bieber and Orlando Bloom.

Kurt Cobain was a talented musician, and in some folks’ opinion, he was the voice of a generation. He was also a cantankerous ass, one who never really cared for Pearl Jam. The two shared the stage a few times in late 1991, when Nirvana opened for Pearl Jam on a few of their Ten tour stops (Pearl Jam was one of the hottest bands on the planet by then, while Nirvana’s ascent was soon to follow). A year later, after Nirvana broke through, Cobain called Pearl Jam “a corporate, alternative and cock-rock fusion.” Years after Cobain’s death, Vedder said of his former tour mate: He “didn’t understand us at the time...If he were around today, I know he’d say to me, ‘Well, you turned out okay.’”
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Clint Hale enjoys music and writing, so that kinda works out. He likes small dogs and the Dallas Cowboys, as you can probably tell. Clint has been writing for the Houston Press since April 2016.
Contact: Clint Hale