From Eminem to Ari­ana Grande via Elon Musk and Kanye West, it’s been a year of su­per-sized bust-ups and beefs, re­ports ED POWER

Hot Press - - BUST-UPS OF THE YEAR -

WE ARE LIV­ING through the Age of Anger. Don­ald Trump is in the White House. Brexit has taken a sand­blaster to Bri­tain’s imag­ined ver­sion of it­self. Conor McGre­gor – 50 per cent man, 50 per cent shouty tat­too – is the most fa­mous Ir­ish per­son on the planet.

So it’s no sur­prise this should be a ripe old year for feuds. The cur­tains have cer­tainly come down on 2018 in an en­ter­tain­ing man­ner, with hu­man punch­ing-bag Piers Mor­gan get­ting all spit­tle-flecked with Ari­ana Grande, and Ari­ana Grande’s mother, af­ter he ac­cused the for­mer of parad­ing her­self and the lat­ter sen­si­bly in­ter­jected.

The cat­a­lyst for all this was (ob­vi­ously) Lit­tle Mix, whom Mor­gan ac­cused of rip­ping off the Dixie Chicks with a photo-shoot in which they posed in their al­to­gether, save for some strate­gi­cally-placed graf­fiti. At time of writ­ing, it looks set to rum­ble on (and on).

Like­wise go­ing at it were Drake and Pusha T. Pusha re­de­fined the con­cept of the diss track by ac­cus­ing Drake of keep­ing a se­cret love child (Drake’s re­sponse was that he wanted to shield the kid from the me­dia).

The bad blood ap­peared to have cooled

– un­til Pusha came to Drake’s home­town of Toronto for a con­cert, and was promptly bum­rushed by Drizzy fans (whom Pusha ac­cused of be­ing hired specif­i­cally to cre­ate a dis­rup­tion).

Closer to home, Roy Keane didn’t take it well when fel­low pun­dit Ian Wright crudely im­i­tated his Cork ac­cent (why don’t you try that in Roy’s na­tive North Side, Ian?). Prior to ex­it­ing his job as Ire­land as­sis­tant man­ager, Keane also man­aged to fall out with Ire­land mid­fielder

Harry Arter.

Back in the realm of pop, lovely Lana Del Rey had the knives out for Azealia Banks. It kicked off in Septem­ber when Banks took is­sue with Del Rey crit­i­cis­ing the Trump-sup­port­ing Kanye West. Del Rey hit back say­ing, “Banks. u coulda been the greatest fe­male rap­per alive but u blew it. don’t take it out on the only per­son who had ur back.”

Never one to take an ad­mo­ni­tion ly­ing down, Banks re­sponded that she would “fuck up” Del Rey – which led Del Rey to prom­ise to pass on her psy­chi­a­trist’s num­ber.

Banks also had a cameo in the strange story of Tesla ty­coon Elon Musk and his self-de­struc­tion via Twit­ter. She re­vealed that Musk’s girl­friend – and for­mer Hot Press cover star – Grimes had in­vited her to come and col­lab­o­rate at Musk’s pad. But the ac­com­mo­da­tion was not to Banks’s lik­ing. “Stay­ing at Elon Musk’s house has been like a real like episode of Get Out,” she tweeted.

As ever, the rap com­mu­nity was a re­li­able source of celebrity v celebrity flare-ups. Cardi B and her for­mer col­lab­o­ra­tor Nicki Mi­naj, for ex­am­ple, were in­volved in a lit­eral dust-up at a Harper’s Bazaar party.

“I heart some­one scream­ing – ev­ery­one recog­nised Cardi’s voice – peo­ple ei­ther got out of the way or took out their phones and started film­ing,” said an eye-wit­ness. “Nicki was sur­rounded by a bunch of guards and barely even looked at her. Next thing you know, shoes were fly­ing and Cardi was on her way out.”

Else­where, Eminem took his on­go­ing dif­fer­ences with Ma­chine Gun Kelly to the next level on his new al­bum. It all started in 2012 when Kelly tweeted that Eminem’s teenage daugh­ter was “hot as f**k”. This didn’t go down well with her dad – who made his feel­ings clear on the song ‘Kill­shot’: “Ow, Kelly, ooh, but I’m 45 and I’m still out­selling you / By 29 I had three al­bums that had blew”.

A celebrity feud can erupt where you least ex­pect. It even be­came an is­sue with the (long over­due) #Me­Too move­ment, as Asia Ar­gento and Rose McGowan, who had to­gether helped ex­pose the mon­strous Har­vey We­in­stein, had a pub­lic fall­ing-out. It all flowed from claims by ac­tor Jimmy Ben­nett that he’d had a re­la­tion­ship with Ar­gento as a 17-year-old, and that the then 37-year-old had paid him $380,000 in hush money. McGowan felt she had been mis­led over the is­sue by Ar­gento and the al­liance came un­stuck.

“Me­Too is not just for women,” said McGowan shortly af­ter­wards. “I’ve had so many men share their stories of abuse. It’s never hap­pened be­fore in his­tory and peo­ple are freak­ing out and try­ing to an­a­lyse and crunch the data. My re­sponse is to let it breathe, let peo­ple have their voice.” In a year of con­flict that, at least, is a sen­ti­ment with which we can all agree.


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