Like most musical beef, this one has ridiculous origins. This time it was all over a haircut. Singer Lloyd appeared on BET's 106 and Park sporting a new look that was curiously similar to up and coming singer Miguel's horizontal bar fade deal.
Turns out viewers weren't the only ones that spotted the doublemint action. Miguel took to the tweets with a passive-aggressive, very anti-at or dap acknowledgement of the coincidence. Pretty soon, the gossip blogs were declaring war between the two singers.
Eventually, they talked it out but you can tell that the shots really got under Lloyd’s skin. He wasn’t too keen on talking to Miguel about the incident, as audio at their encounter at a radio show in Cleveland proved.
R&B beef is somewhat of a newer development in pop culture. In the past, singer’s rapping counterparts were known for taking shots at each other in interviews and on wax. Singers seemed more interested in wooing and screwing. Not this new crop of dudes, though.
The Miguel and Lloyd spat came directly off the heels Frank Ocean and Chris Brown's Twitter-fueled conflict. CB thought he was complimenting Frank when he said he reminded him of James Fauntleroy, another singer/songwriter. Apparently, Ocean saw it as a back-handed compliment and proceeded to call Brown a young Ike Turner. Back and forth ensued and even fellow Wolf Gang leader Tyler, The Creator joined in on the ridiculousness.
It eventually led to some of CB's homeboys trying to ride out on Ocean and recorded for all of to see. The beef also introduced the phrase "take the fade" into the Internet lexicon, which was about the only good thing that came of it.
As entertaining as it is to watch stuff like this unfold, it’s also equally lame. There is no reason that two grown men should be all up in their feelings about a haircut, a tweet or anything else that spark these beefs. In the end, both parties end up looking stupid. Observers may chuckle at the jokes for a few hours, but eventually everyone moves on. The artists involved are only worse for the wear. In a business that’s heavily based on an artist’s likability, it’s a bad move to engage in juvenile and passive-aggressive behavior.
It especially doesn’t bode well when veterans engage in beef. Take Bobby Brown for example. Word on the curb is back in 2002 he confronted Usher for not giving the proper respect to his Kang of R&B status. He tried to give Usher a little reminder of who the originator was by holding him over the ledge of a DJ booth. Bobby lost in this. A fading star running up on the newer guy is just sad. Envy doesn’t look good on anyone, especially aging R&B singers. To Brown’s credit, he revealed in 2008 that the media blew the whole situation out of proportion. We say he needs more people.
The moral of the story is: R&B beef is stupid. Nothing about the genre lends itself to the aggression that a proper beef involves. The masses may crow with laughter and applaud the "winner," but when they’re over it, only the artists look like losers.