According to the Internet rumor-mill, rappers Lil Wayne and Birdman finally duked it out in a less than traditional code duello. After months of back-and-forth over the release of Lil Wayne’s new album, Tha Carter V, Birdman, CEO of the rap label Cash Money, had enough and allegedly knocked Lil Wayne cold out. Just rumor? Consider this tweet by Lil Wayne: “I want off this label and nothing to do with these people but unfortunately it ain’t that easy…I am a prisoner and so is my creativity.”
Oddly, this major rap beef of early 2015 features two of the most publicly affectionate rappers in the notoriously hyper-masculine genre. You may recall the infamous Wayne-Birdman kiss of 2002. The kiss was explained away as the by-product of a virtual father-son relationship, but still got both men tagged as closeted gays in a genre that is virulently anti-gay and keen on establishing taboos. That relationship–after Birdman’s alleged punch and a threat by Lil Wayne to sue in court–possibly is over. If only this were just a war between the generations, like Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons. Instead, it’s a cautionary tale of why not to make business personal.