To quote 21st-century poet/actor/and all-around dope human being Mos Def, “Some beef is big and some beef is small / But what ya'll call beef is not beef at all.”
The song that contains those lyrics was recorded over a decade ago, but their meaning rings especially true today. Currently, Meek Mill is engaged in yet another Instagram spat, this time with 50 Cent. After Meek called 50 out on his new EP (see “Give Em Hope”), 50 has been retaliating like a teenage girl who had her prom date stolen with a series of Instagram posts targeting Meek.
None of this matters. It’s pretty, stupid, and quite frankly embarrassing that two grown men are bickering on social media. In his latest move, though, Meek Mill took the embarrassment to new levels by using the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan as a challenge to Fiddy.
The pragmatist in me wants to say “at least something got donated” and that's true—credit due to Meek for donating money—but there’s a bigger part of me that can’t help but feel like this is both exploitative and trivializing. It’s sad that the only way Meek got involved is through the framework of social media beef and that 50 can't seem to see past beef to any larger issues.
Flint shouldn’t be part of a competition, a thing that's used as leverage against someone else. It should be a reason for someone like Meek or 50 to get involved regardless. So many ordinary people with far less money are doing everything they can to help, but celebrities expect a pat on the back because they made sure to promote their good deeds?
Beef isn’t what meme 50 posts to his Instagram, it’s people in America not having access to a basic human right. There are people dying and they need our help, not a diss track.
Still, I guess it got us talking, and it opens a door to us being able to talk about the water crisis here. Below I've listed some easy ways for you to help below, and we'll be doing what we can as well. Let’s turn this stupid spat into something positive and help those who need it. Mos Def was right.