"Musty ass @united airlines" —Thundercat
Airline companies have it harder than most of us on the internet. When their Twitter notifications light up with a new mention, it’s usually not because someone wants to show them some love. More than likely, it’s because a disgruntled passenger is looking to fire off some criticism in the hopes of a refund or future discounted flight. Depending on the size of the account, it can be easy to sweep it under the rug with a quick reply, but when it’s coming from a rapper with a beef to settle and millions of followers to share it with, it’s bound to send out deeper shockwaves across the timeline.
We’ve seen artists take aim at airlines for almost every reason imaginable. Sometimes it’s as simple as a rude flight attendant or cramped legroom; other times it’s a damaged keyboard that can derail an upcoming concert and cost the artist thousands of dollars. Make no mistake, there are those treasured moments of mutual appreciation that can brighten the day of any customer service representative, but more often than not if a rapper is taking the time to tweet about what happened during their flight, something has gone terribly wrong.
Not every tweet gets the same reaction, however, as it depends on the offensiveness of the mishap and the artist’s cringe-worthy response. So without further ado, here’s a countdown of the 10 most iconic interactions between your favorite rappers and the airlines that bring them to your city.
10. French Montana
French Montana was in good spirits when he left United Flight 1451; in fact, he was feeling so good that he took the time to individually shout out each member of the flight crew, commending them for their excellent service.
It’s clear that whoever was running United’s Twitter account was a fan of his as well, taking the time to thank French and throw in a little free promo for his upcoming project, MC4. Smooth skies and smoother artist-corporate communication, right?
Unfortunately, in hindsight, it’s only a cruel reminder of the bungled release of what was supposed to be French’s second studio album. A month after his wonderful flight, MC4’s release date was pushed back to October. Let French tell it and it’s because sample clearances were taking longer than expected, or listen to former Epic Records chairman L.A. Reid, and it’s because United’s tweet wasn’t enough to hype the album to the level they were looking for. Before long, MC4 would be wrongfully released by Target, uploaded online, and swiftly deleted in a miserable cycle that dragged on for months, until French finally threw his hands in the air and dropped it as a free mixtape on November 5.
Let this be a lesson to artists across the country: if you’re counting on United Airlines to bring attention to your upcoming album, chances are you’re already in more trouble than you realize.
9. Chevy Woods
It’s one thing to air out an airline’s dirty laundry for the entire timeline to see. It’s an entirely different matter to spend your free time hunting out kind reviews posted by others, before hurrying over to stomp out the seeds of positivity and thumb your nose at the big, bad corporation in question. With zero context and seemingly zero provocation, Chevy Woods traveled down that path one sunny April afternoon, after another customer tweeted her satisfaction with Delta’s customer service department.
He’d be back years later to remind Delta of their continued incompetence, never giving a reason for his outbursts and even once lashing out when apparently nothing was wrong with the flight. We may never know why Chevy has such a vendetta against Delta; my guess is it’s because they wouldn’t upload his mixtape to their in-flight entertainment catalog.
8. Soulja Boy
Of all the artists who have tweeted about their experiences in the air, Soulja Boy’s are by far the most ambiguous. He never has a request to make or a complaint to file, or even the time to respond when they drop a line in the comments. All he wants to do is check in to let them know their presence is appreciated, and before you know it, he’s off to the studio to work or out in Dubai to look at camels.
We could all use someone in our life like Soulja Boy, always there to share some positivity while expecting less than nothing in return.
Pusha-T isn’t one who’d prefer to catch a few quick Zs on a flight. When he flies business class, he means business: he’s not in it for the free drinks and extra comfort, he’s looking to break out his laptop and get down to work. So when he boarded the plane in Paris only to find out he’d be off the grid for nine hours, he didn’t hesitate to snap at the responsible parties, pointing out the obvious absurdity with Delta and Air France sending him across the Atlantic without internet access.
Extra points for Air France’s pitiful response in the comments section, typos and all.
6. Rob $tone
Southwest was only mentioned by a handful of artists, as were the rest of the companies who loudly advertise their dirt-cheap fares to mask their lack of amenities. Of course, it’s not surprising; as rich as these rappers are, they can’t risk being seen pinching pennies on their way to a sold-out show. Still, there are the bold few who are willing to wear their financial status on their sleeve, risking life and limb to travel without frills and ease the strain on their wallets. One such warrior was San Diego’s own Rob $tone, who ventured into the wilderness and returned home two days later having been wounded mightily on both legs of the journey.
Kudos to Rob for his bravery, even if he would have been better off shelling out the extra cash to keep his bag intact.
5. Chance the Rapper
Chance the Rapper shocked the world when he viciously condemned an American Airlines flight attendant earlier this year after a minor miscommunication between the attendant and his band members had rubbed him the wrong way. In a profanity-ridden, highly offensive rant where he refused to back down until he had exacted his revenge, Chance tore into the flight attendant with a merciless rage, shredding her personality and blackballing her from the world of social media. Even when American Airlines reached out to apologize for the issue and try to smooth things over, he didn’t let up, using a nefarious Simpsons GIF to illustrate the evil thoughts hurtling through his mind.
Joking. You didn’t really think the guy who made “Sunday Candy” would have anything bad to say about Miss Doreen, did you?
Christmas Eve flights are destined by default to underwhelm. No one wants to spend the winter holiday lugging their way to the airport at six in the morning, before sealing themselves in a cabin with a crying baby and bag of pretzels. For T.I., that excursion was even more of an inconvenience, throwing off his annual plan to bless his community and spread love to those in need. Furious at the lengthy delay on the runway, T.I. voiced his gentlemanly displeasure, adding an earnest tone of sincerity that would cut straight to the heart of any customer service worker inadvertently made to feel at fault.
For maximum effect, read it again in T.I.’s leisurely Southern drawl, ideally over a dramatic orchestral arrangement for an experience akin to his grand introduction on A$AP Rocky’s “A$AP Forever" remix."
3. Lupe Fiasco
For years, Lupe Fiasco was United Airlines’ most loyal passenger, booking each of his flights with them and racking up the rewards miles with a relentless vigor. Professing his support of United wasn’t just his duty, it was his pride and joy; complimenting them at every turn while simultaneously boasting of his own lofty odometer. You’d think the company had him on the payroll the way he found a new manner in which to emphasize his love with every tweet, infusing enough personality and enthusiasm to drown out the hordes of people criticizing at the airline everywhere else on the web.
Their bond was truly unbreakable, until the fateful day when Lupe realized United had ripped back their love without warning. Suddenly adrift in the wind with no other airline to fly him home, he took to the timeline to vent his feelings in the form of a Kermit the Frog meme, staring out into the rain while reminiscing on all the meaningless memories they’d shared together.
When Masego wants to let you know how poorly you messed up on his flight, 280 characters aren’t enough for him to express his frustration. He went multimedia on Delta when he was unhappy with how they treated his bags, taking to pen and paper to draw a diagram of their carelessness. Look closely for an accurate, strikingly realistic visual of how the airline handled his precious luggage, so long as you’re willing to look past the ashiness in the foreground:
Still, they were fortunate enough to catch him on a good day; a few years later, his unconventional anger toward American Airlines couldn’t be contained to a single post.
As out-of-the-box as Masego has proven to be as a musician, you couldn’t expect his twitter gripes to be any less creative.
1. ScHoolboy Q
There should be no need to explain why this takes the top spot on the list. It’s a sickening feeling when you finally arrive at baggage claim only to discover that your luggage was placed on the wrong flight, but when you find out your own dog has been sent off to another city, it’s simply unforgivable.
Imagine ScHoolboy Q’s shock when he landed safely in Burbank only to discover his faithful companion Yeeerndamean was nowhere to be found, thanks to a mix-up by United’s staff that had routed the poor animal in an entirely different direction.
We all need answers, Q.
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