Like most news bloggers, we probably spend too much time on Twitter. Tips arrive in real time -- quicker than on news television, or over the wire -- and Twitpics open us up to a world of witnesses.
In effect, we might also talk about it too much. (Online celebrity rags are guiltiest of all: Every little quip from Hefner or Spears gets its own breaking-news post.) But this year, more than ever, we feel Twitter kind of crossed over into real life. Major showdowns like the Occupy L.A. raid and the Odd Future riot were documented from all possible angles; everyone at home could live a 3D, crowd-sourced, almost hyper-realistic hologram of the event.
So when we say these are the best L.A. Twitter beefs of 2011...
... we're pretty much saying they were the best beefs, period. What could be more beefy (candid, blurted, reactionary) than 140 characters of smartphone aggression? And no matter how quick you delete that shit, some poised blogger will always have a screen shot, securing you a permanent place in the "mad people making fools of themselves" hall of fame.
All right, here they are -- the five best. Largely rap-related, because that's where the concept of beef kinda originated, but there's some stuff in here for city nerds, too.
5. Chris Brown versus Odd Future
Two of L.A.'s most promising young R&B singers -- one at the hip/indie end of the spectrum, the other steady occupying the Top 40 -- got into a battle of the soundalikes this summer.
When Chris Brown, mainstream hip-hop's golden voice, compared Frank Ocean, regular hookster for Odd Future, to a couple artists he obviously doesn't emulate, the shit hit the fan.
Brown: "I fuck wit Frank Ocean! Reminds me of a young James Fauntleroy or Kevin Cossum."
Ocean: "i fucks wit chris brown, reminds me of a young sisqo or ike turner."
Brown: "it was a compliment you bitch ass nigga. Everybody claim to be the devil till they meet him."
Ocean: "i just dont like underhanded comments. thats all im saying."
You don't have to fight, boys! You're both lovely in your own way. Rapper the Game, who's partaken in more than his fair share of online showdowns, told them as much: "just starting what can be a long successful career.. Don't fuck it up by beefin'. FOCUS niggas, FOCUS !!!"
But once Brown had brought Tyler, the Creator (Odd Future's biggest star) into the mix, there was no stopping them:
Brown: "fuck odd future! Make sure y'all smalltime niggas stick yo chess out when u speak to me," ... "Ain't no battery in my back! U just getting on ass niggas! Don't let them pills go to yo head!" ... "I was tryna help yo sales nigga. You fuckin clown! You and @fucktyler would be casted great for planet of the apes!"
Tyler: "What's Wrong Christopher? Amber Rose Stole Your Style Bro?"
Brown: "I never said one thing about y'all niggas and y'all started this!" ... "I was on fairfax yesterday and your so called posse was super quiet. Get better soldiers!"
And so they bantered a while longer, with Brown insisting he was so much better than this and Tyler making fart jokes, per usual. Winner: Odd Future. Sorry, Chris -- musically, many feel you can do no wrong. But as Rihanna can attest, the temper needs a little honing.
4. LAPD Detective Sal LaBarbera versus Anonymous hackers
The same LAPD detective who made headlines for Tweeting a photo of a dead body earlier this winter, @LAMurderCop, became a target of an Anonymous-affiliated hacker group in December when he criticized them for posting fellow officers' personal info online. (The hackers had done so in response to the LAPD's allegedly inhumane Occupy L.A. raid and arrest spree.)
Hacker: "I do not think it was responsible of you to post a crime scene photo, think with your head not with your badge. #ASSHOLE."
LaBarbera: "Strong words,real lack of knowledge on ur part."
Hacker: "lack of brains on your part."
LaBarbera: "going to Work now u know job, employment, contributing to society. Man up. N call anytime."
Hacker: "violating peoples right? police brutality? yeah good job, you know employment, taking away from society." ... "Hey Everyone go check out @LAMurderCop hes a pig armed with a computer, lets show him how to use one. #Anonymous #CabinCr3w #Antisec"
Really never thought we'd see the day when an LAPD hotshot would humor a cop-hating laptop army. And thus, just for responding at all, our Winner: Detective LaBarbera. Please don't hack me, Anonymous. You're cool too.
3. Zuma Dogg versus the world.
And by the world, we mean all politicians and
Occupy L.A. protesters foolish enough to block his path to municipal justice.
OG citywatcher @ZumaDogg railed on everyone from councilmembers, corrupt public departments and out-of-line L.A. citizens this year. The world may not have responded, or even acknowledged Zuma Dogg's existence, but we know a good number of his Twitter victims were secretly shaking in their boots. Below, a sampling of the prolific daily fare.
Zuma Dogg: "Hi! I'm Herb Wesson Housing Chair over LAHD/REAP. FBI now investigating dept. All 3 FBI bribe busts were out of my district. Make me Prez!"
Zuma Dogg: "'Season's Greetings' Holiday Card from Los Angeles City Ethics Commission (Zuma Dogg Got One. Did Eric Garcetti?"
Zuma Dogg: "ZD Prevented From Free Speech by #OccupyLA CULT MOB. (Free Speech Group, Prevents Free Speech of OTHERS!)"
Zuma Dogg: "CLOWN CITY ATTORNEY WANTS TO SUE OCCUPYLA FOR DAMAGES, AFTER CLOWN ALLOWED & ENABLED/TOOK NO ACTION. SHUT YOUR LOSER-TRAP, CARMEN THE CLOWN!"
We can easily say that the day ZD ceases to spiel his one-sided beef is the day we lose our sense of purpose and delete our Twitter accounts in a state of soul crisis. Winner: Duh.
2. NBA referee versus AP reporter.
Not exactly an L.A.-based Tweef, but the referee is from Oak Park (right above the Valley) so we had to include it. During an NBA game between the Timberwolves and the Rockets, AP reporter Jon Krawczynski posted this fateful message to his Twitter.
Krawczynski: "Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he'd "get it back" after a bad call. Then he made an even worse call on Rockets. That's NBA officiating folks."
Instead of Tweeting back, Spooner took his response straight to court. From the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal:
Spooner called that Tweet a defamatory accusation of game fixing, and said the reporter and his employer have refused to retract it. His suit seeks more than $75,000 in damages, the Tweet to be unpublished and a retraction of the statement.
Pretty drastic -- but somehow still more mature than the Chris Brown approach. The Associated Press, meanwhile, stands by Krawczynski's reporting. Winner: AP reporter. Because we're into free speech, and loud-mouthed journalism, and all that.
1. Ice Burgandy versus Boskoe1 and the Game.
Warning: This one gets a little insider-Inglewood-baseball. But it's also one of the most fascinating homicide investigations we've ever covered (yes, someone got murdered over Twitter beef this year), so we recommend you dive into the full story: "Jomo Zambia, Convicted L.A. Pimp, Crashes Into Inglewood Police Car After Being Murdered in Red BMW."
In a nutshell -- Ice Burgandy, an affiliate of rapper Waka Flocka Flame, reportedly engages in nasty Twitter banter with rap superstar The Game and, separately, local L.A. rapper Boskoe1. So Burgandy's bodyguard, Jomo Zambia (better known as "RoseMo"), allegedly beats both of them up. Weeks later, Zambia is murdered while driving his beamer through town.
Inglewood homicide detectives immediately confirmed to the Weekly that they were looking into Twitter activity to find Zambia's murderer.
Many of the 140-character disses in question (Between Burgandy and the Game, and Burgandy and Boskoe1) have since been deleted, or are buried beneath thousands more Tweets at this point. And Boskoe1 has since made his account private.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
But here's Boskoe1's latest video diss on Burgandy, so you get the picture:
Winner: Nobody. Burgandy's bodyguard is dead, and Boskoe1 is apparently being investigated for murder. Twitter bullets are fun; real bullets are fucked.