The Weeknd and The-Dream may be the only male R&B artists who exist in the critical blogosphere, at least when it comes to collecting universal acclaim. It’s sad but entirely understandable, then, that they would start beefing on Twitter over some slightly agitated comments The-Dream made at a New York show. “Fuck niggas who sound like me,” The-Dream sang before launching into “Rockin’ That Shit,” a diss that The Weeknd apparently interpreted as intended for him, since the two get compared by writers looking to make a quick parallel for reasons that don’t always seem entirely musically related (they’re both black and sing about sex in a falsetto?).
The Weeknd then took to Twitter to launch a stream of insults directed at The-Dream, all of which Pitchfork helpfully collected. Digs like “ham burglar lookin’ ass nigga” and “you get at me, i get at you” seem pretty clear about how he took the concert comments. Responding on his own Twitter, The-Dream was certainly equanimous towards the younger singer. “Love killed Hate,” is one of the things he said, along with “Ill call ya phone if you wanna chop it up or if you feel a way.” And later: “Like I said I think the world of the boy. And nothing will change that.” Which is to say that he finds himself in the moral high ground of responding to a personal attack with flowers and candy, except he’s the guy who technically instigated the argument in the first place.
But I can see why The-Dream would feel somewhat slighted by the attention that The Weeknd gets. He’s been making his polished, emotionally mature pop music for years, and then Abel Tesfaye swoops in with one free mixtape (last year’s House of Balloons) and instantly dominates the conversation about mature R&B, or however you want to call it. Maybe The-Dream really does spend all of his time reading end-of-year lists on blogs and griping about his comparatively low rankings.
Sidenote: This live video of The-Dream performing, provided by RapRadar, certainly cements that sinking feeling I had when purchasing a ticket to his Chicago show, that it’ll mostly be the audience singing, with Dream chiming in every now and then to wave his hands and/or freak on a potentially terrified audience people (he goes 1-for-2 in the video). It also cements the certainty that I will be one dorky white dude standing in the back, waving my arms to “I Luv Your Girl.” But what’s a little lost dignity to bask in the aura of a modern R&B legend? Tickets for The-Dream’s Kill the Lights tour are on sale now, if you don’t already have yours.