I can’t with the audacity of Chris Brown. Why is he beefing with anyone?

OPINION: Chris Brown's beef with Quavo is crazy because it means we gotta talk about him and Rihanna again.

Chris Brown, Quavo beef, theGrio.com
Chris Brown attends a Maxim Hot 100 Event celebrating Teyana Taylor, hosted by MADE special, at The Highlight Room on July 13, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

It seems like everyone in America is beefing with someone right now. America is beef nation. Of course, there’s Trump vs. Biden and Trump vs. Alvin Bragg, Fani Willis and Letitia James. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between their political or legal battles and the promotion of an upcoming MMA battle. There’s also Drake vs. Kendrick (plus a whole cast of characters). There’s Taylor Swift vs. Kim Kardashian, which is a weird one because Kim isn’t a recording artist. We may or may not be finished with Megan Thee Stallion vs Nicki Minaj, who knows? And now we have Chris Brown vs. Quavo. America is a mess.

I think the prevalence of so many different beefs says that we are a tense, angry nation. We are on edge, divided and stressed out. The blood pressure of the American collective consciousness is very high so we’re lashing out at each other.

Social media makes us want to fight. It’s a cesspool. Trump makes us want to fight. He’s triggering. The murky future of America makes us want to fight. Is this the end of the empire? There are lots of sources of tension and lots of reasons to want to attack someone. 

I understand Drake vs. Kendrick. That’s the product of some alpha males arguing over who’s the best rapper in the game. I remember the genesis of Swift vs. Kardashian, but I don’t get why Swift is deploying her weapons against Kim now, but pass the popcorn. But I’m dumbfounded by the audacity of Chris Brown entering into a beef with a song like “Weakest Link.” That’s wild.

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Everyone remembers the worst thing Brown ever did — in 2009 he beat up his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. Really badly. It was a really ugly moment. It was horrifying to see him unleash massive violence on her. It led to discussions of how he had attacked many women. It’s shocking to me that he was able to have an entertainment career after that, but I saw tweets from young Black women saying Chris could beat me up. So here we are. 

Brown knows the impact that moment had on his life. He has said he’s tired of people bringing it up, which is rich. He knows that it’s better for him if people don’t discuss it. Surely, he’s hoping people kinda forget about it. He also knows that in a battle, the first thing your opponent does is bring up anything bad they can say about you. So as soon as he starts beefing with Quavo, he knows that lots of people will once again be discussing what he did to Rihanna.

Of course, on “Over Hoes & Bitches,” Quavo mentioned Rihanna right away — he referenced the assault in the third line of the song. Brown’s propensity for violence toward women fuels some of the sharpest lines of the song. “You tried to beat up Teyana,” Quavo rhymes talking about an incident with Teyana Taylor. “But Usher wouldn’t let you do it / The cocaine got him, your honor / Bipolar disorder, no wonder.” He goes on to call Brown a junkie.  

One big part of a hip-hop battle is to say true things that embarrass your opponent, You bring up things they don’t want brought up. I think if you have something that big and ugly in your past then you don’t need to battle. Is dissing Quavo worth having everyone talk about the Rihanna moment again? It sure doesn’t look like it is. 

But this whole battle is a mess. Quavo reminded us of Brown’s Rihanna moment, which was infuriating. But we also have Brown talking about Quavo getting caught on camera being rough with his then-girlfriend Saweetie, which is also infuriating. 

Drake vs. Kendrick is ultimately fun to watch. No one’s really getting their feelings hurt. Meanwhile, Brown is saying that when Takeoff died people wished it was Quavo instead. I don’t recall anyone ever saying anything like that, but that’s where they are. Their beef is gross and heavy and really mean-spirited. 

Their beef isn’t fun. It’s triggering as hell. 

Touré, theGrio.com

Touré is a host and Creative Director at theGrio. He is the host of Masters of the Game on theGrioTV. He is also the host and creator of the docuseries podcast “Being Black: The ’80s” and the animated show “Star Stories with Toure” which you can find at TheGrio.com/starstories. He is also the host of the podcast “Toure Show” and the podcast docuseries “Who Was Prince?” He is the author of eight books including the Prince biography Nothing Compares 2 U and the ebook The Ivy League Counterfeiter.

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