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Celebrity Slam - Finely aged beef

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It’s no secret that we love beef here at Celebrity Slam. The pettier and more childish, the better. We love it when famous people go after each other with thoughtless insults and disrespect, when they suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous ego hurled willy-nilly.

As you’re no doubt well aware, the best beef is hip-hop beef. These guys have always been able to stick the needle in, finding the softest, most vulnerable spots in which to jab their barbs. They’re good with words and unafraid to be mean – an ideal combo when it comes to generating beef.

But when you get the opportunity to experience some well-aged beef, beef that has been gently seasoned by years of simmering antipathy, well – that’s the good stuff.

Which brings us to 50 Cent and Ja Rule. That’s right – the greatest hip-hop beef of 2003 has returned after 15 years in all its idiotic mean-spirited glory.

Ja Rule took to Twitter a few days ago to, for some inexplicable reason, continue the bad blood that has been between the two rappers for a decade-plus. It’s vintage beef; Ja Rule talks about minding his business before talking about 50 Cent having his name in his mouth and then getting rather vulgar.

He follows up by calling 50 Cent “my son my student young paddawan” and saying “you owe me your life boy.”

(Just as an aside – it’s spelled Padawan, man. If you’re going to drop Star Wars insults, you really should spell them right. Sure, we get the sentiment, but come on.)

For his part, 50 Cent took to Instagram to shut down Ja Rule, saying “When the check stops and you go back to the hood, and everybody knows your broke. It’s not my fault.”

Oh, and just to make sure that this whole situation is good and bizarre – we’re talking next-level weird – apparently the porn website Pornhub is claiming some responsibility for bringing this beef back to life.

Yeah – that’s good beef.

It’s remarkable that these guys have managed to harbor such bitterness toward one another for so many years. We’re not going to go into the details of the early days of the feud – there’s simply not enough time. However, there’s no denying that the rise of 50 coincided almost precisely with the collapse of Ja Rule’s career. Ja was HUGE in the years leading up to 50’s debut album, but there simply didn’t seem to be room for both of them at the top … and Ja Rule toppled.

It’s worth noting that the backbone of the original beef came even earlier, all the way back in 2000, when Ja was already huge and 50 was just coming up. The two were involved in a brawl that year, and mere months later, an artist on Ja Rule’s label wound up stabbing 50 three times.

So yeah – these guys started their beef physically, with fists and knives and what have you. It was a different time.

Now, everybody is older if not much wiser. Beef carried back and forth via the internet is a hell of a lot safer than actually saying these things in face-to-face situations. It’s certainly easier to snipe at one another from behind the comforting glow of one’s smartphone or laptop. If nothing else, it’s a lot less likely that someone is going to punch you in the face or stab you. In 2018, rappers cut with words, not blades.

Still, there’s something almost charming about this one. In a world where things seems to be changing at a rate beyond our capacity to keep up, it’s nice to know that there are certain foundational touchstones that remain changeless. Haters gonna hate – and it’s wonderful.

Beefs aren’t about winners and losers, but if we’re picking, the victory has to go to 50 Cent. At least he’s still culturally relevant – he’s starring in this past weekend’s not-great-but-still-financially-successful heist movie “Den of Thieves” – while no one seems to really think much about Ja Rule one way or the other. But really, in the end, we’re all winners.

At the risk of mixing metaphors, this beef has aged like a fine wine – it has grown and evolved over the years, moving from the brute simplicity of physical altercations into the online realm that allows for sophisticated crudity.

Looks like there’s plenty of sizzle left in this steak.

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