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If You're Reading This It's Too Complicated: Breaking Down The Latest in Meek v. Drake

Last time we looked at the Drake-Meek Mill Twitter beef/rap beef/somewhat confusing fight over Nicki Minaj, it was relatively small in scope -- Meek accused Drake of having other people write his rhymes (which was already kind of common knowledge), said possible ghostwriter Quentin Miller had to run for the hills, and poor Nicki Minaj was caught at the center of two dudes -- a slap-fight between her current boyfriend and a man with whom she has a rather complicated personal and musical past. It's developed sufficiently now to suggest all kinds of levels of strangeness, and to require this: a full timeline of recent developments in the Great Meek Mill-Drake Battle of 2015.

Saturday, 7/25 -- Drake Drops Meek Mill Diss Track "Charged Up"
"Charged Up" premieres on the OVO Beats 1 radio show. It's a pretty much what you expect from a Drake diss track, in that it's relatively non-aggressive, sad, and has spawned a minor meme comparing Drake to a fully charged iPhone battery (and Meek to a phone about to die).

Monday, 7/27 -- Meek Mill Ghosts on his Response Track

Hot 97 DJ Funkmaster Flex, a New York hip-hop mainstay (for perhaps too long), has already announced his interest in the Meek-Drake beef, claiming to have the reference tracks ghostwriter Quentin Miller recorded. Flex loudly says that Meek is going to premiere his response on his show, which entices many people to listen to terrestrial radio for the first time in years. Instead, Flex loops Rihanna and Fetty Wap and becomes the subject of a vast array of jokes on the internet.

Instead of taking the L, Hot 97 tries to pile on Meek, claiming he just failed to give them the track. DJ Ebro Darden complains that they just wanted to take Meek "at his word," and it is sad.

Later Monday Night -- Meek Screams Into His Computer
Meek claims to have dropped a response diss track called "Beautiful Night," which is just him yelling. 'Kay.

Tuesday, 7/28 -- Nicki's Ex Safaree Issues a Cry For Attention
Safaree Samuels, the ex Nicki has already sufficiently clowned, attempts to enter the musical fray by, among other things, claiming that he ghostwrote swathes of The Pinkprint (notice how many of these moves are just people claiming things without showing the receipts). The track, ironically titled "Lifeline,"is very bad, but you can find it here if you are feeling particularly masochistic with regards to tertiary participants in mediocre rap beefs.

Tuesday Night -- Meek and Nicki Perform in Toronto, and it is Weird
Nicki's Pinkprint tour stops in Toronto, the city her boyfriend Meek Mill is supposedly barred from by the most badass city councillor in the game. Meek is late for his set, but eventually shows up to what appear to be light boos.

During his abbreviated set, Meek performs Yo Gotti's "Fuck You," flashing the title lyrics to the assembled crowd of teens and parents who wanted to see his girlfriend perform.

Meek's choices appear increasingly confusing and opaque to a world that just wants to see him follow through on a fight he initiated in the first place. Meek and Nicki make a show of togetherness, but Drake looms over the performance.

Wednesday, 7/29 -- Drake Drops "Back to Back"
With Meek seemingly collapsing, Drake goes in for the kill with another diss track, a "freestyle" in which he addresses the situation far more aggressively, owning his role as a musical curator ("I got the Midas touch") and leaving us with classically divisive Aubrey phrases. (Like, seriously -- is "trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers" genius, or horrible?)

And here we are. There are some other minor developments piling on the participants (like this GoFundMe campaign to help Meek finally record an actual diss track), but for now, we're left with a large number of extremely confusing choices and questions. Why hasn't Meek made an actual explicit diss track? (This is especially confusing since he is, by all accounts, a pretty good battle rapper.) Why is Drake going in so hard on Meek, when all of the laws of rap beef suggest you never, ever punch down at someone less popular than you, lest you validate them and give them unnecessary attention? How pissed is Nicki at both of these man-children?

The only plausible explanation, from where I'm sitting, is that this is all a PR campaign gone horribly wrong for a secret Drake-Meek Mill collaborative album, their own version of Watch the Throne where the throne is adorned with psychosexual post-breakup hangups and framed photos of Nicki Minaj while she rolls her eyes from the booth, where she is actually continuing to do the work being a recording artist. The cover of this album will feature Meek and Drake hugging. It will be profound.

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