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Back to Back, the Presidential race gets charged up

Sean Lundergan | Contributing Reporter

The beef is real. 

Since entering the industry in dramatic fashion with the controversial track “They’re Bringing Crime, They’re Rapists,” Donald Trump has gotten into feuds with any and all of his rival acts, most recently with Marco Rubio and the Fox News label. The lyrical quality of Trump’s slew of releases is neither creative nor of particularly high caliber, and the delivery is often poorly executed. Yet Trump is still the hottest trending artist of the year, due to his mass appeal and the way he generates media buzz. Just as 50 Cent made a name for himself in part by taking on the biggest names in New York’s rap scene, Trump has set his sights on today’s conservative heavyweights like Rand Paul, Jeb Bush and Trump’s own fellow newcomers Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson.

But Trump’s recent sparring with Rubio is his most active feud of late, and the two serve to represent the two different styles of this campaign season. To draw a comparison to the beef between Ice Cube and N.W.A. after Ice Cube went solo, Trump is the Eazy-E, a fiery attitude with neither particularly strong verbal content nor good delivery; and Rubio is the Ice Cube, delivering confident but controlled, technically sound and biting commentary. To put it in terms of a more modern feud, Trump has the popularity of Drake but the technical skills of an incapacitated Meek Mill, while Rubio has more of a Meek-Mill sized following but lyrical content and technical ability far and away greater than Trump’s.

Trump took the first direct shot at Rubio, claiming that as soon as Rubio’s popularity dwindled and Trump’s grew, Rubio became bitter and “changed his tone.” Trump went further and dissed Rubio’s lack of personal wealth, in the “I’ve been gettin’ money, where the f— you been?” spirit of 2 Chainz. It’s a common form of bragging while taking aim at others in this branch of the entertainment industry. In this society of self-interested performers wealth is often seen as a measure of a person’s worth and status. So it’s no surprise that Trump threw these disses at Rubio, but what stirred up controversy among Rubio fans was Trump calling him a “clown.” Naturally, Rubio shot back with a diss of his own, calling Trump “touchy and insecure” and purporting that Trump’s most recent performance was lackluster. But Trump, not to be outdone, employed his signature irony-proof arrogance in response and called Rubio a “baby.”

Trump’s response to Rubio came immediately after he dodged questions about House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation, indicating that he was only willing to comment on beef-related topics. This has led many of Trump’s critics to denounce his focus on dissing others as a way to mask his inability to come up with his own original material. In the words of Outlawz, “The kids think beef is they only option.” And I think it’s fair to say Trump is one of the kids.