It’s unclear what fans of lyricism did to deserve this. Somebody must have burned a lock of Lil Pump’s hair in a mystical pyre. The result was a spontaneous bout of hip-hop sportsmanship, delivered by the likes of Tory Lanez and Joyner Lucas. Two formidable rappers in their own right, Tory and Joyner’s feud kicked off over competitive spirit and nothing more. No sense of malevolence of pre-existing animosity pervaded the exchange, simply a primal urge to stand on top as the dominant presence.

Unlike other prominent “beefs” like Pusha T vs. Drake or Eminem vs. Machine Gun Kelly, this one requires no “complete history.” Tory claimed he could out-rap “that Joyner kid,” Joyner took offense, and hit him with the glove-slap. Soon after, a duel commenced. Within twenty-four hours, we’ve already received a pair of offerings from Tory, and one from Joyner. The former set it off with “Lucky You,” an alternate take on Joyner and Eminem’s single, which ably set the tone for the war to come.

Tory Lanez - “Lucky You”

Tory kicks off his opening round with a bold proclamation, yet wastes little time in backing his claim. The bars themselves are well crafted, painting Tory as one who rolls with goons; at the very least, those of a hardened moral disposition. The section thrives due to Tory’s dexterous flow, which emphasizes a mentality his fans have long held: Lanez was always rapping, he simply took a moment to diversify his catalog.

I got a million flows, I can go silly with those
I got a pocket rocket
Down to cock and chop and pop a n*** that really impose
N***s that’s wit me is villans in hoodies
That lost all they good and they feelings on road
It’s so appealing, the feeling of killing a n***a that pose
Get Milli-Vanillied with those
Turn a beef plate to a cheesesteak
Bitch, I be really in Philly with those
Neck rocky as a blizzard, a n***a flex gotten bigger
My wrist is so chilly, it froze 

Though personal shots would only arrive later, Tory used his time to set a tone. All tools were to be utilized, with imagery, cadence, and flows at the forefront. The latter is arguably a rapper’s most important skill set, and Tory kicks things up for the following lines, flipping the “knife-to-a-gunfight” idiom with panache.

But I’m Gary Payton, always on the team with the green
And the money counter, 'cause when I’m accounting
It be money coming in and coming out it, paper cut the money
Dummy n***s, I been thumbing out it
Trying not to run up out it in a fist fight with a knife, 
N***a brought a gun up out it
Don’t you run up out it, lil n***a 

Shortly thereafter, Tory continues his assault with an extended threat, and though names are omitted, we can easily picture Joyner as the placeholder. Bonus points for the Smash Bros reference, which rounds off the violent stanza with a geek-friendly reference.

Uh, hit him with a mini MAC
Is he really that bad that I gotta hit him with a bigger gat?
Matter fact, riddle me that
I’m literally at the spot that he said he’d be at, but where is he at?
Like, really n***a? Is you really telling' me that?
Like I ain’t prepared to hit him with a felony act?
Like, what you thought, I would never react?
Have a n***a lookin' like he tryna fight in Smash Bros
When a n****a put a whole shell in his back

Joyner Lucas - “Litty”

Upon receiving Tory’s challenge, which earned instant acclaim from fans and artists like, Joyner decided to up the ante. Reimagining Tory’s hit “Litty,” Joyner ramped up the tension by sliding in several personal jabs. Not “Adidon” or “Killshot” personal, but pointed enough to sting. Off the bat, Joyner sets an amusing tone, taking shots at Tory’s R&B Thuggish tendencies while name dropping a Playstation classic.

What's up with you R&B n***s tryna turn rappers and trappers
You should just stay in your lane, bro, you sound like PaRappa the Rapper

Joyner doubles down on the R&B narrative, throwing in enough schoolyard aggression to redden Tory’s face. Height jokes and bald jokes might seem played out to those tall, full-head-of-hair types. If you’re short or bald, they likely sting. 

Swear you R&B rappers is strange
You okay but you ain't nobody favorite
You aight but you ain't nobody major
5'3", you ain't nobody dangerous
Maybe that weed you were smoking, had you feeling confident
Let's have a real conversation
Maybe that doctor put something inside of your head
When you got your new hairline replacement 

Joyner proceeds to put Tory’s life under the microscope, citing his widely publicized beefs with both Travis Scott and Drake, while simultaneously acknowledging that both men might have bodied him. He also takes a page out of Em’s book (guess I am comparing him to Em), and uses Iggy Azalea as a barometer for what not to do. Why can’t anyone let Iggy live?

They compare me to Em, they compare you to Iggy
They compare me to Meth, they compare you to Dizzy
I'm Leonardo Da Vinci, I paint a picture with color
I already got cake and I don't need a butler
We already got Drake and we don't need another
I don't really got space but I'ma eat your supper
You know Joyner got a hotter flow
I'ma do what Travis should've did a while ago
I'ma do what Drake should've did a while ago
Throw your ass off a cliff, make you say, "Geronimo"

Of course, Joyner had to make time for Trippie Redd, who decided to insert himself into the feud on Team Tory. You already know such slights will not go unnoticed, especially by a capable sportsman like Joyner Lucas. Little did he know, however, that his closing lines would soon come back to haunt him.

Tory, why all your songs always sound like a rerun, n***a
I just want my motherfucking refund, n****a
Funny looking ass, go and eat some', n***a
I ain't never had to get my fucking teeth done, n****a
When I kill you, I ain't running to you, bleed some, n***a
Oh, you wan' be some n***a?
Me and 6ix9ine had Trippie Redd bitch on the couch
She was giving us a threesome, n***a

Tory Lanez - “Litty Again”

This morning, Tory Lanez decided to come through with yet another banger, his second drop in a mere twenty-four hour window. Perhaps unencumbered by the commitments of American Thanksgiving, Tory proceeded to let fly his entire arsenal, hitting Joyner back with a decidedly more personal assault. Citing his “failed” ability to pop off despite appearances alongside Eminem and Chris Brown, Tory anchors himself to Joyner’s career, forever inserting himself into the come-up narrative.

Eminem couldn't get ya to a million on the gram
Chris Brown tried, n***a failed both times
I done took ya page to a million in a day
If you ask me n***a I’m ya motherfucking cosign
I'ma 'bout to hit the pussy ass n***a with a clothesline
I'ma have to catch a n***a slipping in my own time
I just took the flame on a private ass plane
Out to Massachusetts catch this n****a slipping in his hometown

Amidst back to back moments of meticulously structured rhyme schemes, Tory takes a moment to showcase the storytelling prowess he once flexed on “Pieces.” Using Joyner’s father as the centerpiece of his narrative, Tory builds up enough history for the punchline to land, and land with potency.

The venom is Arachne, n****a
I’m 'bout kill da man and da man that done backed these n****s
And blam any man that try to dap you n****s
Clap any Stan fan that attract you n****s
See ya daddy was a musician that never made it
'Cause when you was born n****a it was you or him
Shattered knowing he would never make it as an artist
And the odds of his life prolly be 2 to 1
But I give it to him cause he didn’t run
I guess he figured, "man when you look at it in a nutshell
All I got is a failed music career and
My revenge is giving that shit to my son"

Any self-respecting fan of battle rap understands the importance of a good “flip.” Along with a subsequent Joyner Lucas impression, it’s safe to say that Lanez has raised the bar for the inevitable next round.

I said hold up my n***a man this shit craze
You fucked AYLEK$ man that shit craze
N***a said out here running threesomes with a
N***a that’s in court dealing with the kid cases