In his breakout song “Yonkers,” Tyler, the Creator, the madcap 20-year-old leader of Los Angeles rap collective Odd Future, threatens to “stab Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus.” Well, take a number, Tyler: In an exclusive interview with SPIN, the Hawaiian pop crooner responded to the dis for the first time ever: “[Tyler] has to wait in line if he wants to stab me,” he said. “[Tyler’s] definitely not the first guy that’s said something like that to me and he’s not going to be the last.”
Backstage at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom, after the opening date of his 24-date Hooligans in Wondaland tour with Janelle Monae, Mars elaborated on the Odd Future dis: “Oh, man. How did I feel about it? That’s what comin’ up is,” he explained, referring to the cutthroat nature of the music biz. “You pick up some fans and a handful of haters along the way.”
Tyler’s dis at the R&B singer-songwriter seems to stem from some hatred of Mars’ collaborator B.o.B. On “Yonkers,” off his brand new solo album Goblin, Tyler takes aim at the Atlanta rapper and his collaborator, Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams, threatening the namesake jet from their hit “Airplanes.” Spits Tyler: “What you think of Hayley Williams? / Fuck her / I’ll crash that fucking airplane that that faggot nigga B.o.B is in.”
In March, B.o.B responded to Tyler — and he wasn’t nearly as restrained as Mars. B.o.B released a blistering track called “No Future” (get it?): “If I was you I would be a little more cautious,” the 22-year-old born Bobby Ray Simmons, Jr. warns. “I’m way too high for you to look at / The future ain’t looking promising for these rookies / This is target practice but I don’t even pull the fucking trigger anymore, ’cause it’s just a waste of bullets.”
“But fuck it, I guess I’mma have to let these niggas know,” he spits. “Keep fucking with me, you ain’t gonna have no future.”
Shortly following its release, in late March, Tyler responded to “No Future” on Twitter, claiming he didn’t think the track was a dis. He also offered a backhanded compliment: “I’ve never heard him spit like that,” Tyler wrote. “Took me by surprise, cus it’s tight.”
Again taking to Twitter, Tyler found time to squeeze in yet another stab at B.o.B’s music, this time dissing it for having the “Same Chord progression As Fucking ‘Love The Way You Lie’ And That One Song By Katy Perry.”
Who will drop a dis track next? Or does the beef stop here?
Mars’ Hooligans in Wondaland tour continues through June 15. See complete dates here.
(Additional reporting: Christopher R. Weingarten)