Pitchfork - "Our 10 Favorite Things in Rap This Week: Instagram Beat Battles and More"
"A lot of hip-hop and R&B producers and songwriters are using their quarantine downtime to take part in Instagram Live battles where they play their hits at one another. So far, only heavy-hitters have been invited to the Swizz Beatz and Timbaland-hosted events: Boi-1Da showered Hit-Boy with Drake smashes; The-Dream and Sean Garrett messily bragged about who JAY-Z loves more; veteran songwriter Johntá Austin, holding a glass of wine, kindly sent Ne-Yo packing once Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” dropped; and Mannie Fresh and Scott Storch reignited the regional rap flames. It’s undeniably enjoyable to watch these icons rattle through their catalogs, but here’s one problem with these battles: Nobody knows what the rules actually are. Is it who has contributed to the most hit records? Do points get docked for producing and writing bad songs? Is it about technical ability? Right now, the answer to all of these questions is: Whatever helps your narrative most. Which leads to debates that nobody can win—but at least it’s a distraction from everything else."