By Vance Brinkley, Special to the AFRO

If you are a rap fan, there’s a very good chance that you are informed about the current beef between Pusha T and Drake. Ever since the G.O.O.D. Music president went for the Canadian superstar on “Infrared” off of his latest album “Daytona,” the social media world has been taken aback by how entertaining this beef has become.

Drake fired back with scathing bars about Pusha over a soothing beat on “Duppy Freestyle,” which had many of us believe that the “Hotline Bling” star had caught another body following his historical rap beef with Meek Mill. However, no one expected for Pusha to respond with “The Story of Adidon,” a track that delivers personal shots to Drake himself, exposes his alleged secret child and mocks Drake’s longtime producer for having multiple sclerosis.

Rapper Pusha T used a picture of Drake in blackface as the cover of his Drake diss song. (Courtesy photo)

As we move closer to closing yet another decade full of memorable moments in rap, it’s clear that conflicts between rappers have evolved from what the West Coast/East Coast rivalry once represented. Instead of picking up a magazine that would feature one side on the cover, fans now have the opportunity to post how they feel about it on social media and artists can see whether they are on the winning side.

What does rap beef look like in our current age? It’s fairly obvious that with music being more convenient to upload for artists, it’s much easier for them to build a proper fanbase off of their own platform. What even makes this idea much more valid is the fact that rappers like Tekashi69 has not only built a following off of only a few tracks on music platforms like Soundcloud, before releasing an album earlier this year, but has also been able to connect, collaborate, and sometimes troll both fans and artists through social media.

Unfortunately, while those high numbers of followers can be a monumental attribute to one’s career, it can also be a curse when things don’t go well. In the case of the Pusha T/Drake beef, we never saw Drake on the losing side before “Story of Adidon.” This Grammy-winning artist has several accolades and records broken on the Billboard, not to mention a victory after his rivalry with Philly-rapper Meek Mill, but Pusha T changed all of that with a track the reveals a side of Drake no one has seen and then stomps on it.

The chances of you getting shot by another rapper’s group are much lower, yet constant trolling and lack of response can mess up your numbers and eventually your money. It’s a dangerous game that several artists had to play with their careers to keep it going after taking shots that failed. Remember when Nicki Minaj tried dissing Cardi B through a song and certain interviews? She was ducking Remy Ma after “Shether” dropped last year, though.

What about rapper Action Bronson? While his music is still good, after a viral video of Ghostface Killah threatening him for throwing shade on an episode of SportsNation about the Wu-Tang rapper, Bronson backpedaled and steered most of his time to Viceland shows.

While this the new generation of rap beef can be entertaining on the ‘Gram, things can get messy if it stumbles into reality. Violent moments come from more random encounters in different cities that somehow ends up on social media, but then there are some moments that actually seems to be planned.

Recently, Chief Keef was allegedly shot at in New York, with some speculating that the two shooters were allegedly a part of Tekashi69’s entourage. Although those rumors were false, it took 69 to open up on social media about how they were false, but he eventually trolled him in the process. You see? Chief Keef’s moment was a “random encounter,” but Tekashi69 was there to add insult to injury.

Keef and 69 were already beginning to trend for beefing on the internet because of a situation between him and his cousin Taito. But you know what Keef did? Made a track with Tekashi’s kryptonite – Trippie Redd. Rappers like 69 and XXXTentacion has experienced the critical effects of the things they wrote on social media, unfortunately, which usually results into getting embarrassed at airports or getting hit in the face during a live concert.

So are rap beef as popular as they once used to be? Yes, but it’s on a completely different frontline. Sure, we may have certain diss tracks like the one between Pusha and Drake, but sometimes things can get dangerous if it gets out of hand.

In the beef between Chief Keef and Tekashi69, a woman was physically harmed, Keef had actual gunshots fired at him for no reason, and god knows what Birdman thinks about Pusha T now. We’ve seen this several times, but will continue to see it as long as Facebook and Twitter remain prominent in the tech world. However, we hope that there’s no harm to any of these artists because we have also witnessed how rap beefs were once settled. No one wants another Tupac or Biggie.