Social media has vastly changed the landscape for artists (and fans) on every level.
Whether you're an OG who remembers the days of the pre-internet hustle or are still in your teenage years getting your bars up, social media has essentially become one important pillar in hip-hop and participating is vital in maintaining one's career in music. With artists having the ability to interact with fans by simply taking 15 seconds to type something out on a smart phone and hit send also comes the responsibility to use such easily-accessed mediums wisely and responsibly. All it takes, in this unforgiving era of RTs and screenshots, is one poorly worded or ill-received tweet or Instagram comment to hurl an artist into the middle of an actual PR nightmare.
While French Montana recently found himself in the hot seat, with fans setting his mentions on fire reacting to an insensitive and offensive comment he made in response to a female fan, he's hardly alone in the category of rappers learning the hard way about some of the cons that come with being a public figure in the rap game in the year 2017.
As a handful of rappers will tell you firsthand, sometimes the block button is your best friend (a la Remy Ma), whereas other times, not everything warrants a response (such as with T.I. once simply stating, "Bye Felicia"). However, sometimes you just have to hit record on a selfie video to say how you really feel (a response Soulja Boy is all too familiar with) or go off on a fan in the comments section and pen a ruthless novel in defense (a move Chris Brown or The Game commonly make). Regardless of whether you ignore the comments section entirely or further add fuel to the fire by getting involved, artists of today would be wise to remember that the Internet doesn't sleep and is always watching.
XXL takes a look at 21 rappers who have been sharpening their social media swords and perfecting their clap back game on social media in the list below.
French Montana recently found out the hard way that clapping back at a fan can do more harm than good. After criticizing a fan who struck a nerve, the rapper was met with an uproar of backlash, with many saying his comment was as insensitive as it was racist. He has since issued several apologies regarding the incident.
A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg were having some fun during a session on Instagram Live, where the comments section inspired the rappers to fire shots back at the fan who decided to get a jab in first. The whole session has since been preserved on YouTube, with fans either egging on the rappers or criticizing them for taking it as far as they did. Perhaps Instagram Live wasn't the smartest update the app has undergone, with several other rappers, including 21 Savage, having similar experiences with fans leaving hate comments during broadcasts.
Swizz Beatz definitely had time for this one, getting in a snappy comment after a fan questioned if his son identified as gay.
T.I. is all too familiar with clapping back at fans on Instagram, making frequent appearances on popular accounts such as The Shade Room and Baller Alert. Don't question his family, sound off on his divorce or even think about coming for his career, or you just might see him in your mentions.
The Game is another rapper who absolutely isn't here for hate comments from fans. All too often, he can be seen defending his legacy and his family alike and sticking by his convictions, all while not being afraid to return the shade. In this particular circumstance, a fan learned firsthand what happens when you insult his baby girl.
Dave East isn't here for anyone putting disrespect on his name, and in this situation, the rapper not only saw there was a lie circulating his reputation, he decided to call out the fan who took it that level.
Part of Cardi B's charm is interacting with her fans, often going off on Twitter and Instagram alike when fans are a little out of line. In this hilarious example, she reacts to a fan by saying they look like a toe—all for foot-shaming someone who wasn't even the rapper.
As we all know, 50 Cent is a big fan of Instagram. Whether he is flexing wads of cash or having a field day roasting other rappers, he's commonly known for getting busy in the comments section as well, even when a fan does have a good point.
Chris Brown has frequently not only left comments in response to fans, but sometimes he even pens entire novels. In this example, Breezy was triggered by a fan commenting on his past relationship with Karrueche, which resulted in her also responding. This exchange quickly got a little messy, like many involving Breezy do.
Nicki Minaj definitely has a lot of fun clapping back at fans, even when it's all love, such as in this example. She also can be guilty of posting and then deleting, but hey, we all do it.
Drake stopped by the comments section to swiftly (and hilariously) shut down the male fan shooting his shot. Even the 6 God makes time to interact with his fans, even when the answer isn't what fans were expecting or hoping for.
Joe Budden constantly has Twitter fingers, and even takes time for Instagram as well. Sometimes it's all love and other times, it's all shade. We all know he could do this all day, though.
Remy Ma has had it up to here with fans constantly barking on her Instagram. From threatening to block haters to recording a video warning fans not to test her petty, Remy definitely makes some time to interact with fans and haters alike.
Shad Moss, formerly known as Bow Wow, has made it known that he cares more about his money than what his fans may think, but he still gets his jabs in on social media as well. All in a day's work.
Wale wasn't going to let this fan get away with calling him an "annoying twat." He also makes it known that rolling with him is an exclusive privilege haters will never experience. Tell 'em!
Sometimes a clap back from an artist may come in the form of some sage advice, whether warranted or not. Rick Ross, in this example, throws a little shade at Cash Money records while responding to this fan.
Sage The Gemini will step in to support his colleagues in the rap game, especially when it comes to family time.
It doesn't take much to push Soulja Boy's buttons. With DJ Akademiks adding fuel to the fire, many fans couldn't help but test the rapper's limits questioning whether or not he owns the house he's always flexing, or if it's an airbnb rental. Soulja responded to this one by digging in at DJ Akademiks and express his outrage that fans would question his lavish lifestyle.
Chance The Rapper consistently engages with fans on Twitter and while it's usually positive, he had to take a time out to address criticisms that he's not an independent artist due to accepting deals from Apple Music.
21 Savage hilariously learned that a session on Instagram Live can take a left turn pretty quickly, clapping back at fans who were leaving him hate mail before signing off.