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Music

7 memorable Toronto music feuds

Posted by Staff / March 13, 2016

toronto music feudsToronto takes pride in its local musicians. And for good reason. But it's not always harmonious up in the 6ix. From festival drama to Twitter storms and online petitions, our city has its fair share of musical drama.

Here are 7 memorable Toronto music feuds.

Toronto vs. Kanye West
Kanye West performed at the Pan Am Games closing ceremony, much to the chagrin of some Torontonians. A disgruntled local started a Change.org petition and racked up nearly 55,000 digital signatures to try to stop Kanye from playing here.

Drake & Norm Kelly vs. Meek Mill
It all started when Meek Mill accused Drake of having a ghostwriter. Drake fired back with a couple of diss tracks and Ward 40 councillor Norm Kelly jumped in and tweeted, "You're no longer welcome in Toronto, @MeekMill," thus solidifying his spot in the limelight. While this tension seemed to fizzle out, Drake ended up getting a Grammy nomination for "Back to Back," his second diss track.

Barenaked Ladies vs. City Hall
Back in the early 1990s, the City of Toronto wanted to ban the Barenaked Ladies from playing at Nathan Phillips Square. Why? Because of their name, which apparently objectifies women.

Action Bronson vs. City of Toronto
More recently, in 2015, NXNE pulled the plug on a free Action Bronson concert at Yonge-Dundas Square. That's because more than 44,000 people signed a petition arguing that Bronson's misogynistic lyrics had no place in a public venue.

Deadmau5 vs. Everyone
Deadmau5, a.k.a Joel Zimmerman, regularly gets into Twitter feuds with rather high-profile individuals, including Kanye West, Madonna, Justin Bieber and Arcade Fire. Like his famous cats, Zimmercan isn't afraid to bring his claws out.

EDM/Raves vs. City Hall
No fun Toronto reared its head again in 2014 when the city banned electronic dance music events from Exhibition Place. While council reversed this decision, it fuelled flashbacks for many who remembered when the city outlawed raves in 1999 after student Allen Ho died.

CMW vs. NXNE
This feud of sorts flared up after NXNE introduced a radius clause in 2014 saying that participating bands and artists couldn't play in Toronto 45 days before its festival. Since CMW moved its dates forward (from winter to spring) that year, this meant groups would have to be choosey. Thankfully, Northby dropped the radius clause the following year.

Photo of Deadmau5 by Jesse Milns.

What feuds would you add? Let us know in the comments.

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