Last week, Cool Nutz dropped what I thought was a rather poignant message to struggle rappers with his single Crushed from his upcoming project EMO. But nameless bullets often find homes and WOHM’s favorite antagonist, Tabloid, responded directly and with force.

Now this is interesting to me… Responding to a subliminal diss disguised as cautionary advice to whomever is listening will always be an uphill battle, so Tab’s rather pointed response – at least on the surface – seems like a suicide mission. But as his name should infer, Tabloid brought some curveballs to the game, namely his sudden ability to stay on both the topic and the beat at the same time for the duration of a song. Can’t front, dude is rapping on here. Cool Nutz can’t simply ignore the (counter?) attack.

But it was more than just the focused rapping acumen that impressed. Tabloid threw some thought into this one, complicating the issue by accusing Nutz of disloyalty, fake thuggery and he apparently tried to cause some disruption in the Jus Family crew by big upping his right hand man, Maniac Loc. The record provides a variety of slick disses while appearing to also reach out for support with odd endorsements of PDX rappers Manny Monday and Vinnie DeWayne. However, the accusation that hits the hardest and is bound to resonate is that Cool Nutz – through his personal success and clout – holds other rappers back by NOT putting them on, even going as far as to complain that he never gets played on his radio show.

His opening line works as a thesis, “Cool Nutz said he carries the city and I agree… into a brick wall and left me in wreckage in the debris.” This is a great course of attack for Tabloid and something that Nutz will likely counter by patronizing the younger rapper. He’ll want to be careful not to give the younger rapper room to operate and reload though. Conversely, Tab has to ensure that he’s covering bases on his accusations so that he’s not once again blown off as a mad rapper. I had a chance to speak with both parties briefly on the matter and they are already gearing up the rhetoric.

In regards to #Pushed, Cool Nutz stated, It was expected and it’s actually a good song. Good as Crushed? No, but as always I respect his skill and ability. My issue with him is his lack of loyalty. I have played his songs, Hangover , I’m The Man, Broken Mirror. Shouted him out and showed him love. But this is a clear example of inaccurate reporting from his Tabloid. However, as always I will never get any respect for that. I am simply the old man holding the scene back. And yes, Maniac is the tough one. Legendary G from our turf. However, always been a stand up guy and always held my own. God is good.” Asked if he saw this coming, the veteran rapper explained, “He’s been popping shots at me for awhile . Even with us being from the same place. He has no respect and you see it in his (social media) posts. But it’s a new generation. But at least I still get attention.”

This seems to be an attention grab, but Tab’s lyrics spin his motives differently though, “The only way to get to the throne? Behead the King.” My short chat with him yielded a consistent reiteration of that simple message, “I’ve always been the type of person to say exactly what everyone is thinking but lack the balls to say… This is one of those situations… In order to rise to power you gotta take out the man in charge. Bye bye, Cool Nutz!”

Of course, this begs the question… If Tab wants to take over the Portland rap scene, how will battling Cool Nutz prove anything? I’ve been around the block a few times and I’ve seen many a rapper launch “Fvck Cool Nutz” campaigns only to later realize that he was never in their lane to begin with. I mean, if Tabloid hands Nutz a humiliating defeat on wax, will he then lay claim to Nutz’ circle of connects and start managing tours? I don’t think so. If Tab is just mad at Nutz, then OK, but if his goal is to really to take the throne as a rapper, he might have to refocus his sights. It’s akin to an upcoming LA rapper challenging Snoop Dogg – er – Lion to a battle, knowing full well that King Los and Kendrick are out there getting it now.

Maybe this is a coordinated beef like Jay-Z and NaS had, or Kanye and 50. Nutz and Tab both have albums dropping… No way to mobilize two fanbases like beef! Who knows? Maybe WOHM should print up some #FvckCoolNutz shirts and sell them to both sides. Basil Zaharoff swag.

Let us know what YOU think! Will this divide the PDX rap scene again? Who’s winning in your book?