Steven Hyden on why we can't resist a good pop music rivalry

Beatles vs Stones? Oasis vs Blur? Biggie vs Tupac? Whichever your defining musical rivalry is, it may be more about you and less about the bands.
A lot of the rivals in Steven Hyden's book were actually friends or fans of one another. Why do we want to see conflict when it may not exist as we think it does? (Twitter/Back Bay Books)

Is there a musical rivalry you just can't get enough of? Maybe you're a classic rock fan and for you it's the Beatles versus the Stones. Perhaps you're of the grunge era and the rivalry of Nirvana and Pearl Jam is more your thing. Or maybe your defining rivalry is bit a more current — are you Team Kanye or Team Taylor?

Whichever side you're rooting for, journalist Steven Hyden says that rivalry is more about you than it is the musicians. Hyden's new book, Your Favourite Band Is Killing Me: What Pop Music Rivalries Reveal About the Meaning of Life, focuses on a number of musical rivalries that had some kind of concrete conflict, "even if it was just one incident." 

What Hyden found was that, for the most part, these rivalries were projected onto artists and pointed to larger discussions happening at the time.

"I feel like, in a way, these rivalries almost became like metaphors for people to work out aesthetic preferences or political affiliations or philosophical points of view," he tells Shad.

Shad has never been part of a rivalry, so who should Shad beef with?

Send suggestions to us by email, on Facebook or on Twitter using the hashtag #ShadBeef.

Then pick your side in five of the musical rivalries from Hyden's book:


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