Ever since he was released from prison two months ago, Anuel AA’s career has exploded, with a surprise full-length album dropping the same day he walked out of a Miami federal correctional facility and almost immediately topped charts on streaming services. Weeks later, the Latin trap star was already making moves with some of the biggest acts in hip-hop and reggaeton, releasing a collab with controversial rapper 6ix9ine, who pled guilty to use of a child in a sexual performance in 2015.
During his stint in prison, Anuel garnered the support of many of his fellow artists in the urbano community, with “Free Anuel” becoming a common rallying cry and ad-lib across the scene. He even managed to guest on some songs during that time, including the track “23,” alongside veteran hip-hop artist Cosculluela. The song was well-received by fans and became a popular staple of many a jangueo. There was nothing to make their followers think a tiraera was on the horizon.
Now, though, the two artists are embroiled in an increasingly heated war of words across social media, and now the recording booth. On Tuesday, Anuel AA dropped a diss track titled “Intocable,” where he rips into Cosculluela, accusing him of being disloyal to his associates, being envious of his successful career, and being a bad partner and father, all in a tornado that was also quickly (and justifiably) criticized for its homophobia, ableism, and misogyny. On Wednesday, promoter Paco Lopez announced he’d be canceling an upcoming Anuel AA concert after “Intocable” was released, which was slated to take place on October 12.
How did these two get to this point? Here’s a breakdown of the theories and rumors that led to this beef.
Editor’s note: This piece will be continuously updated as the beef develops.
Calm Before the Storm
A video disseminated back in May, when Anuel AA was first briefly released from prison into a halfway house, showed Cosculluela meeting him on the street and having what seems to be a perfectly pleasant chat. Later, it was rumored that Coscu was giving advice to Anuel, but as we reported, the young rapper was eventually taken back to prison less than a month later to finish out his sentence.
Gina Moreno Controversy
The most popular theory is that the beef was sparked by an Instagram post from Gina “Gigi” Moreno, who is also Cosculluela’s ex-wife and the mother of his child. In the post, she appears posing happily alongside Anuel AA, flipping off the camera and seemingly announcing he’s the godfather of her new child. Cosculluela’s relationship with Moreno since their split has been tumultuous at best, so this could have been seen as a provocation or taunt.
The Kendo Factor
Another rumor swimming around is that rapper Kendo Kaponi, who is presently serving his own time in prison, might be a part of the beef as well. In the past, Kendo had been a frequent collaborator with both artists. Word on the street is that Kendo’s crew on the outside has an issue with Cosculluela and Anuel’s lack of support for Kendo while he’s in the slammer, with Anuel accusing both Coscu and Kendo of being chotas (i.e. “snitches”). Barbs and veiled accusations were traded on IG stories, and Kendo is one of the people Anuel claims Cosculluela “betrayed” in his song, but the actual context is still not clear.
Pool Party Gone Wrong
While recording the music video for his track “Bebe” with 6ix9ine at a pool in Miami, Anuel AA took the liberty of uploading a shirtless photo of the pair seemingly just to show off how much fun they were having. Seizing the opportunity, Cosculluela posted a video where he mocked Anuel’s body, with the now infamous line, “When you went to prison you were Anuel AA but now you’re Anuel DD.” The video blew up, and fans began posting memes that body shamed Anuel. Coscu later followed it up with a second video where he wears a wig and impersonates Anuel, playing with long bangs and mocking his “23” collaborator for allegedly using them to cover up his hair loss. 6ix9ine and Anuel AA went on Instagram Live to further taunt Coscu as well.
Anuel’s first reply to Cosculluela’s taunts was to post an IG story simply stating, “I’m not Tempo” with some accompanying emojis. Tempo is one of the Puerto Rican hip-hop OGs who spent a decade in prison for federal drug trafficking charges, and was considered the hardest rapper in the industry before he was locked up. The “Free Anuel” slogan was a callback to “Free Tempo,” which was a popular slogan across the industry calling for Tempo’s release. The message Anuel posted was a not-so-veiled reference to Cosculluela’s diss of Tempo in his album “Santa Cos,” while the latter was still in prison, with Anuel insinuating that he wouldn’t hesitate to strike back.
Cosculluela, in turn, decided to go for the throat and returned to Instagram to post pics of what he alleges are official police documents that identify Anuel, real name Emmanuel Gazmey Santiago, as having traded confidential information in return for a reduced sentence. In damning him as a snitch, something which Anuel has proudly and numerous times boasted he would never do, Coscu opened the floodgates for what is now “Intocable.”
What came afterwards was a volley of insults and threats, and the reception of “Intocable” has been mixed at best. The song is clearly homophobic, with almost half of its running time dedicated to Anuel calling Cosculluela a number of slurs and accusing him of being closeted. The response has included severe backlash from folks like Pedro Julio Serrano, the openly gay and HIV positive human rights activist.
But even fans who don’t focus on LGBTQ issues have expressed being let down by his overall response.
Since “Intocable” dropped, promoter Paco Lopez cancelled an upcoming concert at PR’s Choliseo venue. In a press release, Lopez said he doesn’t support Anuel’s lyrics. “For that reason I’ve decided to resign as the producer of his concert. The Puerto Rican community has had a very difficult year and now more than ever it’s important that we remain together.”
Anuel AA Releases Apology Video
Anuel AA released a five and a half minute-long video in which he apologizes for “Intocable.” Anuel received almost universal backlash for the track’s homophobic and misogynistic lyrics, and other lines that some took as shots against citizens who lost their homes during Hurricane María. He ends the video pleading for forgiveness from his fans and the public, saying in a remorseful tone, “With all my heart, I never intended to offend anyone…I made a mistake, and from mistakes we learn and become better people.”
Coscullela Releases Diss Track in Response to Anuel AA
Cosculluela chose the one-year anniversary of Hurricane María to unleash his much-anticipated tiraera for Anuel AA, appropriately (or distastefully, depending on your mileage) titled “Categoría COS.” Coscu blasts Anuel over everything from his insensitive comments about post-María Puerto Rico and his ridicule for AIDS patients. In response to the tiraera, Anuel AA posted on his Instagram story mere hours after the song dropped. “Silence is the only thing that doesn’t betray you.” Whether the beef has come to an official close is still up in the air.