Robert De Niro has endured multiple feuds over the course of his long career, including a highly publicised battle with Mickey Rourke which had been ongoing for quite some time. While their falling out was more understandable since the two had disputes as co-stars, the conflict between De Niro and rapper Jay-Z was much more unexpected. Rourke and De Niro had a lot of problems on the set of Alan Parker’s 1987 neo-noir film Angel Heart because Rourke was frustrated by De Niro’s method acting. Rourke reignited the feud quite recently when he took to social media to call De Niro a “big f***ing cry-baby” while engaging in a rant on Instagram.
Jay-Z, meanwhile, also has engaged in his fair share of rivalries over the years, which is probably an occupational hazard for him due to his status as one of the most prominent rappers in history. While most of those arguments were with other musicians, his feud with De Niro was one that actually took Jay-Z by surprise — especially because it started over something minor.
On multiple occasions, Jay-Z had expressed his appreciation for De Niro and his work while also referencing the actor in some of his songs. In 2012, De Niro was the one who started the dispute at Leonardo DiCaprio’s birthday party because the rapper had not returned his calls but this trivial incident snowballed into something greater.
According to the reports that surfaced from the event, the exchange between the two was noted by many: “Bob was sitting at a table, and when Jay went over to say hello, De Niro told Jay that he never called him back. He told Jay that if somebody calls you six times, you call them back. It doesn’t matter who you are, that is just rude.”
The report revealed that their conversation was noted by many guests and it soon became a common subject of discussion. While talking about De Niro’s behaviour, one source claimed: “He can be quite scary when he’s angry.” Despite Beyonce’s attempt to smooth things over between the two icons, their feud became an ongoing thing.
Later, Jay-Z made an appearance on The Breakfast Club where he spoke about the conflict with De Niro and his approach to such feuds. The rapper stated: “I treat people based on who they are. Who they really are. Not the name, not Robert De Niro. Who you are as a person. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone has to be respectful.”
While neither of them spoke about the incident in detail or made a public apology, they reportedly ended their feud in 2016. Since then, the two have attended multiple public events together and both Jay-Z, as well as Beyonce, have shown up to film premieres to express their support for De Niro’s acting talent.