Many of those who grew up watching the likes of The Sidemen, Jake and Logan Paul and RiceGum will undoubtedly remember the summer of 2017.


Dubbed "diss track season", "Sidemen beef" or the "2017 Sidemen War", August 2017 saw the group of friends go head-to-head in a series of diss tracks, after KSI revealed he was leaving the YouTube group, leading to an online frenzy like no other.

It seems almost a fever dream now, especially given the group are still together, almost as if the drama never took place.

Netflix's new documentary, The Sidemen Story, explores the group's meteoric rise to fame and all the struggles in between – including KSI's departure from the group. But did he ever really leave?

In case you find yourself casting your mind back to the summer of 2017, here is a full guide to everything that went down.

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The Sidemen 2017 drama explained

It all began at the beginning of August 2017, stemming from an original dispute between Ethan Payne (Behzinga) and Olajide 'JJ' Olatunji (KSI).

In a video that has now reached 10 million views, KSI flew to Los Angeles and announced he was leaving the group.

In the four minute clip, KSI claimed he was leaving because of Ethan, and ended the video of him recording a diss track.

In the documentary, the group reflected on that time, with KSI admitting that as a YouTuber, it felt as though he couldn't create music and be taken seriously.

He explained that he was battling with that and, at the time, he wanted to become a musician and focus on making music.

The following day, Ethan uploaded a diss track, of sorts – titled Drama. Some of the lyrics included: "You had my channels on your shoulders. Your channel's s**t, washed up, you're the oldest." It has now gained 16 million views.

Two days later, KSI uploaded a video of him reacting to Drama, and a short while after that he released Earthquake, featuring YouTuber RiceGum.

It was all very back and forth, with Ethan creating another diss track titled Finished. After this, he stated that it would be the last one he'd make.

These videos led to many fans unsure on if the group were being serious or not, especially with more diss tracks being created from Deji Olatunji (ComedyShortsGamer), Simon Minter (Miniminter), Harry Lewis (W2S) and Vikram Singh Barn (Vikkstar123).

However, later that month, Ethan said in a vlog that the diss tracks were just banter, with KSI confirming that the drama was mainly a joke.

In the documentary, Ethan admitted that he could "see it coming", and it made sense why KSI chose to single him out.

"I'm an easy target," he said. "I dish it out to everyone, anyway."

While all of this was going on, Harry decided to wade into the drama and uploaded a video titled KSI Sucks.

Much like the other videos, this one garnered millions and millions of views, to which KSI responded with another track, Little Boy.

Did The Sidemen really break up?

Not really.

It's clear that whatever did happen between the boys internally back in 2017 didn't affect them too much, as they're still together and posting videos to this day.

"Ultimately, I'm still in the Sidemen because they're my boys," can be heard in the documentary.

In the documentary, each member speaks about the "beef", with Simon admitting that it was "a nervous time" for the group.

The Sidemen with Mr Beast. They are all wearing SDMN t-shirts and smiling and laughing
The Sidemen. Netflix Netflix

Speaking of the drama, Vik said: "At that point, that was the low point in the Sidemen arc, I would say. We were starting to make videos less together. JJ was taking his music more seriously and it could've been the point everything fizzled out.

"[It] actually made the Sidemen bigger than it had ever been."

The Sidemen Story premieres on Wednesday 14th February on Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out more of our Documentaries coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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