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Hip hop rivalries

East Coast - West Coast hip hop rivalry

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Often referred to as "beefs", feuds and rivalries have existed since the dawn of hip hop music, which originated in the 1970s in New York City, United States. Originally, it came to block parties, where DJs would play records and isolate the percussion breaks for the dancing masses. Soon, MCs began speaking over the beats, usually simply exhorting the audience to continue dancing. Eventually, MCs began incorporating more varied and stylistic speech, and focused on introducing themselves, shouting out to friends in the audience, boasting about their own skills, and criticizing their rivals. While this was often done in good humor, the deaths of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. have meant that in today's hip hop scene it is always feared that lyrical rivalries will develop into offstage feuds that become violent. Many observers have claimed that the media feeds on such rivalries for headlines and blows situations out of proportion, a good example of which was the infamous East Coast-West Coast rivalry of the 1990s.

One prominent example used as contrast by those who feel that the media manipulate and intensify hip hop rivalries was the 1980s hit "Roxanne, Roxanne" by U.T.F.O., which sparked several hundred "answer records" in response, some of which were quite vituperative (see the Roxanne Wars). At the time, hip hop was nowhere as widespread as it would eventually become, and as such there was little media response to this record. The beef never made it onto the streets, and many observers felt that if something similar happened today, violence would surely result. However, the recent high-profile beef between Nas and Jay-Z was carried out without ever threatening to become violent.


N.W.A. vs. Ice Cube

Ice Cube left N.W.A in late 1989 after making claims that Eazy-E and the group's manager, Jerry Heller, were cheating him along with the rest of the group members. The remaining group members fired the first shots by insulting Ice Cube on the two albums they recored after his departure. On 100 Miles and Runnin', Dr. Dre told the public: "It started with five but one couldn't take it/ But now it's four because the bitch couldn't make it." On Efil4zaggin, the group called Ice Cube "Benedict Arnold", after the notorious traitor of the American Revolutionary War. N.W.A. insulted Cube further on the album by claiming he was "...sucking New York dick", a direct reference to Ice Cube's new production team, the New York-based Bomb Squad. On these albums, N.W.A. dedicated entire tracks at a time to dissing Ice Cube.

Cube's first solo album AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted made no direct response to the N.W.A. feud, although he did use the album to make subtle references to his old crew. The closest to a response Cube mounted on the first album was Flavor Flav's exhortation at the end of I'm Only Out For One Thang: "This is for my boy Ice Cube, yo, stay off his dick!" On the EP "Kill At Will", released later the same year, Cube sets the stage for his response on the track Jackin' Fo' Beats. At the end of this track he includes the exclamation: "And if I jack you and you keep comin/I'll have you marks a 100 Miles and Running!"

In 1991, Ice Cube took the fight to the big screen in his first feature film starring role, in Boyz N the Hood. According to movie director John Singleton, Cube suggested changes to one scene in particular where a chain snatcher is beaten up by neighborhood teens. Cube's recommendations were to give the thief a Jheri Curl and sunglasses (reminiscent of Eazy-E's personal style) and a "We Want Eazy" sweatshirt while being beaten.

On his second album, Death Certificate Ice Cube fired back at his former group by releasing the song "No Vaseline", proclaiming N.W.A. to be "phonies" and declaring Eazy-E to be a "snitch", in reference to a publicity stunt Eazy pulled in attending a fundraising luncheon with then-President George H.W. Bush. He also made remarks about N.W.A.'s manager Jerry Heller that were instantly declared anti-Semitic, including "you can't be the Niggaz 4 Life Crew/with a white Jew/telling you what to do", "you let a Jew break up my crew", and "get rid of that Devil real simple/put a bullet in his temple."

Soon after, The D.O.C. found that Cube's words were true: Eazy and Heller were in fact skimming money off the top, and Dre left the crew behind as well. This, more than anything else, meant the end of N.W.A; Dre began his solo career, forming the legendary Death Row Records with former bodyguard Suge Knight. When he released his first solo album The Chronic, he began a well-publicized feud with his ex-bandmate by constantly poking fun of Eazy-E on the song and the video for "Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebratin')" and other songs on his solo debut, wherein he and new collaborator Snoop Dogg taunted him and called him "Sleazy-E." Eazy-E responded by releasing the EP It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa dissing Snoop Dogg,and Dr. Dre and showing pictures of Dr. Dre in makeup during the days he was in the "World Class Wreckin' Cru". Dre was also called a "BG" by Eazy E, which meant Baby Gangsta. But before Eazy died, he had made amends with Ice Cube.

"East Coast vs. West Coast"

Main article: East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry

Probably the most famous rap feud of recent times is the early to mid-1990s rivalry between the East Coast's Bad Boy Records and the West Coast's Death Row Records, which was widely thought of and reported in the media as an East Coast vs West Coast dispute.

Hip hop had originated in the streets of New York, and the city remained the undisputed capital of hip hop until the late '80s, when N.W.A. & others put the west on the map. Dr. Dre's The Chronic became one of the biggest-selling hip hop albums in history, followed shortly by Snoop Doggy Dogg's breakout album Doggystyle in . Dre was on Death Row Records, headed by Suge Knight, and he soon built up a roster of stars like - Tupac Shakur, Tha Dogg Pound and Snoop Doggy Dogg that reigned on the charts, and Los Angeles begun to rival New York for its place as the center for mainstream hip hop. This had already, and somewhat inevitably, created a tension between certain industry heavyweights on both coasts, each hungry for control of an increasingly lucrative market. The biggest stars on the East Coast at this time were Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Records crew, which was founded in 1993 and included Craig Mack, Mase and the Notorious B.I.G..

Bad Boy and Death Row were thrown into conflict with one another after 2Pac was shot five times at a New York recording studio on November 30, 1994, and publicly blamed his former close friend Notorious B.I.G and his Bad Boy Records cohorts. This feud escalated after Suge Knight mocked Puff Daddy at the Source Awards in August 1995, announcing to the assembly of artists and industry figures: "If you don't want the owner of your label on your album or in your video or on your tour, come sign with Death Row." Despite Puff Daddy himself attempting to defuse the situation with a speech later in the evening, a later performance by Death Row's Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg was booed (to which Snoop famously responded "The East Coast ain't got no love for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg?").

The feud continued to escalate through numerous incidents. First, in September 1995, a close friend of Knight's was gunned down at a birthday party thrown for producer Jermaine Dupri in Atlanta, Georgia, for which Knight publicly blamed Bad Boy Records. Then, in December, while filming the video for the Dogg Pound's song "New York, New York" in Manhattan, Snoop Dogg's trailer was shot at numerous times (though the trailer was in fact empty at the time). The video itself then become the source of further controversy on its release, featuring Death Row artists knocking over New York skyscrapers and landmarks, to which many East Coast artists and fans took offense. There was also suspicion that the song itself was also targeted at Bad Boy Records and New York in general, though this is unlikely as the song is in fact a remake of a Grandmaster Flash song, features only generic, non-specific braggadocio/battle rhymes with nothing that could be interpreted as a specific attack on any specific individuals, and was written and recorded before the Bad Boy/Death Row feud got off the ground. Capone-N-Noreaga also made the song "LA, LA" with Mobb Deep to respond to "New York, New York" which got them involved in the feud.

In 1995, The Notorious B.I.G. released the track "Who Shot Ya." 2Pac interpreted it as B.I.G. mocking his '95 shooting, and claimed it proved that Bad Boy had set him up. In early 1996, 2Pac released the infamous dis track "Hit 'Em Up," in which he claimed to have had sex with the Notorious B.I.G's wife Faith Evans and that "this ain't no freestyle battle, y'all niggas getting killed" and was viewed as taking the feud to another level and critics today look on the song as one of the defining moments of the rivalry. B.I.G. soon responded on Jay-Z's track "Brooklyn's Finest" (a move which also caused Jay-Z to become embroiled in the dispute). In March 1996, at the Soul Train Awards in Miami, there was a confrontation in the parking lot between the respective entourages of Bad Boy and Death Row in which guns were drawn. Although an armed staring contest was all this confrontation eventually amounted to, it was readily apparent to hip hop fans and artists that this rivalry was getting very out of hand, and going far beyond the heated, but never violent, lyrical battles for superiority of the past.

On September 7, 1996 2Pac was shot several times in Las Vegas, dying a few days later on Friday 13. On March 9, 1997, then Notorious B.I.G. was shot and killed in California. Both murders remain unsolved, and numerous theories (some of them conspiracy theories) have sprung up. These include, most notoriously, that 2Pac (and possibly Biggie) faked their own deaths.

In 1997, several rappers, including Bizzy Bone, Doug E. Fresh and Snoop Dogg met at the request of Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam and pledged to forgive any slights that may be related to the rivalry and deaths of 2Pac and Biggie.

Prior to his death, 2pac had also come into separate disputes with several other East Coast rappers. Some friends of 2Pac had been apparently snubbed by the group Mobb Deep at one of their concerts, and when word of the incident reached a then-jailed Tupac he sent out a message to Mobb Deep threatening violence. Mobb Deep immediately responded with the track "Drop a Gem on 'Em" which, although its official release on the Hell On Earth album occurred after 2Pac's "Hit 'Em Up" single which mocked Mobb Deep, it had been circulating on mixtapes and radio in New York long before. Nas also angered Tupac by appearing to mock 2Pac with the line "Fake thug, no love, you get the slug, CB4 gusto your luck blow..." in the track "The Message," although Nas denied that this line was ever aimed at Pac. Even Chino XL, an underground rapper from New Jersey with no eye on mainstream domination and no ties to Bad Boy Records, Nas or Mobb Deep, incurred 2pac's wrath on "Hit Em Up" by using him in a somewhat ambiguous simile "By this industry, I'm trying not to get fucked like 2Pac in jail" (ironically, the track to which this line belongs is a duet with proud West Coast representative Ras Kass). Chino soon responded with a freestyle on live radio, but it was either ignored or not heard by Tupac. Since these rappers were all East Coast artists, and because they were often insulted in the same songs which 2Pac insulted Bad Boy Records, they are often believed to be part of a greater "East Coast vs West Coast" war driven by allegiance and territory. 2Pac was quick to diss any East Coast artist that had any kind of association with Biggie, and in fact was harsh on his Death Row labelmates who were reluctant to participate, such as Snoop Dogg and later Dr. Dre.

Because of 2Pac and Biggie's prominence on the West and East Coast respectively (both were believed to be the preeminent MCs of their time) the feud became widely known as East vs. West, rather than simply Bad Boy vs. Death Row. However, there were several different artists who, albeit less commercially successful, were relatively uninvolved in the beef; these included Nas, Redman, Busta Rhymes, Big L, and the Wu-Tang Clan. Some have claimed that the "East vs. West" paradigm amounted to media sensationalism; however, as previously stated, both artists were the preeminent rappers on their respective coasts, and often invoked their region in their music (the cover of 2Pac's All Eyez on Me, for example, shows him flashing the "Westside" sign.)

Soon after the death of Shakur, Death Row Records folded as Afeni Shakur, Tupac's mother, sued the label for allegedly cheating her son out of millions. Label head Suge Knight ended up in jail for unrelated probation violations. Lady of Rage and Nate Dogg have also filed suits against Death Row with similar allegations. Puff Daddy has also had multiple legal troubles, including a much-publicized case resulting from a shooting in a New York club; he has been acquitted, though fellow rapper Shyne was not. Bad Boy Records had for the most part maintained its place at the top of the industry since the death of Notorious B.I.G, with artist Mase achieving success before his early retirement (and un-retirement) and Puff Daddy (now Diddy) himself achieving considerable commercial success. More recently, Bad Boy has struggled as a record label due to a lack of marketable talent and allegations that Puff is more concerned with his other ventures (i.e., Sean John clothing). After Suge Knight's release from prison, Death Row Records was reborn as "Tha Row," signing many artists including former Dogg Pound member Kurupt, and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. Unfortunately Lopes was killed in a car crash not long after signing to the label, and none of their other signings have achieved much in the way of commercial success. Mostly Death row focuses on dissing former label mates,such as Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre.

Nas vs. Jay-Z

The Nas versus Jay-Z rivalry pitted two hip hop legends against each other, in what is widely considered as the most exhilarating and invigorating hip hop battle of recent times. Supposedly, tension between Jay-Z and Nas dates as far back as 1996, when Nas refused to make a guest appearance on Jay-Z's debut album Reasonable Doubt. However, the relationship between the two rappers remained peaceful (Jay-Z even giving a shoutout to Nas in his album liner notes), and the tension never became a full-blown rivalry until after the death of Notorious B.I.G. The position of best rapper in New York (also known as the King of New York) seemed eerily vacant after the death of Biggie, and fans were eager to see who would take over his role.

In 1997, Jay-Z (a former friend and collaborator of B.I.G.) released a song titled "The City Is Mine" which seemed to many people to be making a claim to the empty throne. This attitude also seems to be evident in the fact that Jay-Z's album In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 was originally titled Heir To The Throne, Vol. 1. Nas, the only rapper in New York at the time who had a reputation capable of rivalling Jay-Z but who had never received the same amount of commercial success, apparently responded to Jay-Z on his track "We Will Survive" (which released in 1999, on his album I Am...), which appears to dismiss Jay-Z as a serious rival as well as attacking both his claims of superiority and his continual evoking of B.I.G's legacy (the verse in question is in the form of a letter to the deceased rapper):

It used to be fun, makin records to see your response
But, now competition is none, now that you're gone
And these niggaz is wrong -- usin your name in vain
And they claim to be New York's king? It ain't about that

There was definite tension between the pair but no action for approximately a year, until in 2001 the beef exploded into the public eye as Jay-Z publicly mocked Nas on stage at the Hot 97 radio station's Summer Jam hip hop festival. Nas responded by delivering a calculated, personal attack on Jay-Z during a radio freestyle over Eric B. & Rakim's "Paid In Full" beat :

And bring it back up top, remove the fake king of New York
You show off, I count dough off when you sampled my voice
I rule you, before, you used to rap like the Fu-Schnickens
Nas designed your Blueprint, who you kidding?
Is he H To The Izzo, M To The Izzo?
For shizzle you phony, the rapping version of Sisqó

The freestyle was untitled but was later titled "Stillmatic". (It does not appear on Stillmatic.) The "sample my voice" line refers to Jay-Z's use of a vocal sample of Nas for the hook of his song "Dead Presidents".

Jay-Z responded with the track "Takeover" from his album The Blueprint, on which he attacked Nas for never matching the critical success of his debut Illmatic and questioned his authenticity as an artist. The song was very well-received by hip hop listeners, and many listeners and reviewers immediately dismissed Nas as a contender and feared for the end of his career. Therefore, it was a surprise to many when Nas responded with an equally well-received track titled "Ether" from his album Stillmatic, in which he mocked Jay-Z's early years as an aspiring young rapper (in which he supposedly idolized Nas) and attacked him for being a misogynist and for exploiting the Notorious B.I.G's legacy.

The positive response to "Ether" created enormous interest in the rivalry throughout the hip hop community, the music media and even mainstream news outlets. On Takeover, Jay-Z issued a warning that goes as follows:

Don't be the next contestant on that Summer Jam screen
Because you know who (who) did you know what (what)
with you know who (yeah) but just keep that between me and you for now

Many speculated what Jay-Z was talking about while others dismissed it, believing it to be nothing of importance. Those questions would be answered as the rapper's response was prompted in a radio freestyle that became known as "Super Ugly" Jay-Z offered:

And since you infatuated with sayin that gay shit
Yes, you was kissin my dick when you was kissin that bitch
Nasty shit, you though I was bonin Vanette
You callin Carmen a hundred times I was bonin her neck
You got a baby by the broad you can't disown her yet
When does your lies end? When does the truth begins?
When does reality set in or does it not matter?
Gotta hurt I'm your baby mama's favorite rapper

This release was not as well received as the previous three tracks had been. The feud continued to simmer, and rumors of a live pay-per-view freestyle battle began to circulate but never came to fruition.

After the promoters of Hot 97's Summer Jam festival refused to allow headlining Nas to hang an effigy of Jay-Z during his performance at 2002's show, he appeared on Hot 97's rival Power 105 and attacked both the music industry's control over hip hop and the rappers who he saw as submitting to it, including Jay-Z, Nelly, N.O.R.E. and Jay-Z's labelmate Cam'ron : "Y'all brothers gotta start rapping about something that's real. [...] Rappers are slaves." This also embroiled Cam'ron into the Jay-Z/Nas feud, in which Cam'ron controversially made disparaging remarks about Nas' mother. After this incident both continued to go against one another on various tracks, the shots taken including Jay-Z criticizing Nas for his apparent hypocrisy on his The Blueprint²: The Gift & the Curse album's title track, and Nas comparing himself and Jay-Z to the characters Tony Montana and Manolo respectively from the film Scarface, on his track "Last Real Nigga Alive" from his God's Son album. However, the feud died down somewhat towards the end of 2002, with no real winner decided (arguments go on to this day in the hip hop community about who came out on top overall, with the results of a Hot 97 radio phone-in revealing a 58% - 42% split in favour of Nas), and both Nas & Jay-Z have since paid tribute to each other in interviews, likening the battle to a world title boxing match that pitched the best against the best, and pleased with the entertainment it provided fans.

The rivalry also benefited both of their careers immensely, critically and commercially. The battle was significant, in that it revived the trend of using ‘beef’ as a source for publicity and promotion for hip hop artists. This was a trend that became somewhat unpopular following the tragic deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie, yet has become recently prevalent within the hip hop community. Ever since this particular rivalry, hip hop feuds have become noticeably prolific, and have been publicized within the mainstream media more than it previously has been in the past.

In what may be perhaps a pivotal moment in hip hop history, the feud was formally ended in October 2005 at Jay-Z's I Declare War concert, where Nas made a special guest appearance and performed the hook to "Dead Presidents" and a few of his own tracks such as "NY State of Mind" and "Hate Me Now". In 2005 at another 105.1 concert Jay and Nas reunited on stage and performed a song together. In January 2006, Nas signed with Jay-Z's Def Jam, further emphasizing the truce and raising expectations for a possible collaboration.

Eminem vs. Benzino & The Source

The Source magazine attempted to "destroy" Eminem and his Aftermath counterparts The Source magazine attempted to "destroy" Eminem and his Aftermath counterparts

Although it is not clear why Benzino, then co-owner of The Source Magazine, decided to air out his issues with multi-platinum rapper Eminem, he claims that Eminem's success was hurting Black and Latino artists (hence, he raps under the moniker of Benzino). He started a campaign against the corporations that are controlling and supporting Eminem. Benzino stated that Eminem can talk about dark emotions, while Black rappers are forced to talk about bling-bling (materialistic things).

One possible contributing factor for Benzino's concerns was Eminem's rating of his critically-acclaimed and 9x platinum sophomore album The Marshall Mathers LP. The Source gave him a 2-mic rating (changed to 4 mics following protests) for his critically-acclaimed album, while Benzino's Made Men were given 4.5 mics. Eminem was upset and he blasted the magazine on the track "Say What You Say" from his follow-up album The Eminem Show, rapping in the final verse, "Five mics in The Source, ain't holdin' my fuckin' breath/But I'll suffocate for the respect 'fore I live to collect the fuckin' check."

Benzino released two songs directed at Eminem, titled "Pull Ya Skirt Up" and "Die Another Day", the latter of which included the lyrics "You're the rap David Duke/The rap Hitler... I'm the rap Malcolm, the rap Martin". Benzino has explained in interviews that he fears Eminem's fame is the beginning of the end for the Black domination of hip hop; he has also linked Eminem with the consumerism of modern hip hop, complaining that while Eminem is allowed to rap about deeply personal issues he has to "talk about bling-bling because that's all the people who control the images want to hear from us". However, many observers noted that not only is Benzino bi-racial himself, but that Dave Mays, co-owner and founder of The Source, is white.

Eminem responded quickly to Benzino's track with the songs "Nail In The Coffin" and "The Sauce", calling him an "83-year-old fake Pacino", and questioning the credibility of both Benzino as a rapper and The Source as a magazine. Most of the hip hop community stood behind Eminem (including most famously Russell Simmons), and many accused Benzino of criticizing and slandering hip hop's biggest star solely to both boost his unsuccessful career as a rapper and to boost the profile of The Source magazine, which unsurprisingly sided unequivocally with Benzino during the feud and ran a series of anti-Eminem and anti-Shady/Aftermath articles and features. The Source coverage no doubt aided Benzino's cause among many, for many others it further soured the name of a magazine which already had a reputation for being corrupt. Despite criticizing Eminem and his label-mates such as Dr Dre and 50 Cent within its pages, The Source continued to put these prolific record-selling artists on the cover of the magazine.

Interscope artists began to flock to XXL, who happily granted them increased coverage, which in turn boosted sales for the magazine. Interscope artists began to flock to XXL, who happily granted them increased coverage, which in turn boosted sales for the magazine.

The Source tried to score an advancement by released details of two tapes of a young Eminem it had received, featuring the future star rapping about how black women are "only after your money" in romantic relationships (he had apparently just suffered an acrimonious split from a black girlfriend) and in another song using the word "nigger". This caused considerable outcry among many rappers, though few said anything more damning than asking for a public apology. Eminem did in fact publicly apologize quite promptly, and later elaborated further on the incident in the song "Yellow Brick Road" from his Encore album.

But I've heard people say they heard the tape, and it ain't that bad
But it was, I singled out a whole race
And for that I apologize, I was wrong
Cause no matter what color a girl is she's still a hoe

The Source did not gain anything from the long-running feud: not only were they forced to pay a substantial sum of money to Eminem for defamation and copyright infringement, but The Source lost major advertising as a result, most notably from major labels Virgin, Elektra, Interscope, Motown, and more recently Def Jam. It's noted that Benzino has recorded an album from each of the labels before they pulled out of The Source Magazine. The hip hop magazine XXL also became involved in the Eminem/Benzino/Source rivalry. XXL, formerly an enemy of Eminem, decided to join forces with Shady Records to discredit The Source. The magazine that launched in 1997, has always been in competition with The Source for readership, and indeed was initially started by former Source employees. Dissing Benzino on "Nail In The Coffin", Eminem tells the Source co-owner "I don't need your little fucking magazine / I got XXL's number anyways...". With the entire Interscope label effectively involved in Eminem's feud with The Source, Interscope artists began to flock to XXL, who happily granted them increased coverage, which in turn boosted sales for the magazine.

It has been accepted that Eminem won the battle. Also, it was obvious to many that Benzino had started the feud as nothing more than a publicity stunt to bolster his non-existent reputation in Hip-Hop. He and Dave Mays were recently fired from the staff of The Source. The magazine, under new leadership, reported in the April 2006 issue about Benzino and Mays' ouster that they currently are patching up many relationships damaged by the actions of Mays and Benzino, including that with Interscope Records.

Boogie Down Productions vs. The Juice Crew

Boogie Down Productions, led by KRS-One, were involved in a long-running feud with Marley Marl's Juice Crew during the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s that was predominantly a dispute over boroughs of New York. The feud began with Queensbridge-based Marley Marl & MC Shan's track "The Bridge" in late 1985, in which they sung the praises of their home borough and loosely implied that Queensbridge was where hip hop "all got started". Taking offense, South Bronx-based KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions (BDP) recorded and released the track "South Bronx", which was effectively identical in terms of content to Shan and Marl's track except singing the praises of South Bronx rather than Queensbridge, and made the argument for it being the true home and birthplace of hip hop. The Juice Crew soon responded with the track "Kill The Noise" on Shan's album Down By Law which took various shots at KRS-One and mocked his taking offense in the first place: "Yo Shan, I didn't hear you say hip hop started in the Bridge on your record." "I didn't. They wanted to get on the bandwagon." KRS's main response was the Jamaican-influenced "The Bridge Is Over", and lyrics spoofing Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me":

What's the matter with your MC, Marley Marl?
Don't know you know that he's out of touch?
What's the matter with your DJ, MC Shan?
On the wheels of steel, Marlon sucks
You'd better change what comes out your speaker
You're better off talkin' 'bout your whack Puma sneaker
'Cause Bronx created hip hop, Queens will only get dropped
You're still tellin' lies to me
Everybody's talkin' 'bout the Juice Crew funny
But you're still tellin' lies to me

Most of KRS's fire was directed at Marley Marl and MC Shan specifically, though he occasionally exchanged insults with other Juice Crew members such as Mr. Magic and Roxanne Shante. Shante responded with a song aimed at Boogie Down Productions titled "Have A Nice Day" in which she rapped:

Scott La Rock, you should be ashamed,
when T La Rock said it's yours, he didn't mean his name,
and KRS One, you should go on vacation,
with your name sounding like a wack radio station

The feud quickly died down after BDP's Scott La Rock was shot dead in 1987 after attempting to calm down a domestic dispute involving BDP colleague D-Nice. With his new Stop The Violence movement, KRS-One had his attention elsewhere, and the Juice Crew did not release any further dis records for a long period after La Rock's death out of respect. However, in 1989, MC Shan attempted to restart the rivalry on his song Juice Crew Law which contained several shots at KRS. KRS took more than a year to respond, but eventually did so in 1990 on the song Black Man In Effect from the BDP (which at that point was basically only KRS-One, D-Nice having left earlier the same year) album Edutainment.

During the nineties, the beef was not forgotten by fans or the participants, but rather fondly remembered as a classic hip hop duel, and the rivalry has since been referenced in hip hop lyrics by the likes of Cormega, Nas, Cunninlynguists, Big Punisher, Supernatural and Chino XL. MC Shan and KRS-One themselves acknowledged the beef's important place in hip hop history when they appeared together in a commercial for the Sprite soft drink in the mid-nineties, in which they exchanged battle rhymes inside a boxing ring. However, the respective fortunes of the pair in the nineties were very different: MC Shan, widely seen by hip hop listeners as the loser of the conflict if there had to be one, never really recovered his reputation and later effectively retired, while KRS forged out a successful solo career and remained an important figure in hip hop. Nevertheless, on the QB's Finest compilation (which showcased the finest Queensbridge hip hop artists) in 2001, MC Shan took one last parting shot at KRS-One: "Hip hop was set out in the dark / The Bridge was never Over, we left our mark."

LL Cool J vs. Kool Moe Dee

LL Cool J LL Cool J

Kool Moe Dee was a member of one of the earliest hip hop crews, the Treacherous Three, and claimed that LL Cool J stole his style, thus causing a long-running feud between the pair. From different interviews and magazines at the time, Kool Moe Dee felt that LL was getting a bit too big headed and actually believing his own hype, particularly when LL was rising to popularity with the Bigger and Deffer album. Supposedly, Moe Dee approached LL and talked to him, and LL either brushed him off, or went back to his old ways after the talk. There also arose rumors that Moe Dee felt that LL was imitating his rhyme style. Whatever the cause, Kool Moe Dee took the first shots with, "How Ya Like Me Now," the title song from his second solo album that featured on the cover Kool Moe Dee leaning against a jeep and a LL trademark Kangol underneath the tire. The album contained the indirect diss track of the same name. While the album cover was a clear shot, "How Ya Like Me Now," was more subtle. Although he did not refer to any specific name, Kool Moe Dee made it clear that he felt bitten by what he viewed as an amateur. . It was then that Kool Moe Dee released his famous diss, "Let's Go", rhyming:

"Tryna be me, now LL stands for/
Lower Level, Lack Luster/
Last Least, Limp Lover/
Lousy Lame, Latent Lethargic/
Lazy Lemon, Little Logic/
Lucky Leech, Liver Lipped/
Laborious Louse on a Loser's Lips/
Live in Limbo, Lyrical Lapse/
Low Life with the loud raps, boy/"

The song ended with the following sequence:

"...Now look what you done did/
just using your name I took those L’s,/
hung ‘em on your head and rocked your bells.../"

The song's skill level and hard-hitting wittiness were of such high caliber that many felt Moe Dee had become the victor in the battle. In effect, he had; as LL did not release a response for a full two years. By not responding to Moe Dee and choosing to ignore him, despite being badly insulted on a whole record, LL opened himself up to be dissed by everyone, including MC Hammer and Ice-T. It was during this time that LL abandoned his hardcore image that popularized him, and instead, embarked on a different musical direction towards a more commercial fare (which emphasized New Jack Swing-love ballads). However, critics scoffed at this new direction with the release of Walking With a Panther (1989). These events coincided with the major stylistic change hip hop began experiencing during the late-1980s. The genre was becoming increasingly socially conscious, abandoning the music's early themes of partying and braggadocio, and adopting more socially aware issues such as drug abuse, poverty, racism, and African American empowerment. LL Cool J, as a result, experienced a drop in popularity due to the view that his music was behind the times, materialistic and narcissistic. All this, coupled with a lot of criticism towards Walking With a Panther, and LL’s apparent disregard for the overall changing of the Hip Hop collective to social awareness and consciousness, resulted in the deterioration of LL’s credibility within the hip hop community. In one instance, he was booed off the stage at the Apollo Theater in New York City. However, in 1990, the older and wiser LL released the highly anticipated comeback album, Mama Said Knock You Out, thus reasserting his status and reviving his credibility amongst hip hop purists. Showing his resiliency, LL re-ignited his feud with Kool Mo Dee with the comical diss track, "To The Break Of Dawn".

Homeboy hold on, my rhymes are so strong/
Nothing can go wrong. So why do you prolong/
songs that ain't strong, brother you're dead wrong/
and got the nerve to have them Star Trek shades on.../
heh, you can't handle the whole weight/
Skin needs lotion/
Teeth need Colgate/
Wise up, you little burnt up French fry/
"I'm That Type of Guy"

In essence, LL became the first emcee beaten in battle, to ask for a rematch. LL followed the song with several subliminal attacks in other records (a battle practice for which he is known), including the title track, as well as "Jingling Baby," and "Murdergram." Moe Dee soon responded to all of the tracks with the single, "Deathblow," which was dismissed as unspectacular due mostly to Teddy Riley’s production use of a dated James Brown sample. As a result, the song was largely ignored. It was at this point, that fans realized LL had finally gotten the better of his old nemesis.

LL Cool J vs. Canibus (and The Refugee Camp)

LL Cool J LL Cool J

Following the deaths of Tupac and Biggie Smalls, hip hop found itself in a state of shock. Many wondered whether, in the escalating atmosphere of violence that seemed to permeate contemporary hip hop music, could MC battles still exist peacefully. It wasn't until LL Cool J and Canibus decided to revive the artform that MCs were allowed to reenter the lyrical ring. The battle began when LL featured Canibus, Method Man, DMX and Redman on the song "4,3,2,1" in 1997. Canibus contributed a verse, which included the line "L, is that a mic on your arm? Let me borrow that" (referring to LL's microphone tattoo). LL, perhaps feeling offended, wrote a response intended as the next verse. Before the song was released, LL asked Canibus to change his verse. Canibus claims that LL also promised to remove his own response ("The symbol on my arm is off limits to challengers, [....] Watch your mouth, don't ever step out of line/L.L. Cool J nigga, the greatest of all time"). LL denies this, claiming that he told Canibus that no one would know who he was talking about if Canibus' verse was changed. Nevertheless, Canibus removed his verse and the song was released. However, the original version began surfacing on the streets and people started piecing together what had happened. This put Canibus in the uncomfortable situation of whether to respond to LL's initial verse, even though both had already settled their dispute. Fan pressure soon got the best of Canibus however, and he launched an all-out attack on LL with the single "Second Round K.O.", the video which featured a cameo by Mike Tyson. The video also held a striking resemblance to LL's, now famous, Mama Said Knock You Out video. LL's response was titled "The Ripper Strikes Back," where he attacks not only Canibus, but Mike Tyson, Wyclef and the rest of Wyclef's crew, the Fugees. LL then followed that with another track entitled "Back Where I Belong," where he accused Canibus of stealing his rhymes, and pretending to be from New York, when he was really from Canada. Canibus responded to both songs with the track "Rip The Jacker".

Wyclef Jean (the frontman for the critically acclaimed hip hop group, The Fugees) was also Canibus' producer. As a result he found himself pulled into the feud. Wyclef responded to LL's initial attacks in "The Ripper Strikes Back" with his own song "What's Clef Got to Do With It," which featured super model Naomi Campbell. LL responded with the underground track "Rosta Imposter." Fellow Fugee-member, Lauryn Hill later released the single "Lost Ones" from her album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill." Although some misinterpreted the indirect disses as attacks to LL Cool J, it later surfaced that the song, like much of the rest of the album, was in fact a criticism of Wyclef.

Although Wyclef and LL Cool J have since ended their rivalry, there is still assumed to be tension between LL and Canibus. Both artists have at least alluded to the other in not-so-flattering ways in later albums. Most recently, LL revisited the fray in "10 Million Stars" from his album entitled 10:

Double up your bets
Come and rumble with the vet
I know you had that clown picked
Mind blowin now, cause L still sounds sick
He dreamed he was me
I gleam lyrically
I love him for it it's the highest form of flattery...

At around the same time LL Cool J released "10", Canibus released Mic Club: The Curriculum, which also has a mention of the feud. In the track 'Bis Vs. Rip' of said album, Canibus trades bars with his alter ego, Rip The Jacker. He relates:

You got dissed by a legend but you damaged him too
So what if the ladies think he's more handsome than you
What happens if the rumors about being a faggot are true?
What happened between L and you, forget it
People know you won the battle, they won't give you the credit
A lot of people don't want to admit it...

Ja Rule vs. 50 Cent

Before even signing to Eminem's and Dr. Dre's labels, 50 Cent was engaged in a well-publicized dispute with rapper Ja Rule and his label Murder Inc. Records. The conflict's origin remains a mystery. Accounts have ranged from an alleged robbery of Ja Rule's jewelry by a friend of 50's, to Ja Rule and Murder Inc. supposedly snubbing a young and star-struck 50 Cent at a video shoot. Whatever the case, the hostility didn't reach public ears until 50 Cent released his fiery, but subliminal, diss track, "Life's On The Line." This led to two violent confrontations between the rappers. The first a meeting where Ja was punched by 50 Cent and then had his chain snatched. The second confrontation occurred in a New York studio, where rapper Black Child, a member of Murder, Inc. stabbed 50 Cent. Black Child claimed that 50 cent was reaching for a gun during the fight.

Regardless of the physical repercussions, 50 Cent continued to make the rivalry a cornerstone of his music career. He released numerous mixtapes, clowning and insulting Ja Rule and Murder Inc. Before the release of Get Rich Or Die Tryin', Murder, Inc. began a smear campaign against the rapper. A restraining order document began floating around the Internet stating that 50 Cent had filed an order of protection against label CEO, Irv Gotti and Black Child. This helped forge the belief that 50 Cent is a "snitch" or a police informant.

Although 50 Cent dismissed the claims, the bad publicity continues to be a tool used among various rappers who engage in beef with his rap collective G-Unit. In fact, further investigation from New York lawyers found that the document could have been, and was most likely, signed by a judge without 50 Cent's consent or knowledge. The practice is common place in New York for victims of multiple attacks when their assaulters are released from jail.

The rivalry reached a boiling point for Murder Inc., which had remained silent for the most part, when 50 Cent released his second album-length battle rap, entitled "Back Down." In the song 50, who was always known for his hold-no-tongue approach to battling, insulted, joked and dissed Ja Rule and his label into action. In response, Black Child, along with fellow Murder Inc. rapper Cadillac Tah, countered with their own mixtape disses. Ja Rule, however, remained quiet. 50 Cent continued his barrage, releasing the Tupac assisted "Realest Killas" where he addressed Ja Rule's penchant for imitating the slain rapper. This prompted Ja Rule to finally respond with the songs "War is On," "Guess Who Shot Ya" and "Loose Change." This all culminated into Ja Rule releasing "Blood In My Eye," which was, in effect, a 50 Cent diss album.

Ja Rule eventually tried to squash the beef with 50 Cent by using Minister Louis Farrakhan in a televised interview. However, the attempt at peace lost credibility as the interview was scheduled a day before Blood In My Eye was released. As a result most fans, along with 50 Cent dismissed the interview as a blatant publicity stunt.

Ja Rule also had a small rivalry with 50's label-mate, Eminem. Ja Rule insulted Eminem's ex-wife and daughter in a song and Eminem responded on a mixtape by DJ Kay Slay with a freestyle collaboration with 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes in a Tupac Parody titled "Hail Mary." Although they exchanged heated words, most fans did not take it seriously in the shadow of 50 vs. Ja Rule.

Since then, 50 Cent's sophomore album, "The Massacre," sold millions, yet has been criticized for not being able to recapture the level of hype "Get Rich or Die Trying" set. Ja Rule released "R.U.L.E" with the successful single, "New York, New York," featuring Jadakiss and Fat Joe. Interestingly enough, this single prompted 50 Cent to enter a feud with the two featured artists. When Eminem called it quits in "Toy Soldiers," Ja agreed, saying that he was exhausted with feuds and has recently released a greatest hits album entitled, "Exodus."

Although it seemed as the feud was over, Ja Rule has returned to the beef with "21 gunz" which is to debut on the Murder Inc Mixtape: MI:3 Friday, May 12, 2006[1]. It can be heard, along with some of his other new songs on his Myspace site[2]. There is no word yet on whether 50 Cent, or any of the G-Unit members for that matter, will respond.

50 Cent vs. The Game

Not long before this feud began, The Game had been signed to 50 Cent's G-Unit record label (while simultaneously signed to Dr. Dre's Aftermath label), and had subsequently achieved great success with his album The Documentary and the singles "How We Do" and "Hate It Or Love It", both of which featured 50 Cent.

However, the sudden feud between the pair (who had been marketed as close associates, almost in a mentor/protege relationship) started from alleged rumors that The Game had recorded with former G-Unit nemesis Joe Budden on a track that was released in 2004. Things escalated after 50's second album, The Massacre, was released and had several lyrics dissing other rappers; among them Nas, Fat Joe and Jadakiss; The Game soon appeared on New York radio claiming he had no beef with any of the rappers 50 Cent targeted, and was not involved. Taking offense at what he perceived as Game's disloyalty, 50 Cent appeared on the radio soon after to announce that he had officially dropped The Game from G-Unit, claiming that The Game owed him more credit for songs that he had helped in writing and recording, and that Game should have openly supported 50 in his feuds.

The Game refuted this explanation however, stating that 50's alleged jealousy over the success of The Documentary (which resulted in 50's album "The Massacre" being pushed back from February to March) caused them to feud while on tour. The beef escalated as one member of The Game's entourage was shot outside of the Hot 97 radio station in New York, landing him in the hospital. The battle appeared to be escalating dangerously, but within a few weeks, The Game and 50 Cent ended their feud, deciding to give money to charity and apologizing for their actions.

The Game and 50 Cent The Game and 50 Cent

Many fans felt that the supposed feud, and particularly the incident at the radio station was a publicity stunt designed to boost the sales of the two albums the pair had just released. Nevertheless, even after the situation had apparently deflated, 50 Cent and G-Unit continued to feud with The Game, denouncing his street credibility in the media and claiming that without their support, he will not score a hit from his second album. 50 Cent also sued The Game's manager Jimmy Henchmen over unauthorized filming for a documentary about Kelvin Martin. The Game was then highly critical of 50 Cent during a performance at the Summer Jam festival, leading chants of "G-Unot". After the performance at Summer Jam, The Game responded with a hard hitting diss titled "300 Bars and Runnin'" in which it address 50 Cent and G-Unit. 50 Cent has mixed feelings towards the diss but nevertheless he responded through his "Piggybank" video. The video features The Game dressed as a Mr. Potato Head and his many other nemesis named in the song in parodies of major characters on television. The feud continued escalating, as former Bloods and fans of The Game began protesting events that feature 50 Cent and G-Unit. Recently it had been looking like more of a one sided beef with all diss track's being released by The Game. He dropped tracks such as "120 Bars" "G-Unit Crip" "360" and "Red Bandana". At the end of "Red Bandana" The Game claims 50 Cent is stealing Eminem's style by just talking and he says:

"That knockoff 8 Mile shit/
You can never be Eminem motherfucker/
You ain't lyrically inclined enough to be Nas, Jay-Z, BIG, or Pac/
And in the modern, week/
You can't fuck with The Game nigga!/

In January 2006, The Game took the beef to whole a new level by releasing an entire DVD devoted to the fall out entitled "Stop Snitchin' Stop Lyin'" along with a mixtape, with a lot of claims that this would be his final involvement with the beef. After this many Game fans started stating that The Game had won the beef, until 50 Cent came out with the track "Not Rich, Still Lyin'" which featured 50 Cent imitating The Game.

The people at Interscope are once again trying to deflate the situation. This feud is the first of many feuds whereas, two rappers from the same label currently engaged in rap feuds with one another.

Other known rivalries (not necessarily chronological order)

  • MC Lyte vs. Antoinette: Antoinette was an aspiring female rapper who, presumably in order to attract attention, went after the leading female rapper of the time. The two traded insults for a year or two. Lyte's response was also fueled by claims that her rival had stolen the beat from Top Billin, by Audio Two (which included her relative, Milk D).
  • Tim Dog vs. N.W.A.: Tim Dog made "Fuck Compton" to express his dismay at the rising popularity of gangsta rappers such as N.W.A. in the '90s, whom he felt were wack. Dr. Dre responded with a skit on his album "The Chronic" in which it is insinuated that Dog enjoyed performing fellatio.
  • MC Shan vs. LL Cool J: While on tour together, a young LL played MC Shan his new single "Rock The Bells." It wasn't until later that Shan realized the beat LL had used was one of Shan's own. Feeling violated, Shan released the song "Beat Biter" directly calling LL Cool J out for plagiarism. LL responded, but only subliminally with "The Breakthrough."
  • X-Clan vs. KRS-One: This is believed to stem from remarks KRS-One made onstage after an X-Clan concert. X-Clan responded in the song "Fire & Earth", criticising KRS for being a humanist, among other things. KRS eventually responded in a Source magazine interview and then with the song "Build & Destroy", by which time X-Clan had disbanded.
  • X-Clan vs. 3rd Bass: Militant Afrocentric group X-Clan targeted the White group 3rd Bass in several songs, referring to them as "cave boys". X-Clan member Brother J has said his reason for going after 3rd Bass was not simply because they were White, but because "the corporation that was pushing them made people think that the group was Black . . . it was hard enough (for actual Black artists) to get in the door to get a decent deal in the 90s (so) do you think I am going to sit back and allow someone to bamboozle the audience and take position (ahead of those other struggling Black artists)?" 3rd Bass never clearly responded, though it is often rumored that they responded subliminally on their second album Derelicts Of Dialect (the tracks rumored to contain disses being "Herbalz In Your Mouth" and "Green Eggs & Swine").
  • MC Eiht vs. DJ Quik: DJ Quik Dissed MC Eiht, who was really popular at the time, so Quik thought it would help his popularity, he was on Death Row Records where he recorded Dollaz & Sense, rumours that Quik specifically went behind Eiht was because Eiht was a member of the Crips while Quik had ties to the Bloods. Songs Involved: DJ Quik - Dollaz & Sense, DJ Quik - Let Yo Havit, MC Eiht - Def Wish 3.
  • Jay-Z vs. Terror Squad: While the beef between Jay-Z and Terror Squad member Big Pun is only rumored, the bad blood between him and Fat Joe has become increasingly publicized. Rumors state that Jay, Dame Dash and Sauce Money had an altercation with Big Pun, Fat Joe and Cuban Link in a New York club. The story goes that Jay-Z was performing drunk, and Terror Squad walked on stage and told him to get off for their set. Jay-Z punched Fat Joe and was then hit with a bottle of champagne in the head by Big Pun. After this, several subliminal disses may have been traded before Pun's death; afterward, and on up to the present, Jay and Fat Joe have sent more thinly-veiled subliminals at each other, some referencing a Roc-a-Fella/Terror Squad truce basketball game which the Roc forfeited.
  • Jay-Z vs. Prodigy: In 2000-2001, Jay and Prodigy began a series of disses that would grow to culminate in a Summer Jam concert. While on-stage, Jay projected old pictures of a young Prodigy dressed and emulating the dance moves of Michael Jackson. According to MTV News, the long feud between Mobb Deep and Jay-Z is dead. Prodigy and Hov recently sat down to discuss doing business together. "We got friends in common," Prodigy explained about how the meeting came about. It looks like the Mobb are going to be executive producing the debut by Sam Scarfo, one of Jay's first signings upon becoming Def Jam prez.
  • Jay-Z vs. Cam'ron- Formerly signed to Roc-a-Fella Records, Cam'ron and Jay-Z's relationship was never more than cordial; when Jay announced retirement, Dame reportedly offered Cam'ron the presidency of Roc-a-Fella. However, when Jay announced he had sold the Roc to Def Jam and was taking the offered ownership in 2005, Cam left with Dame and Biggs. In early 2006, he claimed Jay was to diss him at the I Declare War concert and released a diss to Jay. Currently Jay-Z and his representatives say he has no plans to respond but also says anything is possible.
  • Jay-Z vs. R. Kelly: In 2004, Jay-Z and R. Kelly commenced on what was to be a 40-date concert tour. Plagued by a string of cancelled and brief shows, the tension between the two artists reached a plateau at October 2004 show in New York's Madison Square Garden. Kelly abruptly left the stage mid-performance when he believed several fans were waving guns at him. In the ensuing backstage melee, R. Kelly and two of his bodyguards received a dousing of pepper spray from a member of Jay-Z's entourage. All dates of the tour were subsequently cancelled. R. Kelly responded by filing a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Jay-Z. A countersuit by Jay-Z against R. Kelly relating to the tour was later dismissed.
  • Dr. Dre vs. Luke: One of Dr. Dre's tracks on The Chronic was directed toward Luke in the hit single Dre Day. Luke responded with his own track Cowards in Compton parodying the lyric "Ain't Nuthin' But a G Thang".
  • Westside Connection vs. Common: Ice Cube interpreted the Common song I Used To Love H.E.R. (which details the history of hip hop through an elaborate extended metaphor) as disrespectful towards the West Coast's contribution to hip hop. In response, Cube, along with his crew The Westside Connection, released "Westside Slaughter House," which included a Common Sense diss. Common responded with the track "The Bitch In Yoo", but the two MCs reconciled soon after.
  • Bone Thugs-N-Harmony vs. Do or Die & Twista: This midwestern feud started some time between Bone Thugs's 2nd and 3rd albums, with each faction accusing the other of stealing the others style. The beef eventually dissolved.
  • Westside Connection vs. Cypress Hill: Cypress Hill accused Ice Cube of stealing beats, lyrics and choruses for his Friday soundtrack that they had planned to use on their Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom album. They recorded the dis track "No Rest For The Wicked" as a result. Ice Cube responded with "King Of The Hill" (credited to his Westside Connection group) to which Cypress Hill released "Ice Cube Killa" in response.
  • Lil' Kim vs. Foxy Brown: Brown accused Kim of slavishly imitating her style, and Kim accused Brown of the same. Kim responded on Mobb Deep's remix of their single "Quiet Storm" and criticized Brown for using a ghostwriter. Brown responded on the Capone & Noreaga track "Bang Bang," in a verse, which unlike Kim's initial verse, included a much more direct attack. The beef reached it's climax in 2001 when Kim's entourage traded gunfire with Capone-N-Noreaga's entourage outside of the Hot 97 studio in New York City. In 2005 Lil' Kim was convicted of Perjury and lying before a Grand Jury when questioned regarding the incident. She was sentenced to a year and one day at the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia, which she reported to on Monday, September 19.
  • DMX vs. Kurupt: This feud stems from DMX sleeping with Kurupt's then girlfriend Foxy Brown. Kurupt would release an attack on DMX, his record label Ruff Ryders, the rap supergroup The Firm, Ja Rule and producer Irv Gotti on a song called Calling Out Names which was later released on album Tha Streetz Iz A Mutha. DMX's diss track towards Kurrupt came in the form of Bring Your Whole Crew from the album Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. There has been no visible conclusion to this rivalry.
  • DMX (rapper) vs. Ja Rule: DMX claimed his one-time ally Ja Rule had copied his rap style, and gotten very rich as a result. Ja Rule responded by bringing up DMX's drug abuse and questioning his sexuality.
  • Shady/Aftermath vs. Jermaine Dupri: Jermaine stated in an interview that he was a more capable producer than Dr. Dre or Timbaland. Dre and Timbaland took offense, although Jermaine tried to rationalize that what he meant was that he simply did more as a music producer than the other two (writing R&B song lyrics for Usher, in addition to creating his instrumentals, for example). Dre then recorded a verse dissing Jermaine on Eminem's album The Eminem Show, mocking Jermaine for, amongst other things, achieving his initial successes with "10 and 11 year olds" (referencing Jermaine's first signed act Kriss Kross, and recent artist Bow Wow). Xzibit, at the time an artist readily affiliated with Aftermath, also mocked Jermaine Dupri in a radio freestyle, and the Atlanta producer then traded dis tracks with Dr. Dre, Eminem and Xzibit for approximately a year.
  • Mobb Deep vs. Nas: In 2001, to the surprise of many, Nas shocked fans when he mentioned Prodigy on his QB diss track Destroy & Rebuild (on which he also disses former friends like Cormega, Nature, and N.O.R.E.). Prodigy and Havoc dissed back on RIP Nas and Point Out the Clowns (on which they also diss Jay-Z). The beef was ended, briefly, in 2005; Nas brought Prodigy out at a show to promote the release of his album Street's Disciple, then dissed them again later that year on The Storm when Mobb Deep signed with Nas' rival 50 Cent's G-Unit Records.
  • Eminem vs. Canibus: Eminem released the song "Role Model" on his first LP where he mentioned Canibus in passing. Part of this resulted from LL Cool J's and Canibus's beef. Canibus believed that LL Cool J's response The Ripper Strikes Back to have been too well written and approached Eminem and asked whether he had acted as ghostwriter, which Eminem denied. They talked about collaborating which culminated in Canibus's offering a guest appearance on his with his album 2000 B.C. but Eminem declined. Later, Canibus released a song on his C True Hollywood Stories album that retold Eminem's song "Stan." In Canibus' version, the character had survived (contrary to Eminem's original track) and was bitter toward Eminem for how the rapper had treated the fictional character. The two traded dis tracks for a period, including "Can-A-Bitch" by :Eminem from his Straight From da Lab EP circulating underground, before the beef appeared to fizzle out.
  • Eminem vs. Insane Clown Posse: The feud began when Eminem heard a line from ICP's Carnival of Carnage album with the lyrics "...and now I'm sleepin' in the gutta, right next to Champtown's motha..." Champtown was a close friend/associate of Eminem. Approximately 7-8 years later, Eminem started dissing ICP during his live shows as well as a live appearance he had on the Howard Stern Show. In response, ICP, along with Twiztid, made a diss track called "Slim Anus" and aired it on the Howard Stern Show and several other radio shows. This diss track which was basically Eminem's first hit single, "My Name Is", with most of the lyrics altered to make Eminem and Dr. Dre out to be homosexuals. Eminem responded to this by including a skit on his multi- platinum selling album The Marshall Mathers LP, which portrayed ICP members Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J fellating the gay character Ken Kaniff. Eminem also took several shots at the ICP on the song Marshall Mathers, claiming that the ICP were cowards who lived in Suburban Detroit, despite claiming to be from The Inner City. Later that year, Eminem pulled a gun on Douglas Dail, a close friend and associate of the ICP, whom is otherwise known within the Juggalo community as "Dougie Doug". An altercation took place between them, and Eminem pulled an unloaded gun out on Dougie. Eminem was later arrested and pleaded "no contest", to which he received probation for a year. ICP then released a diss track called "Nothin' But A Bitch Thang" which they posted on their website for free download. This song included a graphic intro featuring Dr. Dre performing sodomy on Eminem. The song itself responded to the disses featured on The Marshall Mathers LP, the "Dougie Doug Incident", and took more stabs at Eminem and his then ex-wife, Kim. Also in the song, ICP described an incident in the '90s before Eminem had made it big, where he handed out fliers at a concert party he was having, which stated that ICP may make an appearance to it. Violent J also described an incident where Eminem had paid Twiztid, another rap duo on their Psychopathic label, to open up for their show. Eminem continued to diss them during his Up In Smoke Tour, using blow-up dolls painted up like the ICP, and on his song "Business". ICP responded with another diss track called "Please Don't Hate Me", this time targeting Eminem's mother. Although they never officially settled their differences, it appears the ICP and Eminem have currently ended their feud.

Today's feuds

  • 50 Cent vs. Bang 'Em Smurf & Domination: Bang 'Em Smurf, and Domination were once original members of G-Unit. Before 50 Cent signed to Interscope, Bang 'Em Smurf was arrested on a weapons charge. 50 Cent refused to bail Bang 'Em Smurf out of jail, it eventually lead to Domination & Bang 'Em Smurf leaving and conflict between them.
  • Black Wall Street vs. Roc-A-Fella Records: This feud grew out of an earlier rivalry with Memphis Bleek over the name of his label. The label was similar to the one to which The Game had been previously signed. On the single "Westside Story," The Game raps that he "don't do button-up shirts or drive Maybachs," many believed that this was a shot at Jay-Z. On Memphis Bleek's 534 album, Jay-Z says in his rap; "It's like when niggas make subliminal records/if it ain't directed directly at me I don't respect it. You keep entering the danger zone/you gon' make that boy Hov put your name in this song/if you that hungry for fame then fuck it come on". Many hip-hop fans believed Jay-Z was calling out The Game. On Hot 97, Jay-Z performed "Dear Summer" and another freestyle. In his freestyle he repeatedly used the word "game". The Game apparently felt that the rapper was discrediting him and made several remarks directed at Roc-A-Fella Records. In an interview with Ed Lover and Moni Love, The Game said the Maybach line on "Westside Story" was actually a diss at Ja Rule, he also said he has a lot of respect for Jay-Z and would never diss legends. Jay-Z later insisted that "game" references were just about the rap game itself, not the rapper. The Game still addresses Memphis Bleek and the Young Gunz on songs. He put out a song called "Old Gunz" which stated that the Young Gunz grew up in nice neighborhoods and that they had no right to call themselves young guns. Another member of The Game's Black Wall Street said that they were young but they weren't guns, they had never shot at anyone in their lives.
  • G-Unit vs. D-Block: They are beefing after 50 Cent dissed Jadakiss for appearing on 50's nemesis', Ja Rule, single, "New York". The feud has grown to encompass both groups. Jadakiss responded to 50's "Piggy Bank" with "Checkmate".
  • The Diplomats vs. Ma$e: His recent feud started with fellow Harlem based rapper Cam'Ron. After returning to Bad Boy to record his album, he had made comments directly at Cam'Ron, and Jim Jones of The Diplomats (known also as Dip-Set). On radio, the rappers had verbal exchanges disputing his previous comments about Ma$e's dissent towards rap. Since then, Ma$e has recorded songs discrediting Cam'Ron and Dip Set. Cam'Ron has blasted Ma$e as being a hypocrite and sinner for his "glorifying" return to gangster rap. Jim Jones blasted a song at the end of Dear Summerat him, well he might be talking to Jay-Z.
  • Nelly vs. Chingy: Nelly questioned Chingy's "Right Thurr" in a song in his Sweat album. Nelly says he helped Chingy get noticed and he got no credit. They also argue of who made the urr slang term.
  • Joe Budden vs. The Game: In 2004, 50 Cent criticized Joe Budden's album for "lacking street credibility." Budden took offense and released various insults directed at G-Unit. The Game did a freestyle for DJ Clue, and then Joe Budden used the end of the freestyle without notifying The Game. While on the end, Joe Budden took shots at G-Unit. During 2004, The Game made several records against Joe Budden, notoriously the track "Buddens." The Game threatened Joe Budden and supposedly flew to New York to confront him. Joe Budden mocked The Game's appearance on the dating game show "Change of Heart". On his web site, The Game defended his embarrassing appearance on the show, saying that he was young and needed the money, also he stated on his Stop Snitchin' Stop Lyin' DVD that he was on the show with two girls making him a pimp. Later, at a party in New York, the rappers mutually announced their intention to stop making hostile records about each other, but The Game has subsequently suggested in songs and videos that he won the feud.
  • Lil' Flip vs. T.I.: While out of prison, T.I. had overheard people claiming that Lil' Flip had disrespected him at a show he did in Atlanta and he felt obliged to respond. He did so at WHTA/Hot 107.9's Birthday Bash. According to, T.I. was on a Houston radio station talking about the situation between him and Lil' Flip, and he made nasty comments about Lil' Flip repping a hood that he didn't grow up in. The rapper was confronted by Lil' Flip and his crew and a fight broke out between them. They since have discontinued this feud after a closed door meeting between the two. However, on T.I.'s forthcoming album King, there are two tracks which have been disputed by the community to be shots at Lil Flip ("What You Know" and "I'm Talking To You"). However in an interview with on March 24th, 2006, T.I. was quoted as saying he and Lil Flip have no beef.
  • The Game vs. Yukmouth: Yukmouth confronted The Game at a party and stated to him that he had a beef with 50 Cent. Soon a video surfaced on the Internet in which Yukmouth appeared in a studio with rappers Domination & Bang 'Em Smurf who were making a disrespectful song aimed at G-Unit. At the end of the clip, Yukmouth claims that The Game had a tongue ring. (The piercing is viewed as effeminate.) The Game fired back with performing an Ice Cube move by dissing the rap veteran over his own "I Got 5 On It" beat. Yukmouth responded with a diss track of his own which referred to the Change of Heart and tongue ring incidents. Yukmouth released a mixtape called "All Out War," attacking The Game on several tracks. The two tried to bury the hatchet and even recorded a song together in hopes of squashing the beef. However, Game wanted Yukmouth to record the track with him in Compton. Yukmouth recorded his verse and sent it to Game because he feared it was a setup. Game took this as a sign of weakness and dissed Yukmouth on the track. Yukmouth and Game have both recently said they ended the rivalry this time and recorded another song together.
  • Suge Knight vs. The Game: Yukmouth claimed that The Game had been slapped by Suge Knight during their beef. The Game responded on his website, saying that if Suge Knight had ever touched him, he would put him "6 Feet Under." After the 2005 BET Awards, associates of Death Row had their invitations to a party hosted by Ciara rescinded. Supposedly, a member of Death Row had tried to steal The Game's chain. The Game stated on his Black Wall Street web site that he dislikes Suge Knight because of "the lives he has endangered". In Miami for the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, Suge Knight was shot and wounded at Kanye West's party by an unknown gunman. The Game vigorously denied involvement in the shooting, but the incident renewed efforts to pacify hip hop feuds and The Game has consequently been discouraged from attending certain events in hopes of averting retaliation.
  • Yukmouth vs. G-Unit: A video surfaced on the Internet in which Yukmouth appeared in a studio with rappers Domination & Bang 'Em Smurf who were making a disrespectful song aimed at G-Unit. Spider Loc gained some acclaim for stealing Yukmouth's chain while in a night-club in Hollywood. Spider Loc took pictures wearing Yukmouth's chain and they soon spread across the internet. The chain was returned a day later as Spider was pressured to do so by a mutual friend named Ty from Soul Records.
  • The Game vs. Lil Eazy: There is currently some controversy between Lil Eazy and fellow Compton rapper The Game. Although the two rappers use to be close and even collaborated they've recently had a falling out. Lil Eazy claims The Game is using his fathers name just to help his own career. Lil Eazy came out with a song titled "Gangsta Shit" which takes several subliminal shots at The Game. The Game addressed E' on a couple of lines on "120 Bars" by claiming that E' doesn't write his own lyrics. "Now Lil Eazy Dissin, he don't write his own raps so I gotta forgive him, i've got love for your pops and I always will, so on behalf of Eric Wright my nigga ya gotta chill". E' responded with a diss track called "E' Coming From Compton" and "They Know Me".
  • 50 Cent vs. Nas: 50 Cent claimed that Nas had made disparaging comments about him and his G-Unit camp while performing at a New York concert. The rapper has denounced Nas as a traitor over the allying himself with Ja Rule and Irv Gotti. He dissed Nas on "Piggy Bank" and Nas dissed him on "MC Burial". Nas however claims to still have "a lotta love" for 50 and that 50 is still bitter over Jennifer Lopez choosing a remix of her "It's Gonna Be Alright" which had a version with 50, but the version with Nas was the one that gained circulation and recognition. According to Nas, there are other situations and moves 50 didn't understand Nas make when they were both together at Columbia Records. As of Summer 2006, the beef has settled down with nothing coming from either camp. However that may change with Nas' next LP, Hip-Hop is Dead.
  • G-Unit vs. Terror Squad: 50 Cent points out that Fat Joe had painted a target on themselves for partnering up with Ja Rule while filming a video in which the rapper took shots at him. He recorded the track "Piggy Bank" and attacked Fat Joe and other rappers for their association with Ja Rule. Even though things cooled down, at 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, Fat Joe made a disparaging comment about G-Unit during a performance. 50 Cent and G-Unit retaliated on set by shouting obscenities toward Fat Joe and Terror Squad.
  • Dem Franchize Boyz vs. D4L: D4L say they came up with snap music and the dance and say that Dem Franchize Boyz stole it. Dem Franchize Boyz say the same thing about D4L.
  • 50 Cent vs. Shyne: 50 Cent recorded the track "Piggy Bank" and attacked Shyne for his association with Ja Rule and Murder Inc. Shyne had Irv Gotti produce his album.
  • Cash Money Records vs. B.G., Mannie Fresh, & Juvenile: This beef is because of most of the labels star artists claiming that the labels CEOs Baby & Slim cheated them out of the millions. This lead to most of the rappers except for Lil' Wayne leaving.
  • Loon vs. Ma$e: Ma$e says that Loon stole his style and Loon says the same about Mase.
  • Ma$e vs. Fabolous: Same as Loon & Ma$e beef.
  • Lil Romeo vs. Bow Wow: This was due to a line that Bow Wow rapped in his video “Fresh Azimiz”, which stated that he is only 18 and making "mo than 'yo dad" which some took as referring to Romeo's father rap mogul Master P, but Bow Wow later said it was a line borrowed from a classic LL Cool J track. As a result Romeo responded with the track “U Can’t Shine Like Me”.
  • Ghostface Killah vs. D4L: Ghostface disses D4L for their help in creating "snap music" in the South. He mocks them in several interviews and concerts, as well as his track The Champ from his album Fishscale. (line: "Revenge is my arts is crafty darts, while y'all stuck on Laffy Taffy, wonderin' how y'all niggaz get past me, I been doin this before Nas dropped the Nasty")
  • Rick Ross vs. Akon

See also

Hip hop/Rap
Beatboxing - DJing (Turntablism) - Fashion -History (Roots - Old school - Golden age - Modern) - Production - Rapping
African - American (East - West - South)
Abstract - Alternative - Chopped & Screwed - Christian - Country-rap - Crunk - Electro - Freestyle music - Gangsta - G-funk - Ghettotech - Golden age - Hardcore - Hip hop soul - Hip house - Horrorcore - Hyphy - Instrumental - Jazz rap - Latin rap - Mafioso - Miami bass - Mobb - Neo soul - Nerdcore - New jack swing - Old school - Political hip hop - Pop rap - Rapcore - Ragga - Reggaeton - Snap music - Urban Pasifika

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