Feuds, diss-tracks, verbal insults, violence and deaths...
On a week when details of 50 Cent's new album emerged which attacks both Lil' Wayne and Kanye West, Gigwise takes a look at the biggest beefs in the history of hip-hop. Starting as verbal insults, these feuds often transgress into diss-tracks, violence and even deaths.
Boogie Down Productions vs. Juice Crew: The fierce rivalry between the two collectives from 1985 onwards set the benchmark for future hip-hop feuds. Known as The Bridge Wars, the beef arose from a dispute over the true birthplace of hip-hop; whether it was BDP's South Bronx or Juice Crew's Queensbridge. Over the ensuing years, a string of strong-worded tracks were released from both sides, vehemently deriding their rivals. In 2007, the feud reached an unlikely end when BDP's KRS-One and Juice Crew's Marley-Marl recorded the album together 'Hip-Hop Lives'.
Jay-Z vs. Nas: The two New York rappers started feuding at the turn of the decade. Takeover, the second track on Jay-Z's seminal 2001 album The Blueprint, attacked Nas by calling him a 'fake', describing his career as 'lame' and criticising his flow. Nas responded with his own diss track Ether which blasted the Jigga Man for brown-nosing other rappers like Eminem and comparing him to cigarette mascot Joe Camel. At Hot 97's summer bash in 2001, Jay-Z even flashed an image of Nas associate Prodigy dressed as a ballerina to fuel the dispute. The pair eventually called peace without violence in 2005 and have even preformed two tracks together, Dead Presidents and Black Republican.
50 Cent vs Ja Rule: According to conflicting reports, the dispute between 50 Cent and Ja Rule and his Murder Inc. label started when Rule accused Fiddy of stealing jewelry from himself. Another report claims it was fuelled when Cent was snubbed at a Ja Rule video shoot. In March 2000, Fiddy had an altercation with Murder Inc associates at The Hit Factory in New York which left him with three stab wounds. Rapper Black Child claimed responsibility saying he acted in self defence. Cent and Rule have traded insults over songs since and have spectacularly failed to bury their problems with each other.
LL Cool J vs. Kool Moe Dee: The infamous feud started in the mid 1980s when Kool Moe Dee of Treacherous 3 accused the new kid of the block LL Cool J and mimicking his style. The cover of Moe Dee's 1987 album 'How Ya Like Me Now' hilariously featured Cool J's trademark Kangol hat being crushed under a Jeep. A track on the album slammed an unnamed MC for plagiarism, but it was clear who the jibes were aimed at. Cool J hit back with Jack The Ripper which derides a washed up rapper and an old school sucker punks. The ante was upped further with Moe Dee's 'Let's Go' where he used LL alliteration to berate his enemy: Lack Luster, Last Least, Limp Lover'. The feud waned as Moe Dee's career eventually hit the buffers.
T.I vs. Lil Flip: At one point the feud looked as though it could reach dangerous levels. After a year of bitter disses and threats (including Flip releasing a blistering track called Fuck Dat Nigga on which he threatens to kill) as they battled for the dubious title of 'King of the South', a huge fight broke out between the two rappers and their entourage outside a burger joint in Lil Flip's native Houston in 2005. T.I allegedly went there to create a DVD exposing Flip as a fraud in retaliation to the shocking Fuck Dat Nigga. Fortunately no one was killed. Rap-A-Lot's J Prince quashed the feud when he invited the pair to sit down and talk.
Eminem vs Everlast: The beef erupted in 2000 when Everlast recorded a song with Dilated Peoples on which he rapped "Cock my hammer, spit a Comet like Haley. I'll buck a 380 on ones that act Shady". Believing it to be a reference to his daughter Hailie, Em retaliated with public disses and the track 'I Remember (Dedication To Whitney Ford)' which poked fun at Everlast's style. The D12 track Shit On You added further fire. When Everlast released 'Whitney's Revenge' (complete with the lyric â€œcheck your kid for your DNA"), Eminem upped the ante with the 'Hit 'Em Up' sampling Quitter where he threatened to kill Everlast if he mentioned Hailie's name again. They have since called a truce.
Tim Dog vs. The West Coast: Frustrated at being overlooked, New York rapper Tim Dog became so disillusioned with the attention West Coast rap was receiving that he recorded the angry single 'Fuck Compton' in 1991. The abrasive track dissed West Coast music and threatened stars including Dr Dre, Ice Cube and MC Wren. Sadly for Tim Dog, he soon disappeared into obscurity while the rappers he slammed went on to have successful careers. Doh!
Westside Connection vs. Common: In 1994 Common released his defining single 'I Used To Love H.E.R.' which criticised West Coast Gangsta Rap. Westside Connection (Mack 10, Ice Cube, WC) responded with a song 'Westside Slaughterhouse' complete with the lyrics 'Used to love H.E.R and mad cause I fucked her". Typically, Common retaliated with his own diss song 'The Bitch In Yoo' which berated Ice Cube in particular. After meeting with Louis Farrakhan who talked them through their issues, both sides backed down from the feud.
DMX vs. K-Solo: The rappers first met as prison inmates when K-Solo was serving a three year stretch. Throughout the mid 1990s and the start of this decade, the pair have been disputing who wrote and has the rights to the song 'Spellbound'. K-Solo released his version of the track in 1990 with DMX following four years later. In 1998 DMX dissed K-Solo on his hit single 'Get At Me Dog' by telling his foe to suck his dick. On a US TV documentary Beef II in 2003, K-Solo took a lie detector test over his Spellbound writing claims. The results were inconclusive.
50 Cent vs. Jadakiss: Guesting on Ja Rule's 2004's track New York, Jadakiss' lines contained covert digs at 50 Cent. All too predictably Fiddy responded with Piggy Bank, a lyrical diatribe against Jadakiss, Ja Rule and Fat Joe. On the abrasive track Fiddy tells Jadakiss: "Jada don't fuck wit' me if you wanna eat/I'll do yo lil ass like Jay did Mobb Deep" in reference to Jay-Z's famous diss track Takeover. The floodgates opened with Jadakiss releasing four anti-Fiddy songs, Checkmate, Problem Child, Shots Fired and Ms. Jackson. 50 Cent responded again with 'I Run NY' before the saga eventually fizzled out.
LL Cool J vs. Canibus: The beef started when Canibus guested on LL Cool J's 1997 track '4, 3 , 2, 1' on which he rapped "Yo L, is that a mic on your arm? Lemme borrow that", poking fun at Cool J's tattoo of a microphone. Cool J removed the line from the ultimate version of the track, but kept his response lines intact despite allegedly saying he would delete it. Angered by this, Canibus recorded 'Second Round K.O' slamming LL Cool J, who himself responded with Ripper Strikes Back and Back Where I Belong. Poking Cool J in the eyes, Canibus went on to sample his music on his retort 'Rip The Jacker'.
Lil Kim vs. Foxy Brown: The pair exchanged lyrical blows a decade ago when they guested on tracks. Lil Kim's insults were fired on the Lil' Cease track Play Around, while Brown bitched about her adversary on the Capone-N-Noreaga track 'Bang Bang'. Things boiled over in a chance meeting between the two and their entourages outside Hot 97's studios in New York on February 25, 2001. Around 20 shots were fired, with one unlucky crew member receiving bullet wounds to the buttocks. Attempts at a truce have since failed.
Tupac Shakur vs. The Notorious BIG: The biggest and bloodiest beef in the history of rap ended tragically with the murder of Tupac in 1996 and Biggie a year later. The West Coast vs. East Coast rivalry between the one-time friends was bitter and hard fought. It started when Shakur accused Sean Combs and Biggie of having advanced knowledge of his attempted murder in Manhattan in 1994 which left Tupac him with 5 gunshot wounds. Denying it, Biggie perhaps mockingly recorded 'Who Shot Ya? to which Tupac responded in 1996 with the abrasive 'Hit 'Em Up'. On it he claimed he had sex with Biggie's partner Faith Evans and poked fun at his friend Prodigy for having sickle-cell anaemia. Their unsolved murders have been the subject to conspiracy theories ever since.
The Game vs. 50 Cent: Having feuded since the release of The Game's debut album Documentary, things escalated in 2005 when The Game took a swipe at G-Unit by featuring an image of the collective dressed as Ghostbusters on a mixtape sleeve. G-Unit responded with an image of The Game's face pasted onto a stripper's body. Fiddy also claimed that he was not given enough credit for his work on Documentary, which The Game denied. When Cent announced The Game was getting kicked out of G-Unit, a fracas duly erupted at the Hot 97 studio in New York where a member of The Game's crew was shot.
Jay-Z vs. R Kelly: Mockingly referred to as Peppergate, the pair headed out on their ill-fated 'Best of Both Worlds' tour in 2004 promoting the album of the same name. The tour was fraught with tension from day one and came to a head at Madison Square Gardens when Kelly paused his set after he believed he saw two audience members with weapons. When he returned to the stage he alleges that he was ambushed by a member of Jay-Z's crew who fired pepper spray into his face. Kelly later filed a $90million lawsuit over lost earnings and the pepper spray incident when he was kicked off the tour.
Ice Cube vs. NWA: When Ice Cube left NWA in 1989 over royalty disputes it sparked fierce lyrical warfare between himself and Dr Dre and Eazy-E. Although Cube made no direct reference to the bitter split on his 1990 debut 'AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted', NWA savaged their former member on their 100 Miles and Runnin' EP. On it they compared Cube to Benedict Arnold, a 18th century US army traitor who switched sides to the British Empire, and accused him of cowardice. These sentiments were echoed again later, with Ice Cube finally fighting back against NWA on his second album Death Certificate most notably on No Vaseline which called on Eazy-E to put a bullet in the temple of manager Jerry Heller.
Soulja Boy vs. Ice-T: Last summer Ice-T appeared on DJ Cisco's Urban Legend mixtape, on it he taunted Soulja Boy and blamed him for killing hip-hop and called his 'Crank That' hit garbage. In response, Soulja Boy posted a video on YouTube where he was reading from Ice-T's wikipedia page, saying â%u20AC%u0153this nigga was born in 1958...you was born before the internet was created; how the fuck you even find me?" Although Ice-T semi-apologised for his harsh comments, he didn't retract his statement about Soulja's record being garbage. Clearly not impressed with the apology, Soulja posted a cartoon on the internet which mocked Ice-T.
Photo: wenn.com / Splash News / Shirlaine Forrest