Hip hop rivalries

Feuds and rivalries have existed since the dawn of hip hop, 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 (known as "beefs" in hip hop slang) 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 all proportion, a good example of which was the famous 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" by U.T.F.O., which sparked several hundred "answer records" in response, some of which were quite vituperative. 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.


"East Coast vs West Coast"

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Notorious B.I.G.

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 New York, and the city remained the undisputed capital of hip hop until 1992, when 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 1993. Dre was on Death Row Records, headed by Suge Knight, and he soon built up a roster of stars like Warren G, 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 coast, 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 Tupac Shakur was shot five times at a New York recording studio on November 30, 1994, and publically 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 publically blamed Bad Boy Records. Then, in December, while filming the video for the Dogg Pound's 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.

The feud moved onto wax in early 1996 when Tupac recorded 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". 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 peaceful if heated lyrical battles for superiority of the past.

Tupac Shakur

On September 7, 1996 Tupac Shakur was shot several times in Las Vegas, dying a few days later. On March 9, 1997, the 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 Shakur's death was faked.

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 Shakur 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 2Pac 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 2Pac by appearing to mock Tupac with a 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, a 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 2Pac. Because these rappers were all East Coast artists, and because they were often insulted in the same songs as in 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. In fact, these disputes were for entirely separate reasons to the Bad Boy/Death Row dispute, and the ties between these artists and Bad Boy Records were either very limited or non-existent (Nas had in fact collaborated with Death Row's Dr. Dre far more often than he had collaborated with Bad Boy Records artists). For these reasons, as well as the fact that many prominent artists from both coasts such as Redman, Busta Rhymes, E-40 and the Wu-Tang Clan were not involved in the dispute at all, it has become a widely held belief that the media's labeling of the Death Row/Bad Boy feud as an East Coast vs West Coast battle driven purely by territory and allegiance is misleading and amounts to sensationalism.

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 P 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 Jean clothing). After Suge Knight's release from prison, Death Row Records was reborn as "Tha Row", signing many artists including acclaimed young rapper Crooked I, 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.

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":

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

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 in fact had a whole 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."

Jay-Z vs Nas


The tension between Jay-Z and Nas dates back to 1996, when Nas supposedly 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" seemed eerily vacant after the death of Biggie, and fans were eager to see who would take over his role. In 1999, two years after his death, 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 anywhere near the same amount of commercial success, apparently responded to Jay-Z on his track We Will Survive (also 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 publically 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 off when you sample my voice
I rule you, before, you used to rap like the Fu-Schnikens
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 Sisqo

("sample my voice" refers to Jay-Z's use of a Nas vocal sample in 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. Jay-Z's response was prompt, again attacking Nas' authenticity and claiming to have slept with his ex-girlfriend in a radio freestyle that became known as "Super Ugly". However, 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." 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 Blueprint˛: 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 close 52% - 48% 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. Some observers even suspected that the beef was largely staged for the very purpose of increasing record sales.

Eminem vs Benzino

In 2003, co-owner of The Source magazine and rapper Benzino released two songs directed at superstar white rapper 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 African-American 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 half-white himself, but that the other main co-owner of the The Source is white, that both co-founders of the magazine were white, and that the magazine both covers and praises bling-bling rap on a regular basis. 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 have accused Benzino of criticizing hip hop's biggest star solely to both boost his so far 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. Though The Source's 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 label-mates such as Dr Dre and 50 Cent within its pages, the Source has continued to put these prolific record-selling artists on the cover of the magazine.

The feud had somewhat died down before The Source 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 publically apologize quite promptly, and later elaborated further on the incident in the song Yellow Brick Road from his Encore album. The Source did not appear to 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 is losing major advertising as a result, most notably from Def Jam (more information at The Source article).

The hip-hop magazine XXL also became involved in the Eminem/Benzino/Source rivalry. XXL, which launched in 1998, 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 ... magazine / I got XXL's number anyway". With the entire Interscope label effectively involved in Eminem's fued with the Source, Interscope artists began to flock to XXL, who happily granted them increased coverage, which in turn boosted sales for the magazine.

Eminem vs Everlast & Dilated Peoples

On the Dilated Peoples album The Platform, hip hop/rock musician Everlast (formerly of House of Pain) apparently insulted Eminem in a fairly subliminal and non-specific battle verse. Eminem's response titled I Remember, however, specifically mocked Everlast for many things including the demise of House Of Pain, his conversion to Islam, and his new rock-orientated musical direction. The song was in itself a parody of this musical direction, with heavily strummed guitars and faux-melancholic sung vocals. Everlast responded on a track called Whitey's Revenge in which he incurred Eminem's wrath by mentioning that if Eminem were to go to jail in his then-ongoing assault trial, he would "look in on (his) lady and do things for (his) kid". Eminem quickly shot back with the single "Quitter" which was split into two parts, the first being somewhat reminiscent of I Remember and the second using 2Pac's uptempo Hit 'Em Up beat and featuring other rappers from Eminem's group D12.

In response to two couplets aimed at Dilated Peoples in Quitter, which referred to the group as "underground bitches", Dilated's Evidence and DJ Babu recorded a track titled Search 4 Bobby Fisher which attacked and mocked Eminem for many things including his dyed-blonde hair and his supposedly taking credit for other people's production work. This track was fairly well-received by listeners, and many had already felt that Eminem mocking Dilated for being "underground" in the first place was hypocritical considering that in the early stages of his career Eminem was heavily involved in the underground hip hop scene (and in fact once freestyled on radio with Dilated Peoples themselves); however Eminem did not respond to the track and the feud did not escalate any further.

Ja Rule vs Eminem and 50 Cent

The origins of Ja Rule and Eminem's rivalry is not known for certain. MTV claimed it began after Ja Rule and his label head, Irv Gotti, were involved in a physical altercation with 50 Cent. 50 Cent reportedly took out a restraining order against Gotti, and several other performers have attacked him for "snitching" as a result. After Ja Rule insulted Eminem in a song, he responded on a mixtape by DJ Kay Slay with a freestyle collaboration with 50 Cent. "Irv Gotti, too much Bacardi in his body/You ain't a killer, you a pussy/ That ecstasy got you all emotional and mushy/Bitches wearing rags in photos/Ja's word being quoted/In The Source, stealing Pac's shit like he just wrote it" to the beat of Tupac's "Hail Mary". Eminem also appeared on a DJ Green Lantern mixtape, with Busta Rhymes, insulting Ja, Murder Inc. (Gotti and Ja Rule's label), Benzino and Royce Da 5'9". Ja Rule has responded with "Em, you claim your mother's a crackhead/ And Kim's a known slut/ So what Hailie's gonna be when she grows up?", referring Eminem's ex-wife, Kim, and daughter, Hailie. Eminem then recorded Doe Rae Me with his daughter and D12, mocking Ja's stature with the exchange "Daddy is Ja Rule bigger than me?" "No honey you guys are the same size."

LL Cool J vs Canibus

LL Cool J

LL Cool J invited Canibus, Method Man and Redman to record with him in 1997. Canibus contributed the lines "L, is that a mic on your arm? Let me borrow that" (referring to LL's microphone tattoo), and LL wrote a response intended as the next verse before changing his mind and asking Canibus to change his verse. Canibus claims that LL 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 is the greatest of all time") if Canibus removed his own. LL denied this, claiming that he told Canibus that no one would know who he was talking about if Canibus never explained the mic line it was responding to. Nevertheless, Canibus soon launched an all-out attack on LL with the single "Second Round K.O.", the video for which featured a cameo by Mike Tyson. LL's response was titled "The Ripper Strikes Back", to which Canibus then responded with the track "Rip The Jacker". LL however, who was somewhat reluctant to respond the first time, did not respond the second time. There is still assumed to be some rivalry between the pair, but neither rapper has referred to the beef for some time.

Other known rivalries (in chronological order)

(this list excludes internal group disputes, such as the feuds between former members of N.W.A., A Tribe Called Quest, EPMD and the Fugees)

  • 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).
  • Kool Moe Dee vs LL Cool J: Kool Moe Dee was a member of one of the earliest hip hop crews, the Treacherous 3, and claimed that LL Cool J stole his style, thus causing a long-running feud between the pair. The cover of his 1987 album How Ya Like Me Now? featured LL's signature red Kangols being crushed beneath a truck. Songs crucial to this beef include "To The Break Of Dawn", "I Shot Ya" and "Jack The Ripper" by LL Cool J, and "Let's Go" and "Death Blow" by Kool Moe Dee.
  • Ice-T vs LL Cool J: Somewhat related to the above dispute. Songs involved include "I'm Your Pusher" by Ice-T and "To The Break Of Dawn" by LL.
  • MC Hammer vs LL Cool J
  • MC Shan vs LL Cool J
  • 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: it is not known precisely why (it has been speculated that the single "Gas Face" in which 3rd Bass target pop-rappers for watering down hip hop somewhat irked X-Clan who felt 3rd Bass were doing precisely the same thing), but militant Afrocentric group X-Clan targeted caucasians 3rd Bass in several songs, referring to them as "caveboys". 3rd Bass never responded.
  • MC Eiht vs DJ Quik
  • Everlast vs DJ Quik
  • Ice Cube 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, and made disparaging public comments to that effect. Common responded with the track "The Bitch In Yoo", but the two MCs reconciled soon after.
  • Ice Cube 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. The two have exchanged infrequent barbs ever since.
  • El-P (Company Flow) vs Sole (Anticon): These two avantgarde underground rappers came into conflict after Truehiphop.Com (for which Sole was the webmaster) had a banner reading: "Company Flow Vs. The Spice Girls: The Evolution Will Not Be Televised," which El-P incorrectly interpreted as a dis. Although Sole made what we he presumed was a successful attempt to sort out the misunderstanding by speaking to Company Flow's DJ Mr. Len, he later discovered that El-P had convinced certain key record distributors not to distribute the latest Sole record. Then, the Company Flow track "End To End Burners" was released which mocked Sole for "dissing on the internet". Sole responded with the track "Dear Elpee", to which El-P and Company Flow responded with "Linda Trip".
  • Eminem vs Cage: it is not known precisely why this beef started, but it is assumed Cage was angered by Eminem achieving enormous success with a style suspiciously similar to his own. Songs involved include "Got You Mad" by Eminem and "Escape To 88" and "Still Babblin"' by Cage. The two have also casually dissed each other in various songs without actually devoting entire verses to the feud.
  • DMX 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 Doctor 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.
  • Eminem vs Canibus: Canibus released a song on his C True Hollywood Stories album which was a remake of Eminem's song Stan, in which the story was that the character in the song's title had in fact survived (contrary to Eminem's original track). The reaction to this track in the hiphop community was mostly bemusement, but Eminem obviously took offense and responded in his track "Square Dance". The two traded dis tracks for a period, before the beef appeared to fizzle out.
  • 50 Cent vs The Game: The feud between the G-Unit members started from alleged rumors that 50 Cent's protégé, Compton-native Game happened to record 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. Game then went on New York radio and stated that he had no beef with any of the rappers 50 had insulted. Taking offense at what he percieved as Game's disloyalty, 50 Cent went on the radio soon after and officially dropped The Game from G-Unit. He claimed The Game owed him more credit for songs that he helped in writing and recording, and that Game should have openly supported 50 in his feuds. Game refuted stating alleged jealousy in the group caused them to feud while on tour. 50 Cent felt left out when his album The Massacre was pushed to March instead of the Febraury date as his promised to fans. The incident lead to members of The Game's entourage to being shot at outside of the Hot 97 radio station in New York, landing one in the hospital. The battle was escalating, but within a few weeks, The Game and 50 Cent ended their feud. They decided to give money to charity and apologized for their actions. Many fans felt that incident at the radio station was a publicity stunt. After the situation deflated, 50 Cent and G-Unit continue to feud with The Game. Tony Yayo, Young Buck and 50 Cent were in magazines, on radio and on television basically denouncing The Game's street credibilty and claiming that without their support, The Game 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 original 50 Cent. The Game was highly critical of his mentor during the Summer Jam performance. While on stage, he began his G-UNIT chants and pulled out a mascot looking like a rat, and had some of his members beat the rodent down in a take down style. The rat was in reference to 50 Cent and G-Unit. The feud now seems to once again be escalating, as former Bloods and fans of The Game began protesting events that feature 50 Cent and G-Unit. The Game made word that at all 50 Cent performances there will be people protesting G-Unit. Chris Lighty and Jimmy Henchmen and of course Interscope are once again trying to deflate the situation.
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