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DAR Retrospective: Hip Hop Beefs

By @TrueGodImmortal

I'm inspired again. I decided to venture onto social media last week and talk hip hop and the topic turn to Jay vs Nas and their beef. This sparked a huge controversy on hip hop beefs, who won them, and what diss tracks were better. Regardless of who I think won, I must admit that the talk of Jay vs Nas got me thinking about other hip hop beefs in the genre's history. There have been different types of hip hop beef, from subliminal disses only to straightforward and in your face beef. Some beefs have spilled over into the streets, as we've seen in a number of them, Pac vs Biggie being the most notable, with Yo Gotti vs Young Dolph being the most recent. Hip hop beef never seems to die out or die down, no matter the era or the time. Today, I wanted to look at hip hop beef and split them into categories. One category is of some of the more vicious and best beefs we've ever seen, while the others highlight some good battles that we may have slept on or forgotten, and the final general section is for the beefs that fell completely short (most of the beefs of today). There is one special section of beefs dedicated to one of the greatest rappers and probably the artist who has been in or involved in more beefs than anyone, Jay-Z (50 might be a close second along with the Game). With all these different beefs in hip hop, there's a lot to go over. Now, I'm not going to discuss EVERY single beef in hip hop because I don't have that kind of time (a busy man), but I will delve into a number of them. So with that being said, you won't see the huge landmark beefs here like Jay vs Nas, Kim vs Foxy, Pac vs Biggie, 50 vs Ja, Eazy E vs Dr. Dre, and of course the monumental BDP vs Juice Crew. Instead we will focus on some other ones. Let's get into this look at hip hop beefs.

The Vicious Beefs
These are some of the more iconic beefs that took place over the years. The beefs that made us love the artform and gave us some of the greatest diss tracks in the history of the game. Let's take a look at those beefs.

*The Game vs 50 Cent
-One of the strangest beefs came when 50 kicked Game out of G-Unit. In many ways, it looks as if 50 was jealous of Game and his success, but that wasn't true. Game had spent so much time going at rappers like Jay-Z, Memphis Bleek, and jumping into G-Unit beef with Joe Budden that it was odd to see him back down from standing by his team when they were engaged with Nas, Fat Joe, and Jadakiss. Game seemed to not stand with the team, which was a far cry from the Game we saw prior to him hiring nearly 600,000 copies the first week for his album, The Documentary. Seen as disloyal, Game ended up getting kicked out of G-Unit and 50 would expose the lackluster relationship with Game and his circle, as well as claims that Game was on the TV show Change of Heart and that he was formerly a male stripper.

Musically, 50 didn't really attack Game like that minus a couple lines, but Game repeatedly hit at 50 and The Unit with a number of diss tracks and mixtapes, starting the very effective G-Unot campaign. If you ask me, I'd say 50 had more truth in his disses and moments against Game, but there's no denying that Game was the architect of the downfall of the strength of G-Unit. He didn't kill 50, but he did dismantle a bit of their fanbase, and by design dismantled some of his own, but stayed afloat. Game won this beef overall, but it was a vicious enough beef that gunfire kicked it off and after a fake squashing of the beef for charity, it was fester for nearly 10 years until the two have squashed it now. Rumors of a reconciliation  and possible song together keep coming up too now that they're not on bad terms.

*DJ Quik vs MC Eiht
-This beef was truly vicious considering how much worse it could have gotten. Quik was a Blood, Eiht was a Crip and in California, that type of beef could end up deadly. Luckily, it didn't end up in that manner, but it was still a volatile feud that saw the MCs trade vicious disses like "Duck Sick", "Way 2 Fonky", "Def Wish III", and "Dollaz and Sense", which featured the death blow of "you left the G out cause ain't no G in you" from Quik. This beef was likely won by Quik, but some would give it to Eiht depending on perception. Still one of the longest beefs ever in hip hop.

*Common vs Ice Cube/ Westside Connection 
-This is one of my favorite beefs because it showcased Common in a more aggressive manner than I had ever seen him. After the Westside Connection took offense to Common's line in "I Used To Love H.E.R.", Cube sent a shot on "Westside Slaughterhouse". He didn't really go as hard as I think he could have, but it was more like a warning shot than anything. Then, Common fired back with one of the greatest disses ever "The Bitch In Yoo", and we saw Cube take the biggest hit that we've ever seen in his career. Common wins the beef and it was soon squashed right after. This was when we learned what Common can do on the mic when a beef arises.

*NWA vs Ice Cube
-There are some beefs that truly sadden you as a fan because the people engaged in the beef used to work together. Ice Cube was really the life blood of NWA, as he wrote a number of the raps (alongside MC Ren), and when he left, it was not a good day for hip hop. However, Cube would prove to be a viable artist on his own, and due to his departure, NWA would take shots at him. Cube fired back with one of the most vicious diss records I've ever heard on "No Vaseline" and completely obliterated NWA. They weren't ever the same and everything seemingly fell apart shortly after. This beef is one of the more infamous ones that broke apart what was possibly the biggest group in the history of hip hop, or at least the most influential.

*Gucci Mane vs Young Jeezy
-There is such a long running saga to this beef. The two artists who started working together on the "Icy" record, seemed to be cool way back when, but that would soon change. Gucci and Jeezy were both involved in Atlanta and had street ties, so this would be really touchy as Jeezy put out the infamous "Stay Strapped" diss and offered 10K for whoever could bring him  Gucci's chain. This would end in one of Jeezy's associates getting killed in self defense by Gucci and the rest of the beef was  essentially mired in Gucci and his lack of ability to stay out of jail. The beef seemed to be over when a phone call with Jeezy and Gucci from jail seemed to squash it, but the beef is seemingly still alive, despite being squashed. They haven't dissed each other recently, but people on Gucci's side have talked about Jeezy in recent times so I doubt it's ever really over.

*T.I. vs Lil Flip
-I really don't know how this REALLY came about. Let's be honest. The rumor is Flip didn't want T.I. on the "Game Over" remix, and then the story is Flip randomly dissed T.I. and said that he was the King of The South. I find that hard to believe because reportedly Tiny and friends said they were there when Flip dissed him, but for whatever reason, it got back to Tip and the beef began. Tip ended up going extremely hard against Flip, making a bunch of disses directed at him, eventually they ran into each other and a physical confrontation happened, which would be the official end to the beef so to speak, but this was the end of Lil Flip and his mainstream run at the hands of Tip.

*50 Cent vs Jadakiss (G-Unit vs D-Block)
-I loved this beef. It was one of the first beefs that we saw 50 look weaker in, but also saw how he could win a beef overall while possibly losing it musically. This beef was slightly one sided because D-Block took shot after shot after shot at G-Unit, while 50 and The Unit kept it simple. Tony Yayo would be by 50's side in the beef, and tracks like "Piggy Bank", "Checkmate", and "I Run NY" were all memorable. Lyrically, I'd have to say Jada took the win, but 50 wasn't a slouch and what he lacked in lyrics, he made up for with taunts and verbal jabs on the tracks. Still an interesting beef, one that I'm glad was squashed.

*Canibus vs LL Cool J
-The infamous beef that all began when Canibus spit a line about borrowing the mic on LL's arm on "4, 3, 2, 1". Was LL a bit too sensitive? Perhaps, but he would take Canibus off the track and then end up taking a shot at the younger MC. I'm of the belief that LL was a bit too emotional, as we know Canibus meant little harm with his line, but to take Canibus off the song because would not change a line that was more so to pay homage and then diss him shows how sensitive rappers can be at times (I stand by this too). What makes LL seem even more sensitive is the fact that his whole verse is seemingly directed at Canibus while the original verse from Canibus was literally one line that referenced LL.

There is a feeling that LL felt overshadowed by the younger MC (Canibus had the best verse on the song), and was looking for a reason to react. Whatever the case, Canibus was removed from the final version and then a phone call between the two was set up. The phone call is awkward, as you can clearly hear LL throw his weight around and forcing Canibus to feel backed into a corner. LL suggested they do a track together for the underground (unaware that the beef was being talked about everywhere at this point), but for whatever reason, it didn't pan out. A lot of this honestly seemed like LL flexing his industry muscle, and as such, when Wyclef jumped in the fray, it all looked fishy. Regardless, Canibus responded to what LL said with one of the best diss records "Second Round KO", and LL came with "The Ripper Strikes Back". The fact seemed to be that Wyclef and LL set Canibus up to ruin his career and while LL won in that regard (what a corny move to pull though), Canibus had the better diss record and better verse on "4, 3, 2, 1". Simple as that.

The Jay-Z Connected Beefs
For many, the king of hip hop beef might be 50 Cent, but to me, that title goes to Jay-Z. Over his illustrious 20 plus year career, Jay has been involved in a number of beefs and a number of vicious moments in hip hop, some of which he didn't handle himself. I won't discuss the Nas vs Jay beef as I mentioned, but I will discuss the other beefs that Jay has been involved in, or was indirectly a part of.

*Jadakiss vs Beanie Sigel
-This beef is really interesting because I always felt that Jay sent Beans to handle the dirty work or that the private conversations at Roc-A-Fella led to Beans and company feeling comfortable to throw shots at The LOX. The beef essentially started based on a few subliminal lines traded, but grew from there when the first shot was officially fired. Beans and Jada would trade disses, Jada rapping over a more commercial beat (which was probably not a smart choice) and Beans rapping over Jada's own beat "Put Your Hands Up". Beans would rap for nearly 4 minutes, giving Jada a ton of bars that really hit hard. Many feel Beans won that beef and I share that sentiment. Jada still competed hard and that's why he didn't really lose anything. It was a vicious battle that ended up with lines about the recently deceased Aaliyah, and personal shots, but at the end of the day, it's one of my all time favorite battles. Jada and Beans went at it, and delighted hip hop audiences.

*Jay-Z vs Prodigy
-Prodigy essentially began throwing shots at Jay and the reasons why are differing depending on who you ask. Prodigy took offense to Jay stating "it's like New York been soft ever since Snoop came through and crushed the buildings", which spit in the face of groups like Mobb Deep and CNN who were on the front line for the East vs West beef, while Jay didn't really get too involved. Prodigy started taking shots and there was a moment where it was rumored that P and Jay almost got into a confrontation. Jay eventually took enough of the shots and decided to go directly at Prodigy, with the scathing verse on "Takeover". Prodigy would respond with the Mobb Deep track "Crawlin", an angry and unfocused response, but before then, Prodigy seemed like he could defeat Jay. In the end, Jay was victorious.

*Harlem Rappers vs Jay-Z
-This is really interesting because Jay has a history of beef with rappers from Harlem. Whether it was Meeno, a former Harlem World affiliate, or Mase himself, Jay would go at anyone who he felt was throwing shots his way. He infamously took a shot at Mase on the scathing first verse of "Ride Or Die" on Vol. 2 (along with what feels like an early shot at Nas when he said "I seen your team in a crisis before"), and decimated Meeno on the remix to "My Mind Right" ("I think niggas was shooting your fat ass out of cannons before"). Then there's the huge beef that was mostly one sided between Jay and Cam'ron (and subsequently Jim Jones and Dame Dash), which spawned the hilarious "You Gotta Love It" track with the epic Max B hook. Jay responded to both with "Trouble" and "Brooklyn High", both of which were weak songs, but still got the point across. Jay has always clashed with Harlem rappers, I'm not sure if it was due to the Brooklyn vs Harlem dichotomy, but Jay usually went at Harlem Rappers and was mostly successful. He's never really lost a true beef except if you count the Nas one. That's really the only L he took officially in a beef.

*Jay-Z vs Ja Rule
-You might be curious as to how there was a beef here, right? Well, look no further than 2002 and 2003 to show you the further proof of that. Irv and Jay were always close it seemed, but after 2001 and Ja reaching a large amount of success, there was a bit of tension. Add to that, Murder Inc attempting to sign Nas and working closely with him during the Jay vs Nas beef and Ja & Irv becoming close to Fat Joe, a nemesis of Jay at the time, and you could almost see the beef brewing. Jay took some shots on Blueprint 2 via "The Watcher 2" with Dr. Dre on the track where he quipped "all of these rap singers claiming they bangers, doing all sorts of twisted shit with they fingers", and this was during the heyday of Murder Inc and Ja as the most notable "rap singer" who used to throw up gang signs all of a sudden. Jay would take what I perceived as shots to Ja on the S. Carter mixtape as well, but it never REALLY hit that point of being full fledged. Ja took a really subliminal shot or two, but that was it. Jay would have won that regardless.

*Lil Wayne vs Jay-Z
-In a strange way, Wayne set this off by calling himself The Best Rapper Alive. Wayne and Jay have flirted with a full fledged beef and it never fully came to fruition like we wanted, but Wayne did take a shot to set the tone when he said this a line that saw clearly aimed at Jay ("You old-ass rappers better stay on tour/You're like 44, I got a 44, I'm 24/I could murk you and come home when I'm 44/"). Jay seemed to take shots at Wayne after a proposed Def Jam deal fell through as well, but all seemed well when Jay and Wayne ended up collaborating on multiple tracks and performing at the Grammys together. Still, the beef seemed to start up again when Jay took what many felt was a shot at Wayne and Baby (Birdman had discredited Jay as the no. 1 rapper in an interview) on "H.A.M.", then Wayne shot back on the Drake and Jadakiss assisted "It's Good", by threatening to kidnap "your bitch, get that how much you love your lady money", which of course was a shot at Beyonce. Jay took a shot back about a year or two later on MCHG, but it never continued from there. A strange beef to say the least, but neither seemed to want the full fledged challenge.

*Memphis Bleek vs Nas
-Before Nas and Jay finally went at it, this beef was essentially between Bleek and Nas. Jay took a shot on a Memphis Bleek song and Bleek decided to take it a step further with a shot of his own. Then, Nas responded on his own track with a subtle line "you wanna ball til you fall, I can help you with that" which was directed at Bleek. Bleek would not let that one go and ended up going back at Nas with the slick line "your lifestyle's written/ so who you posed to be, play your position", which was the clearest shot at Nas the entire time. It was a precursor to one of the biggest beefs ever.

*Fat Joe vs Jay-Z 
-A beef that wasn't really all music related, this beef is one I never expected to see squashed. However, strange things happen in hip hop. There was rumors of two separate incidents between Terror Squad and the Roc crew, as both were moving in the streets and music industry. Pun and Jay had a big issue and Pun addressed it on multiple tracks. Joe would end up throwing shots as well, and Jay would take subliminal shots as well. The beef came to a head with the Terror Squad vs S. Carter crew at Rucker Park, where Jay and his team had to forfeit the game. This along with everything else involved in this beef made for an interesting tale, but after a few shots thrown at each other in songs over the years, the beef seemingly died down. It was officially squashed this year when Joe signed with Roc Nation, proving all wounds can be healed.

*The Game vs Jay-Z
-This beef really never 100% went down. It should have, but it mostly stayed one sided and subliminal. Game is known for taking shots at just about everyone who makes music, but he was taking constant shots at Jay in the strangest ways. He would point out Jay's age and say lines like "you 38 and you still rapping", and "I don't do button up shirts or drive Maybaches", and Jay took time to respond with a line or two here and there on tracks like "Dear Summer" and "The Prelude". This beef was somewhat heated but Game and his need to apologize after dissing made this a tough beef to really follow through with.

*Drake vs Jay-Z
-This beef is still odd to me for a number of reasons. The beginning of the beef is unknown exactly, but Jay and Drake have collaborated a few times with each other. It seemed like an off the record comment about Jay rapping about art seemed to rub Jay the wrong way to the point he called out Drake by name on the "We Made It" remix. Though it didn't seem like the beef was really serious, they've taken more shots at each other on tracks like "I Got The Keys" (Jay took a shot), and Drake on various songs. Will this become a full fledged feud with a new Jay album on the horizon and more Drake shots thrown in More Life? Time will tell.

*Jay-Z vs DMX
-The feud that really never happened. X was ready for the conflict, but it seemed like Jay wasn't really interested in another battle (Jay and X battled in NY back in like 1993) with the Dark Man. When Jada and Beans started to beef, it seemed like it was really leading into Jay vs X, especially when X and Jada teamed up for a diss track to both Jay and Beans, with X infamously saying "I only gave you the crown so I could shoot it off your fucking head", and though many think Jay didn't respond, he summed it up clearly with his "and all you other cats taking shots at Jigga/ you only get half a bar, fuck y'all niggas/" line in "Takeover". While this seemed like a clear dismissal of anyone else who took a shot, it seemed interesting considering Beans even said "I'ma leave it up to Hov to X out Tommy Buns", referring to X's character in Belly. This beef was festering but never REALLY hit a true point, even when X was critical of Jay during Jay's time as President of Def Jam Records. Jay didn't seem interested in engaging in a beef with X lyrically, but X was more than ready.

*50 Cent vs Jay-Z 
-Another Jay-Z battle that has been around for a long time and never really gets squashed. I always feel like 50 and Jay just compete and there's no real method behind their beef besides Jay taking offense at first to "How To Rob". He responded with the infamous "I'm about a dollar, what the fuck is 50 Cents" before 50 responded with a super underrated diss track "Be a Gentleman", before the beef seemed to be over after they squashed it and went on tour together and both signed deals with Reebok. Still, there was a small beef festering as the years went by and they seemed to have an issue, but nothing has really come of it outside of a few shots taken in interviews or a shot or two in random songs. At this point, I think it's just fun for both men to toss shots and laugh when they see each other in person.

*Beanie Sigel vs Jay-Z
-The sad part is, Jay usually fires the first shot subliminally, but never goes into detail about who he is talking about. This was a bit different, as it seemed like Jay decided to throw a shot at Beans on the Blueprint 3 before Beans went full throttle and sent a few disses towards Jay. This beef was fairly short, and though Beans didn't seem to be too fond of Jay anymore, and he made the hilarious diss record to Jay with 50 titled "I Go Off", the beef seemed more like Beans just being hurt that Jay turned his back on him. Eventually, after another extended jail stint, Beans would squash the beef with Jay, seemingly working things out for the best.

*Jay-Z vs Jayo Felony
-This is a beef that you MIGHT not remember, but Jay was taking shots left and right at the West Coast MC who was targeting Jay for beef. From the "I'll wear more blind to the Source and Soul Train, more chains and rings, niggas won't do a thing" line on his "Change The Game" track to the "Jayo you not a felon, you a misdemeanor" line as well. Jayo had a few disses to Jay as well, none of which really hit the mark enough. Jay clearly won this beef, but it was interesting to see Jay engage with a West Coast MC in beef.

The Slept On Beefs
These are the hip hop beefs that might have been forgotten by some of the fans of today or just went slept on in a way.

*The Game vs Joe Budden
-Surprisingly enough, this was a beef that showed Game and Joe both taking it back to the essence. Joe is a bit corny for acting as if the G-Unit line he spit on a Clue freestyle was a shoutout, but we know he's a bit sarcastic and that's exactly what was the case here. Game went at his neck with a dope diss that had a really weird hook, but when Budden replied, it was concise and pretty dope. I'd say Budden edged the beef, but I think many of us hoped that Banks and Budden would be the ones to clash. All is well now, but in 2004, Game and Budden went at it during one hot summer.

*50 Cent vs Rick Ross
-This is a sort of vicious beef, but truth be told, I'm of the belief that 50 won the battle music wise. It is no denying the fact that Ross got bigger as a result of this beef, but when you look at 50 flying his kids out to his house, the issues with Ross' baby mama, Gunplay getting his chain took, and the hilarious track "Tia Told Me", which was the better diss track out of all the tracks that were shared between both MCs. Lloyd Banks actually has the best diss track of the whole beef, but despite all the losses that Ross and company took in this beef, Ross came out looking like the victor. It's weird because 50 legit did Ross bad and had slightly better tracks, but the momentum that Ross had really just overrode anything 50 could did. It's probably one of the wildest hip hop beefs I have witnessed, but it helped elevate Ross to a different level.

*DMX vs Ja Rule
-I loved seeing this beef because it came around the same time the 50 vs Ja beef came about and it was hilarious. Ja never really took many shots back at him aside from a few lines, but DMX had been dissing Ja for quite some time. Ja was seen as stealing his style and of course, Z didn't take kindly to that, so he went hard in multiple songs over the years. The beef has since been squashed, but if you want the first official diss track that set it off, check the 2000 release "Do You", which felt uncomfortably about Ja, though the first official shot could be seen as fired on X's 2nd album.

*Royce Da 5'9 vs D-12
-A beef that seemed imminent once there was a bit of separation between Eminem and Royce, this beef was a huge issue in Detroit. The diss tracks exchanged weren't necessarily  the best, but it was a vicious beef that saw each party make threats outside of music too because they all live in the same place. Would Royce and D-12 cross paths? They would and things would eventually die down some and officially be squashed after the unfortunate death of Proof. The best track from that whole beef was Royce and his "Malcolm X" track. It was a stinging diss and a dope track in general and a memorable diss.

*CNN vs Tha Dogg Pound
-Lost a bit in the shuffle of the 2Pac storm is the two diss records traded between the NY duo CNN and the West Coast juggernauts Tha Dogg Pound. In what would later be seen as one of the more disrespectful moments in hip hop, Snoop Dogg was seen kicking over the Towers and NY buildings in the video for "NY, NY", a song that seemingly drew the lines in the sand for the beef. CNN would later respond with "LA, LA", and set the beef on fire, but after the deaths of Big and Pac, the beef between both the East and West seemingly died down, effectively ending this feud.

*Eminem vs Benzino 
-This eventually turned into XXL vs The Source, but sort of got lost in the shuffle with the 50 vs Ja situation. Plus, Benzino wasn't the best rapper. He made a few songs that painted Eminem as a true culture vulture and while there may have been some truth to his words, there was no way you could beat Eminem in a rap battle without a real lyricist and Benzino was not that. Benzino had a solid diss with "Die Another Day" and found a tape of Eminem using the N-word (the hard ER version of the word), and released it. While this seemed to make some black fans (myself included) not really listen or enjoy Em the same, the fact remains that Em killed Benzino on "The Sauce" and more so on "Nail In the Coffin".

*Three 6 Mafia vs Bone Thugs N Harmony 
-Bone Thugs had feuds with Twista and Crucial Conflict at the time, but Bone Thugs were a wild young group at the time and they weren't looking to back down from anyone. Three 6 didn't seem to really like or have love for Bone Thugs, like many Memphis artists apparently. Three 6 felt that Bone had stolen their style and vibe, and let it be known through the stinging diss "Live By Yo Rep". Bone replied in multiple songs, but Bizzy laid down a gauntlet with his verse on "Notorious Thugs" with the Triple 6 reference and more. There was no clear cut winner in this one, but I think it's interesting to see two groups like this go at each other.

*T.I. vs Ludacris
-This beef is one of my personal favorites because it seemed to be a clear misunderstanding. The biggest moment in this beef came when they both were featured on the Young Buck record "Stomp" and T.I. took a shot at Luda by his name. Luda responded with a scathing response and it seemed as if the beef would get even bigger, but it was soon squashed. There are rumors that the tension flared up again afterwards, but nothing was ever direct and both men squashed their beef and seem to be cordial now.

*Snoop Dogg and Daz vs Suge Knight, Kurupt and Death Row 
-Two things came out of this whole issue: The reunion of Dogg Pound and a diss record titled "Pimp Slapp'd" from Snoop. After Suge got out of jail, he signed Kurupt back to Death Row, which many people felt was honestly the weirdest thing ever considering the issue at hand. Daz and Snoop and Nate Dogg seemed to be firmly against Suge and Death Row and after a weird period, the Dogg Pound would reunite. Suge would end up not able to resurrect Death Row and Kurupt would end up leaving, as would every other artist working with Death Row. The diss record from Snoop was one of the most honest and direct and when he said "Suge Knight's a bitch and that's on my life", you knew the beef was real as they come.

*Kurupt vs DMX, Ja Rule, Foxy Brown
-There's not many one sided beefs that really hit hard, but when Kurupt put out "Callin Out Names", he was out for blood and wanted retribution. He took shots at Irv Gotti, Ja, Xzibit, and more, but his main anger was directed at DMX and Foxy Brown for having an alleged affair. No one knows if that was really true, but we do know Kurupt was pissed and firing off. DMX seemingly replied on his next album with a few subliminal shots, but what is odd here is that X didn't really seem to want the smoke. It was a rare moment of humility from X to back away from a rap beef, but that could very well be because he knew it could spill over more. Still, a full fledged battle between X and Kurupt could have been DOPE.

*Common vs Drake
-A rap beef that was honestly weird in essence, it's really unknown what the true cause of this beef was. Both men seemed to be dating Serena Williams at the same time and that could be the likely reason for the beef. Common took aim at the soft singing style of Drake, and really let it be known he wasn't feeling his style on the 2011 track "Sweet". Drake would return fire on Rick Ross' "Stay Schemin" track and of course for this generation of fans, Drake seemingly got the win (he didn't honestly).  Common shot back with a verse over the "Stay Schemin" beat and hit Drake with the infamous "Canada Dry" line. To be honest, neither MC benefited from the beef, and it was squashed, but I edge it to Common for taking a shot and landing a shot on one of the most commercial and popular artists in the game at the time.

*Juvenile vs Lil Wayne and Birdman
-The break down of Cash Money was an interesting time. Juvenile left and seemed to not throw many shots besides the simple line here and there about not getting paid like he should have. Big Tymers decided to take a shot or two at Juve and then he decides to go hard. He released the mixtape 600 Degreez, which came after Wayne titled his 2002 album 500 Degreez, an obvious shot at Juve. Juve ended up taking the lyrical fight to Wayne and Baby, but Wayne and Baby never really fought back as much, aside from a few lines here and there. Juve eventually ended up back with Cash Money, but then decided to leave again, and a beef began shortly after again. This time, the beef seemed to get worse, until a tragic loss on Baby's end caused all Cash Money beef to be mostly squashed. Juve is apparently back with Cash Money now, so all seems to be well now.

The Lackluster Beefs
The feuds that really didn't do much for hip hop. The beefs that are laughable now when we look back. For some, these beefs might have been entertaining, but in reality, they were supremely lackluster. That includes two of the most recent high profile beefs as well. Let's examine.

*KRS-One vs Nelly
-I really never understood why KRS decided to go at Nelly aside from randomly feeling weird about someone saying "I'm tired of people talking about what's real hip hop", and then we witnessed KRS come at Nelly with a diss record that somehow missed the mark. Nelly responded on the "Roc The Mic" remix with a weak verse that called KRS "the first rapper who should get a rapper's pension", which I'm sure delighted Murphy Lee and Ali when he rapped those lines, but to most fans, it fell extremely short. This beef is one of those that doesn't need much discussion, it was pretty bad on both ends.

*Remy Ma vs Nicki Minaj
-Although Remy won the battle overall with "SHEther", this battle essentially sucks. The beef is weird because it seemed as if Nicki and Remy were cool, but both women have taken subliminal shots at each other, with Remy being a little more direct recently. Then Nicki put out a verse that really felt like it was directed towards Remy (after a Remy subliminal shot), and then Remy dropped the bomb. That won the beef for her musically, but Nicki is a commercial artist, so she flexed her muscle (which is corny) and stopped the Remy song from gaining too much more traction. Nicki did herself no favors when she dropped the awkward Drake and Wayne assisted track "No Frauds", which has the most ironic title ever. Her verse isn't terrible, but it just feels too little, too late and despite what these weirdo Nicki fans might think, she lost the battle. Even though the 2nd Remy track was pretty terrible, I still can't tip the favor in Nicki's favor. This beef was pretty boring in general, but Nicki lost musically. Pretty clearly. Yes, I know, big fans of Nicki, she has more money and fame and attention, but musically she lost the battle. She will likely win the war, but she lost the battle. Also, Nicki stans, please seek help.

*Das EFX vs Lords Of The Underground 
-I don't think this beef is one that many people remember or even have direct recollection of, but it happened. Das EFX and LOTU traded shots on songs, and it seemed as if the beef could have come to a physical meeting/fight, but it never happened. It's one of those forgotten beefs that absolutely had nothing to it, but is still funny to me so I mentioned it here.

*Meek Mill vs Cassidy
-Another one that was really one sided in a way, Meek took some shots at Cassidy and in essence, Cassidy fired back with some vicious lines. On the diss "R.A.I.D.", Cassidy took it to Meek with his usual brand of aggressive rap and punchlines, and in my opinion, won the beef. Meek however continued to flourish and reach bigger success, so in essence, you could say Meek won the beef similar to how Ross managed to lose his beef to 50 in the music/street sense, but his stature only rose higher in the beef, so he wins by this reason only.

*Lil Kim vs Nicki Minaj
-I mean.... how much worse could it get right? Nicki took shots at Kim. Kim took shots at Nicki. Both of them are models for bad plastic surgery. I don't know what their beef was really over, besides Nicki being too influenced by her without paying homage. Nicki is not one that is equipped for battle, and despite Kim having some decent lines in her diss tracks to Nicki, neither is she. This was a different Kim from the one who beefed with Foxy. This was a washed up Lil Kim, who resembled an older Asian woman. Nicki was just entering her commercial prime, so if I had to pick an overall winner, I'd say her, but Kim musically won this (though a whole mixtape dedicated to dissing her seems extreme).

*Nelly vs Chingy
-Another weird beef that started it seems from Nelly feeling some type of way about Chingy's success and not wanting to sign with Derrty Entertainment, Nelly's label. Chingy was smart to stand closer to Ludacris and DTP because in essence, he was going to be overshadowed by Nelly and his St Lunatics crew. Nelly saw Chingy as ungrateful when Chingy was only looking out for his own best interests. Regardless, this eventually turned into a beef when Nelly took a shot at Chingy on "Another One", and Chingy fired back. The beef seemingly spilled over into the St. Louis streets, but was stopped before anything got too bad. Chingy fell off and Nelly fell off in a big way, so it's safe to say the beef didn't benefit anyone.

*J. Cole vs Diggy Simmons
-If you ever wondered what a hilarious unnecessary beef looks like, direct your attention here. Diggy took offense to a line about his sisters from Cole and proceeded to make a diss record titled "Fall Down". The less said about this awkward beef the better, but Cole apparently took minor shots back at Diggy and that was the end of that. Any beef like this is going to essentially be terrible and this beef didn't do anything to dispel that notion.

*Soulja Boy vs Everyone
-Big Soulja has been one of the funniest yet saddest characters in the genre over the years. Every beef he's had from his falling out with Arab (no more passing it to Arab, no!!!!), to a brief beef with Ice T, to his hilarious beef with Lil Yachty, or the ridiculous Bow Wow beef (who could forget the Bow Wow video with his "goons" standing behind him), Big Soulja has truly pissed off a number of folks. His latest beef with Chris Brown is corny, much like any beef that would include Chris Brown (Drake vs Chris a prime example). Soulja needs to leave the beef alone and stick to.... I guess music? Or maybe venture into acting. He seems primed for that.

*Drake vs Meek Mill
-Sigh. Alright. I guess we have to talk about this beef. This is not a beef that should be included in the vicious beefs section because it really sucked. I know, I know, Drake won the beef, but nothing from this beef is noteworthy except the average disses from Drake with "Charged Up" and "Back To Back". If you're a big fan today of Drake, you might say this beef was one of the greatest and that Drake made a top 5 diss track ever. I'm praying for you and your hearing. Make no mistake, anytime you release a diss track as a single and it takes over radio and the charts, you usually win (Nicki just tried this strategy, but putting Drake and Wayne on the song really takes away from it). Once the hype has died down, we realize that Meek didn't make terrible disses, just that his disses didn't connect at the time. Drake was riding a wave of success and got attacked for ghostwriting claims by Meek via Twitter. Most people were already on Drake's side so whatever Meek did, it would have mattered. Still, Drake just had the better records, though neither track was THAT special. And please, don't respond with "if the track wasn't special, then why did it become a hit", because it becoming a hit has nothing to do with the actual quality of the diss. As a song, it's good, but as a diss, it's just enough to win a battle that Meek had no shot of winning anyways in the public opinion.

*Pusha T vs Lil Wayne & Drake 
-This is the most disappointing beef ever. Pusha had been taking shots for years at Wayne and many felt he was aiming at Wayne on "Mr. Me Too", and on the Re-Up Gang mixtapes. However, it officially came to a point when Pusha released the clear diss record "Exodus 23:1", a song that aimed at Wayne AND Drake. Wayne came with a record called "Goulish" but it was really horrible. The infamous "Fuck Pusha T and anybody who love em" is literally the only thing that resonates in terms of what Wayne said in this beef. It was uneventful, as most beefs involving Wayne tend to be, and we really haven't saw anything manifest since. Drake seemingly did take shots at Pusha in recent songs, but those shots fell flat considering they were a bit later than the initial Pusha disses.

Though I didn't mention every single beef ever, I think we discussed a large number of beefs that all make up the spectrum of hip hop beef. Hip hip was built on dope music and rhymes, but also the essence of the battle. Hip hop beef has always been prevalent and though it seems to be making a "comeback", only one can tell if we see direct shots or more subliminals. Time will tell.


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