While Biggie wrote about the extreme in What’s Beef?, luckily, most artist beefs just bless us with some monster dis tracks. As long as there have been hip hop artists, there have been hip hop artists that don’t like each other. This can make for some extremely entertaining lyrical battles. It can also lead to some career failures. Who’s got the greatest dis tracks? Let’s look at some of my favorite.
Hit ‘Em Up– 2Pac
Hard to talk about this subject without the ultimate beef. Biggie and 2Pac. East Coast/West Coast at its finest. While Biggie never really came out with a direct dis song to Pac’s Hit ‘Em Up, there are some that feel that Who Shot Ya? Was directed at Pac. I had heard that song was already recorded before their beef got turned all the way up though. Pac has never had any issue voicing his opinion and on this track, he took direct shots at, not just Biggie, but Puff Daddy and whole Bad Boy crew. Starting off the song with these direct lyrics at Biggie “First off, f*** your b*** and the clique you claim West side when we ride, come equipped with game. You Claim to be a player, but I f***ed your wife, we bust on Bad Boys, n****s f***ed for life” These lyrics go right at the heart of whether 2Pac and Faith Evans (Biggie’s wife) had a relationship. That’s just one aspect of this song and the shots just keep coming and coming after that. Pac features the Outlawz on this track as well, letting them get their digs in. One serious song, in my opinion.
Second Round K.O.– Canibus
The beef between Canibus and LL Cool J all stems from from L’s song 4, 3, 2, 1. The story goes that L invited Canibus to be on the track. Canibus was a new and upcoming artist at the time while L had already been in the game for a grip. One of Canibus’s rhymes included “L, is that a mic on your arm, let me borrow that”. L didn’t take too kindly to that remark and insisted that Canibus re-write his verse. Once the track was released, Canibus was completely removed from the song, and only featured on the remix version. L’s verse though, had a shot back at him with the verse “the symbol on my arm is off limits to challengers. You hold the rusty swords, I swing the Excalibur. How dare you step up in my dimension. You’re little ass should be somewhere cryin’ in detention.” Bus did not take kindly to this and proceeded to lay down a track that, in my opinion, demolished L. Going after his reputation, about him lying about being drug free and the fact that he was a wack MC for changing his lyrics after hearing what Canibus had originally wrote.
No Vaseline– Ice Cube
After Cube left, the then infamous NWA, Eazy-E and the remaining NWA members started firing shots at Cube for leaving. It didn’t take long for Cube to respond with his own dedicated track. Cube left the group after a financial dispute which royally pissed Eazy off. Once NWA started, Cube released this track that took shots at every single member of NWA as well as their manager. This track got Cube in a lot of heat with critics and civil rights activists due to its graphic nature but from the stance of completely demolishing your opponent, he was the victor, hands down. My favorite verse in this song? “I never had dinner with the president, I never had dinner with the president, I never had dinner with the president, and when I see your ass again, I’ll be hesitant. Now I think you a snitch, throw a house n**** in a ditch, half-pint b****, f***ing your homeboys, you little maggot, Eazy E turned faggot.” The whole song is littered with straight blow after blow from Cube.
Out of the three above, the one that hurts the most is Second Round K.O. Even though I feel Canibus destroyed LL Cool J on that track, in ultimately ended his career. LL’s fame and money, at the time, just was too much for Bus to overcome, which is a shame. Bus had some amazing lyrics in his other songs. A career ended too soon, in my opinion.