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Insane Backstories of the Most Famous Rap Disses

Rap battles are nothing new. It's always been fun to hear other musicians be torn apart by lyrics, waiting with anticipation for a response. It is even satisfying when it is one of your favorite rappers seeing clear victory. Most recently, reactions to the diss tracks between Meek Mill and Drake have made their way into everyone's social media feeds somehow and have been referenced ever since. Here are a few known diss tracks from feuding rappers that have used the art of diss as a weapon. 

  • 5

    That Time Jay-Z Said He Slept With Nas's Wife

    Video: YouTube

    Song: "Takeover" (2001)
    Artist: Jay-Z 
    Dissing: Nas
    4 albums in 10 years, n***a? I could divide
    That's one every... let's say 2,
    2 of them s***s was due
    1 was - "nah," the other was Illmatic
    That's a one-hot-album-every-10-year average
    And that's so (lame)
    N***a, switch up your flow
    Your s**t is garbage
    What you trying to kick, knowledge?

    After The Notorious B.I.G.'s death, it was clear that somebody had to wear his crown, and the best candidates were Nas and Jay-Z. Although both artists had recorded disses to each other prior to "Takeover," it was this song that made the rivalry public.

    In Takedown," Jay breaks down why Nas was not worth being the next "King of New York." In his song, Jay describes how he has been in the industry for less time than Nas, yet has obtained more success than him.  He does the math and comes to the conclusion that Nas has a record hit every 10 years, is a sell out, and is a fake conscious rapper. As if that was not enough, Jay hints at an affair he had with Nas's wife... which turned out to be true! Yikes.
  • 6

    When Nas Called Jay-Z Gay

    Video: YouTube

    Song: "Ether" (2001)
    Artist: Nas
    Dissing: Jay-Z

    Ask me if I'm tryna' kick knowledge?
    Nah, I'm tryna' kick the s**t you need to learn though
    That ether, that shit that made your soul burn slow
    Is he Dame Diddy, Dame Daddy or Dame Dummy?
    Oh, I get it, you Biggie and he's Puffy
    Rockafeller died of AIDS, that was the end of his chapter
    And that's the guy y'all chose to name your company after?
    Put it together, I rock h**s, y'all rock fellas

    "Takeover" might have made it appear like Jay-Z ended Nas's career but instead, it revitalized it. When asked why he named the song Ether, Nas responded, "I was told a long time ago, ghosts and spirits don't like the fumes from ether, and I just wanted to affect him with my weapon and get to his soul," which is sort of what he did.

    In this response, Nas destroyed Jay's ego as he attacked every possible vulnerability. He calls Jay and Roc-A-Fella Records (Jay's record label) "Gay-Z" and "Cock-A-Fella Records" and then mocks him for naming his record label after a man that died of AIDS. He calls Jay ugly for having big lips and recalls an embarrassing moment in 1988 when Jay was being chased in his building and called Nas for help, even though Nas had not shared his number nor did he know young Jay well enough. 

    He ends the song with a verse full of sympathy, sharing that he saw Jay as a brother, but now only as a sell out that copies Biggie. 

    Jay-Z followed up with a song called "Supa Ugly," in which he admitted how ugly he was but how he did not care because Nas's wife still wanted to sleep with him.

    Up to this day, fans still debate about which rapper had the better diss, most choosing Nas. However, the two rappers have put the feud behind them and have even collaborated on songs together.

  • 7

    When Eminem Asked Benzino Why He Stopped Selling Drugs If He Sucked at Rapping

    Video: YouTube

    Song: "Nail in the Coffin" (2003)
    Artist: Eminem
    Dissing: Benzino

    If you was really sellin' coke, well then what the f**k
    You stop for, dummy? If you slew some crack
    You'd make a lot more money than you do from rap
    You'll never had no security, you'll never be famous
    You'l never now what its like to be rich; life's a b***h ain't it?

    After being called a "2003 Vanilla Ice" by The Source contributor, Ray Benzino, Eminem went through various means to end Benzino's career, starting through the traditional way, a rap diss. 

    Benzino saw Eminem as the industry's way of popularizing hip-hop and making it more nonexclusive and mainstream. The rivalry started when Benzino freestyled a rap that dissed Eminem in the last two lines. Eminem dissed him back on a radio interview and Benzino responded with "Pull Your Skirt Up," where he made the Vanilla Ice comment and thoroughly dissed everything about Eminem and even threatened him with physical violence. A month later, Eminem released a mixtape, The Invasion, with four tracks addressing the feud, one of them being "Nail in the Coffin." 

    In "Nail in the Coffin," Eminem portrays Benzino as a living joke that raps about a dangerous lifestyle that he does not have. Also, Eminem shows a lot of confusion as to why Benzino chooses to rap when he does not profit enough from it. The feud would eventually create a strain between The Source and parts of the rap industry as Eminem has close relationships with rappers such as Dr. Dre and 50 Cent.
  • 8

    When Common Told Ice Cube to Stick to Acting

    Video: YouTube

    Song: "The Bitch in Yoo" (1997)
    Artist: Common
    Dissing: Ice Cube

    Rap career is over, better off acting
    What trouble I see, you're managing WC and Wack 10
    You backed in to a four corner hustla
    Lying on your d**k, said you was f****n her
    Use Higher Learning, don't take my words out of text
    Went from gangsta to Islam to the d**k of Das EFX
    It'll take the Nation of Millions to Hold Me Back
    From giving you mouth shots or hit wit the pipe Ralph got
    Chris Tucker ain't around, it's your Friday, it was good
    I wasn't salty, she was wit the Boyz N the hood

    Common released a track called "I Used to Love H.E.R.," where he criticizes rap's inclination towards gangsta rap. The track contained a reference to Ice Cube's film, Boyz n the Hood, which caused Ice Cube to take the song as an insult. Ice Cube, along with West Side Connection, responded with "Westside Slaughterhouse." However, it it did not matter what Ice Cube had to say because Common savagely dissed him on "The Bitch in Yoo."

    This diss track showed the side of Common that people were not accustomed to, one that knew how to battle rap. The track regained respect for Common as a rapper and steered away many rappers from messing with him (although Drake recently tried and failed.)

    No bad blood was left behind as Ice Cube and Common are friends now and are even starring together in Ice Cube's next installment for the Barbershop franchise, Barbershop: The Next Cut.