The list: The biggest hip-hop rivalries
Feuds in hip-hop are as common as cowboy boots in country music. Disputes fuel the industry as artists consistently write songs criticizing one-another. These arguments, or “beefs” as they are often referred, serve as a sort of inspiration leading to one venomous “diss” song after another. The bigger the feud, the higher the album sales it seems. In the ‘90s, fans even joined in on the contention as they divided themselves as East Coast or West Coast hip-hop enthusiasts.
Many believe the genre’s early ties to gang violence are to blame for the perpetual conflicts, while others think it’s all for show. Whether it’s full-blown disdain, or simply a publicity stunt, we can all agree that hip-hop artists have a way of capturing the media’s attention.
From Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. to Nicki Minaj and Lil’ Kim, most rappers have an arch enemy and some have more than one. Inspired by the recent brawl between Chris Brown and Frank Ocean, we have compiled a list of the biggest disputes in history of the genre.
Tupac Shakur. vs. The Notorious B.I.G.
The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac died as martyrs in the hip-hop world when the East Coast vs. West Coast fued reached its boiling point. It all started when Tupac was robbed and shot in the lobby of a Manhattan recording studio in 1994. Pac blamed Biggy and Puff Daddy for orchestrating the robbery.
The beef was never squashed as the two rappers were soon murdered in drive by shootings within six months of each other.
50 Cent vs. The Game
When The Game signed on to Aftermath Entertainment in 2003, it was arranged that he would join 50 Cent’s hip–hop group G- Unit. Tempers flared throughout their collaboration escalating when 50 Cent publicly dismissed The Game from the group. Later that night, a member of Game’s entourage was shot in the leg when he tried to force entry into a party.
Despite a press conference claiming reconciliation, the conflict persisted when G-Unit posted a cover of The Game’s head on the body of a male stripper for the “Hate It or Love It” mixtape, as a response to The Game displaying pictures of G-Unit dressed as The Village People. Ten years later, both artists are still releasing songs trash talking one another.
50 Cent vs. Ja Rule
50 Cent and Ja Rule partook in one of the most violent rivalries since Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.. The Feud started in 2000 when Ja Rule accused 50 Cent of stealing his jewelry. Shortly thereafter while at his recording studio, 50 Cent had an altercation with a Murder Inc. associate (Ja Rule’s recording label) after which, 50 was treated for a stab wound. The rapper responsible for the stabbing claims he thought 50 Cent had a gun.
Eleven years later, Ja Rule claimed the two had reconciled stating, “We don’t gotta go to war, but we’re not friends either.”
Lil’ Kim vs. Faith Evans
The feud between Lil’ Kim and Faith Evans started when Evans caught Kim in bed with her late husband, The Notorious B.I.G.. Evans wrote about her feud with Kim in her book “Keeping the Faith” and it was also alluded to in Biggie’s biopic “Notorious.”
Lil’ Kim is no stranger to beef and this is one of many other feuds she has had with fellow female recording artists.
Nas vs. Jay-Z
The Jay-Z and Nas feud started during the early 2000s and was one of the biggest hip hop rivalries in music history. It has been said that Jay-Z started the beef and that it was a feud of New York rapper supremacy.The feud was characterized by comments and diss songs from both. In 2001, Jay-Z released his album “The Blueprint” with his diss song to Nas, titled “Takeover”. In the song, Jay-Z calls Nas ‘fake’ and describes his career as ‘lame’ and lyrically weak. Nas responded with his own diss track “Ether” which blasted Jay-Z for brown-nosing other rappers.
Both rappers continued the feud by releasing diss songs back and forth for the next few years. The pair eventually made amends in 2005 and have since then performed two tracks together, including “Dead Presidents” and “Black Republican”.
Lil’ Kim vs. Nicki Minaj
It seems Lil’ Kim has had issues with an abundance of other female rappers including Foxy Brown, Eve, Faith Evans, Remy Ma and Chali Baltimore. Her most recent squabble with Nicki Minaj began when the rapper emerged on the music scene in 2009. Minaj was accused of copying Lil’ Kim’s style and disrespecting her in her songs. Early in her career, Minaj even covered some of Lil’ Kim’s songs.
Both artists have recorded songs dissing one another. While Lil’ Kim claims she only wants respect from the new rapper, it’s hard to imagine the two will ever truly get along.
R. Kelly vs. Jay-Z
The two artists were allegedly fraught with conflict during their combined tour, “Best of Both Worlds” in 2004 which promoted the album of the same name. The tour was tense from day one and came to a head at Madison Square Gardens when R. Kelly paused his set after he claimed to have seen two audience members with weapons. Upon returning to the stage he alleges that he was attacked by a member of Jay-Z’s crew with pepper spray. R. Kelly later filed a $90 million lawsuit over lost earnings and the pepper spray incident when he was kicked off the tour.
Soulja Boy vs. Ice T
In 2008 in a mixed tape, rapper Ice T blamed such artists as Soulja Boy for “killing hip- hop” calling his song “Crank That”, garbage. The rapper asserted that “new school” rappers don’t rap about issues with substance, instead they just rely on the beat to earn listeners. Soulja Boy posted a Youtube video shortly there after calling Ice T old and out of touch, he claimed he was surprised that Ice T even knew how to use the internet.
Chris Brown vs. Frank Ocean
Chris Brown and Frank Ocean became violent on Jan. 26 when Brown was leaving the recording studio that evening. Sources stated that Ocean blocked the exit, claiming that Brown was in his parking spot. When Brown allegedly went to shake hands with Ocean, a member of Ocean’s entourage punched Brown, resulting in a full-blown brawl.
This is not the first conflict between the two artists, however, as they partook in a Twitter feud back in 2011 in which Brown insulted Ocean’s music. With his extensive history of violence we can only hope that Brown will soon seek treatment for his aggression.
N.W.A. vs Eazy-E
When Jerry Heller took over as manager of N.W.A., he appeared to the rest of the group to be showing preferential treatment to Eazy-E. Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, DJ Yella, DC Rem (not pictured) and Arabian Prince (not pictured) had multiple confrontations with Heller asking to be released from the record label, when he refused, violent threats were issued back and forth between the members and their respective families.
The group’s feud resulted in diss songs such as Dre’s “Dre Day” and Eazy’s “It’s on”. The rivalry continued for years until Eazy-E made amends with the members of N.W.A. shortly before he died of AIDS in March of 1995.