Willie T. Plaza’s Top 5 Rap Diss Records of All Time
Alright, you’ve reviewed our writeup on the 5 Best Hip Hop Albums of All Time. Also, you took time out to peruse the Top 5 Rappers of All Time piece we did. Now, we’re going to get gritty and grimy! Here are our picks for the Top 5 Rap Diss Records of All Time.
We can hear y’all now … “Second Round K.O. no doubt!” “I know the Takeover gon make the list.” ” “Ain’t no list without The Bridge is Over…” “They probably forgot about that Beanie Sigel Jadakiss diss, though!” “I don’t know, The Story of Adidon was pretty serious…” “Yo, Biggie was on Pac’s a*s with Long Kiss Goodnight!” “MGK‘s Rap Devil did go hard as heck!” “LL got a few slappers too – To Da Break of Dawn, Momma Said Knock You Out, Jack the Ripper…”
Sheesh, leave it up to y’all and we won’t have enough joints to produce a list! All of those songs are adequate selections, however, for the 5 best diss songs ever we had to dig DEEP…deeper than we ever have before. And after shutting off the bulldozer, we finally unearthed the optimal tracks. So enjoy our Top 5 Rap Diss Records of All Time and don’t hesitate to bash us in the comments if you feel we didn’t hit the mark.
Dre Day (and Everybody’s Celebratin’) – Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg
First off, the video alone for this diss song is enough reason to place it #5 on our list of the Top 5 Rap Diss Records of All Time. No music video has ever embarrassed its intended target(s) like the video for “Dre Day (and Everybody’s Celebratin’).” When Eazy ran out of the warehouse and the armed gangsters chased him outside into a van is the most comical ish we’ve ever seen damn near!!! And wait, who’s the dude impersonating Luke? Hahaha, it’s too much to handle! The video’s classic to the point where Snoop Dogg doesn’t even have his trademark braids/perm yet! And, the ‘Will Rap For Food’ sign soundly spreads the icing on the cake. By far, this is the best diss track music video ever released.
We picked this song and the four others on this list for one crucial reason – because of how bad the blood was. Some rap battles were merely that, rap battles; others were consumed with genuine, deep abhorrence. At the time “Dre Day (and Everybody’s Celebratin’)” dropped, Dr. Dre sincerely couldn’t stand Eazy-E! Dre’s primary issue with Eazy was his loyalty to Jerry Heller over N.W.A. Dre even asked Eazy to release him from Ruthless Records, however, Eazy refused. After Suge Knight slipped Eazy a piece of paper that included Eazy’s mother’s home address, informing him, “I know where your mama stays,” at long last, Eazy signed Dre’s release papers. Yes, as you see, the quarrel was much thicker than contemptuous lyrics! And to throw salt in the wound, after Eazy passed away from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, Dre did not attend his funeral.
Now you amply grasp why “Dre Day (and Everybody’s Celebratin’)” occupies this list. It gets better though…check out below what we have at #4.
No Vaseline – Ice Cube
After watching the above clip, we really don’t have to explain to you why Ice Cube‘s “No Vaseline” made our list of the Top 5 Rap Diss Records of All Time … but, we will anyway! Wait, first though—the hell was Jerry Heller talking about when he said they were going to sue Cube for anti-Semitism!? Hahaha! He was off his rocker for that. Though, that’s how much Cube got under Heller and N.W.A.’s skin when he unveiled his comeback diss track. See, it’s one thing to ravage a single emcee on a record…however, it’s something else when you decimate an entire clique with a song! “No Vaseline” is indisputable – the beat kicks ferociously, the chorus is straightforward yet injurious, and the lyrics hit harder than Ip Man after they shot his boy in the dojo! You saw DJ Yella‘s reaction…he seamlessly conceded that Cube smashed them to bits! N*ggaz Wit Attitudes knew Cube could spit, but they had no idea until “No Vaseline” just how virulent and bloodcurdling Cube really was.
Now, why did Dr. Dre refer to Ice Cube as “Benedict Arnold” on “Real N*ggaz“? If you’re not aware, it’s because Cube “turned his back on the group” and left N.W.A. due to royalty issues. Between 1988-1989, Cube began to notice how Eazy-E and Heller were living a luxe lifestyle while he and the group were living like serfs. Having exclusively written roughly fifty percent of the lyrics on Straight Outta Compton, Cube had a feeling he was not receiving an equitable share of the profits. Every time Cube approached Heller and Eazy with inquiries about his royalties, the pair furnished him with shadowy answers and fast-talk. Cube ultimately filed a lawsuit against Heller which was settled out of court. Finally, in December 1989, Cube left N.W.A.
As merciless as “No Vaseline” is, the diss track we’ve listed below at #3 is even more unforgiving.
Back Down – 50 Cent
“It’s been years and you had the same n*ggas in the background, you never gonna sell Mitsubishi Tah or Black Child; Them n*ggas dead, they just suck, they no good, I ain’t never heard a n*gga say they like them in the hood…” C’mon, everybody was like “word!” when 50 said that because it transcended the truth! “Back Down” is perhaps the only diss song that literally ended the opposing MC’s career. For one, Dr. Dre produced the instrumental – need we say more. Two, the song’s hook wield some of the thorniest bars we’ve ever heard … “It’s easy to see when you look at me, if you look closely 50 don’t back down! Everywhere I go both coasts with toast, Eastside, Westside, I hold that Mac down! Every little n*gga you see around me hold a gun big enough to f*cking hold Shaq down! Next time you in the hood and see an O.G, you ask about me, the young boy don’t back down!” Then, there are the lyrics. “Maybe I’m so disrespectful ’cause to me you’re a mystery, I know n*ggas from ya hood, you have no history—never poked nothing, never popped nothing, n*gga stop fronting!” On one song, 50 Cent stripped Ja Rule of his street cred, his G-pass, and his revered position in the music business. Man, talk about killing three birds with one stone!
Ja and 50 conceivably have the second most vehement beef in rap history. According to 50, their feud began in 1999 after Ja was robbed for his diamond chain at gunpoint while filming a music video. On a later date, Ja spotted 50 with the man who robbed him at a club and was livid. Ja, on the other hand, confirmed the robbery happened but refuted he ever saw 50 with the robber; he says that the strife emanated from 50 being shunned by Murder Inc. during a video shoot for his song “Murda 4 Life.” Months later, Ja and 50 got into a physical altercation at a nightclub in Atlanta. Then in March 2000, Ja and his goons decided to pay 50 a visit while he was recording at The Hit Factory; in the midst of the fracas, 50 suffered a stab wound, and Black Child and Ja were both arrested. From there, an all-out war ensued with 50 going for Ja’s throat on numerous records (e.g. Your Life’s on the Line, Wanksta, Cross My Path, etc.) while Ja released diss tracks of his own.
50 Cent and Ja Rule’s beef exceeded hip hop’s domain and blood was actually spilled. And even though the two rappers talk smack to each other via social media to this day, “Back Down” put the nail in Ja’s coffin and publicly concluded their music dustup. We know, “If that’s the case, what diss song can top “Back Down“?” Check out #2 yourself below.
Ether – Nas
Okay, before you call us out, we know we said previously: “And though Nas struck back fiercely with “Ether,” many say there were various falsehoods in the record which by default makes Hov victor of the bout.” One-on-one, we still say Jay Z won the rap battle between him and Nas with Takeover. However, when it comes to their diss records’ impact on hip hop culture, “Ether” beyond question had more shock appeal and drove hip hop heads battier — and that’s why it sits at #2 on our list of the Top 5 Rap Diss Records of All Time. “When these streets keep calling, heard it when I was sleep, that this Gay-Z and Cockafella Records wanted beef; Started cocking up my weapons, slowly loading up this ammo, to explode it on a camel, and his soldiers I can handle…” Such lines had all listeners tripping to the max degree. “You a fan, a phony, a fake, a p*ssy, a Stan, I still whip your a*s, you 36 in a karate class? You Tae-bo hoe…” Unrelenting Nas was. “Foxy got you hot ’cause you kept your face in her pu*s, what you think, you getting girls now ’cause of your looks? Ne-gro, please! You no mustache having, with whiskers like a rat, compared to Beans you wack…” We could go on forever and a day.
When Jay got at Nas on The Blueprint, it appeared as if the diss came out of left field. Yet, the hip hop artists’ beef essentially started in 1999. Strikingly, Memphis Bleek is the one that lit the fuse on Nas and Jay’s quarrel. Bleek’s track “Memphis Bleek Is” appeared to simulate Nas’ “Nas is Like.” On the same album, Bleek sent an indirect shot at Nas again on “What You Think of That“: “My whole team rock rocks, we don’t speak to cats/I’ma ball till I fall what you think of that?” Later, Nas cites the bar and Bleek’s trademark slanted fitted cap. On “Nastradamus,” Nas quipped: “You wanna ball till you fall, I can help you with that/You want beef? I could let a slug melt in your hat…” Bleek fired back at Nas on “Mind Right” with: “It’s beef I’ma see you and bang till you hang up; Your life a lie, but here’s the truth, you ain’t hype to die, but you hype to shoot…” Following, Nas throws a jab at Jay on “We Will Survive” while addressing the late Tupac Shakur and Notorious BIG: “It used to be fun, making records to see your response, but, now competition is none, now that you’re gone, and these n*ggas is wrong; Using your name in vain, and they claim to be New York’s king? It ain’t about that…” Two years later, Nas and Jay finally hopped in the ring and duked it out in front of the world.
Thanks to “Ether,” Nas and Jay Z embroiled in arguably the greatest rap battle in hip hop history. All the same, there’s one more diss song out there that trumps Nas’ shattering solo.
Hit ‘Em Up – Tupac Shakur
Surprised? Of course, you’re not. “Hit ‘Em Up” is so savage, so ardent, so disdainful that we had no choice but it to place it at #1 on our Top 5 Rap Diss Records of All Time list. “Grab ya glocks when you see Tupac, call the cops, when you see Tupac, uh; Who shot me, but ya punks didn’t finish, now ya bout to feel the wrath of a menace…” Like, who says that!? Tupac, that’s who. “Lil’ Ceaser, go ask ya homie how I leave ya, cut your young a*s up, leave you in pieces, now be deceased; Lil’ Kim, don’t f*ck around with real G’s, quick to snatch yo’ ugly a*s off the streets, so f*ck peace…” Pac was truly hellbent when he recorded this song. “All of y’all motherf*ckers, f*ck you, die slow motherf*cker, my .44 make sure all y’all kids don’t grow!” Once a rapper threatens to slay your children (like 50 did to Ja) than it’s not rapping anymore…it’s a declaration of war.
If you saw Notorious or watched the above clip, you truly witness how much “Hit ‘Em Up” got underneath The Notorious B.I.G.’s skin. Biggie wasn’t playing any games when he busted up in Faith‘s hotel room! Tupac and Biggie undeniably had the deadliest beef in hip hop history, with both rappers losing their lives while in their early 20’s. Looking back, we wish the two could have just shaken hands and buried the hatchet…but, it is what it is. At least we have “Hit ‘Em Up” to remind us of how skilled and bestial Tupac Shakur really was.
Thank you for reading our list of the Top 5 Rap Diss Records of All Time. Now, go smoke sumptin’ and share this with the other hip-hop heads in your circle!
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