“Bangin’ On Wax (Chapter 3)”
By: L. Migraine
…WHOO! Unless you’ve been under a rock, buried under paperwork, or in a state of don’t really give a damn: the Hip Hop Beef Gods channeled (some of) their energy into Remy Ma and we got “ShEther”. Granted it wasn’t THE best thing diss-related (I mean, you REALLY have to be feeling yourself to take on “Ether” to go at a cookie-cutter truffle butter chump like Nicki Minaj, but several reserve bars, Vines, ‘Grams, FB posts, etc. for exes who ain’t really concerned with their antics so *kanye shrug*)
…but LIKE “Ether”…it was just brutal, rude, unnecessary. And in this world of Canada Dry subliminals and OG legends co-signing absolute TRASH…we needed this. OF course, this did come at the tail end of Black History Month, and the hotep Shea Butter and Incense Twitter fiends talmbout Queens disrespecting Queens (and there was that silly Javale McGee vs. Shaq thing…oy), so…eh. That’s a whole ‘nother story for a whole ‘nother day.
Hip hop has ALWAYS been about proving who is the best, who is the baddest (and a few 80s-90s adjectives like freshest, dopest, and all that), and sometimes you just gotta let ‘em know who is boss. Sometimes the disses just get silly (I don’t know what in the world Tim Dogg was thinking with “Eff Compton”, or why Uncle Luke thought it necessary to go after Kid “N’ Play), or they fly right underneath our noses (Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s “Art of War” album was practically a diss album to Do or Die, Crucial Conflict, Twista…the whole Midwest that didn’t include St. Clair & E. 99 Cleveland, Ohio)…or they leave us speculating/suggesting this is what caused dude to snap (I’ll stand by Biggie’s “Who Shot Ya” not being a good look for what happened to Pac that fateful night outside the Bad Boy studio). But outside the antics and gimmicks, we sometimes get some classic material that keeps us talking for years.
What is about to follow is MY (AOL KEYWORD MY) top 10 list of memorable disses. I really don’t care about your list, so save it for a Complex FB post. You won’t see anything Drake-related (Twitter fingers really turned into “Is this ish serious” fingers), let alone anything related to this current-era of hip hop/rap. And I do not, absolutely DO NOT respect 50 Cent enough to consider his beefs and/or disses. So without further adieu, let’s get into a few Honorable Mentions.
1. Illegal vs. Kris Kross/ABC/Da Youngstas: Man, listen: I was a good kid mad in a city listening to Kris Kross, ABC, and Da Youngstas (“Crewz Pop” is still my jam to this day). As a kid, you don’t really know what in the hell you’re listening to…so imagine my surprise 20-something odd years later that a duo co-signed by Eric Sermon really had it in for their pre-teen counterparts! If you get the chance, look up “We Getz Buzy” by Illegal. Wouldn’t want to catch these lil’ dudes outside…
2. Ludacris- “War Wit God”: It’s a diss song primarily directed toward Chingy (yeah, that Chingy over thurr). But it’s Luda who, save for a few hits and misses, can still make you feel pretty damned horrible about yourself.
3. Young Buck- “Stomp”: Well…this wasn’t supposed to be a diss record, but when you throw one artist on the record, with another artist who doesn’t like the other artist coming in for the co-sign, it’s going to get interesting. So interesting Game had to step in and replace folks. I’m glad T.I. (“Me getting beat down- that’s ludicrous!”) and Luda (“So please, stay off the T.I.P. of my dihhh!”) deaded the beef, ‘cause that would’ve been uglier than it was.
4. Jay-Z- “Dear Summer”: Jay’s my favorite emcee. I don’t rock (pun intended) with EVERYTHING he’s done, but Shawn Corey Carter’s alright with me. But he’s very subliminal with a lot of his disses, and “Dear Summer” is no exception. Ask Game and Dame, they don’t want it with Hov…NOOOOO!
5. Anyone who dared vs. Roxanne Shante and MC Lyte- I’m mentioning these two ladies ‘cause this is hip hop. Dissing is hip hop. Roxanne MIGHT be a fraud, but she held it down against BDP and UTFO (that was real rude, KRS…talmbout ol’ girl is only good for steady loving). Lyte, on the other hand…it’s MC Lyte. Hot damn, hoe, here we go again…indeed.
And now, the moment we are all here for: MY top 10 memorable disses (NO ORDER…kinda):
#10. “The Bridge Wars” (MC Shan , Marley Marl, & Juice Crew vs. KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions)- …you CANNOT claim hip hop head status if you don’t have some sort of knowledge about this beef. Queensbridge vs. South Bronx as the birthplace of hip hop, with The Teacha on the other end of the mic? Lil’ fat kid from “Why the eff you didn’t eat it cold” video pose. I might have been a youngster when all this was going, but best believe I happened upon it at a later age.
#9. Three-6 Mafia vs. Playa Fly (“Triple B***h Mafia”, “Gotcha Shakin’”)- I’m from the South. Tennessee, to be exact. North East TN, to be even more exact. Bristol, TN, down the street from Fairmount Elementary and parallel to where former UT Lady Vol (and minuswell be my first crush) Courtney McDaniel grew up…to be Google Maps Street View exact. Long story short…I was a LOOOONNNNGG way from Memphis. I eventually made it there for a summer academic program (gangster nerd right here, folks. Catch me…nah, nevermind) and my first year of college…but NOT before my White brother from another mother introduced me to Three-6 (and No Limit and pre-Young Money Cash Money). Man, what fresh hell am I listening to was going through my mind at the time, but I couldn’t get enough. It wasn’t until years later that (during my UT days) I was riding around with the big homey Dustin and he played “Triple B***h Mafia” and “Gotcha Shakin’”. There’s probably more diss tracks (and more artists, like Tommy Wright III, Kingpin Skinny Pimp, Yo Gotti, etc.), but I’ll always remember when Playa Fly decided to go against the dih that fed him 😉
#8. Ice Cube/Westside Connection vs. Common (“The B***h In Yoo”, “Westside Slaughterhouse”)- I’m MAINLY including this because throughout hip hop and her disses, there’s usually a strong element of, excuse my language, bitchassness and unnecessary extra behavior. Pac did it (you might even say Pac’s the king of it), everyone who took offense to Kendrick on “Control” did it, and Ice Cube REALLY did it. A man with common sense would’ve realized Common wasn’t trying to diss the West Coast (Tim Dogg ain’t from Chicago, homey) when he wrote “I Used to Love H.E.R.”…but ol’ Cube and crew got unnecessarily salty, and Common had to show us who Lonnie Lynn from the block (and not the GAP commercials) was.
#7. LL Cool J. vs. Kool Moe Dee (“Jack the Ripper”, “How You Like Me Now”)- Again: I was a little guy during the Golden Age of Hip Hop. I was fond of Cool James and had an idea of Kool Moe Dee. It wasn’t until I grew up and developed a penchant for Kangol bucket hats that I realized KMD and LL were not the best of friends. “Wild Wild West” video and a “whose uncle is this” appearance aside, Moe Dee was pretty vicious on the mic. And let’s not forget what he did to that poor Kangol on the album cover…
#6. Kid vs. Play (“The House Party”) …I’m kidding. If I were going to put movie disses in here, I’d have to include “8 Mile”. Let’s try it again. #6. ANYTHING Eminem related (“Bully”, “The Sauce”/”Nail in the Coffin”, “Girls”, etc.)- Like 50, Em’s my favorite White boy, and second favorite emcee (when Lupe’s not doing or saying something WTF-worthy). I’m not going to go into great detail ‘cause most of us know what Eminem does.
#5. D-Block vs. Roc-A-Fella (various freestyles): 2001-2003?. What a time to be alive. Especially if you were a fan of either D-Block and/or Roc-A-Fella. You know the main hitters of both squads were ‘Kiss and Sigel, and boy did they go at it. Nas got mixed in a lot, and to this day I guess he was just par for the course. Another beef I was glad to see end before it got UGLIER (you cannot tell me Sigel ain’t a beast. Jada’s nice, but I prefer Sigel).
#4. 2Pac vs. Biggie (MAINLY “Hit ‘Em Up”)- I might be going against the code…but I HATED “Hit ‘Em Up”. Many a diss track has been over-the-top disrespectful and cringeworthy, but something about “Hit ‘Em Up” was just…ugh. GRANTED, Biggie doesn’t come out smelling so good with the release of “Who Shot Ya” (come on, now: really?), but what I can dig within “Ether”, “Superugly”, so on and so forth, I cannot accept within “Death Row”-era Pac vs. pre-“Death Row”-era Pac. Shorty wanna be a thug, indeed. But damn, did he get Biggie. And, unfortunately, life got both of them.
#3. Eazy-E vs. Dr. Dre (“Dre Day” and “Real Compton City Gs”)- For somebody that was a good kid mad in the city, I sure was exposed to some non-child appropriate music. Like kids today can talk, though. I digress. Man, what else is there to say about this beef and subsequent diss tracks? One of the best hip hop groups broken up, barbs going left and right, but “Dre Day only meant Eazy’s payday”.
I suppose this might not have been an issue had…
#2. NO VASELINE never occurred. Y’all will have to forgive me: I didn’t hear this track in its entirety until sometime last year, maybe 2015. I had heard about it, and I am a fan of Cube/N.W.A./early Ruthless Records…but good grief, was this just bananas. Recently I was YouTubing the “No Vaseline” scene from “Straight Outta Compton”. Man, were they hurt. Now, honestly, EYE could have done without all the homoerotic talk and Jew slurs (EVEN IF Cube was telling the truth)…but Cube was not playing, and N.W.A. couldn’t do anything but go death row (works on many unfortunate levels, my friends).
#1. You guessed it: Nas vs. Jay-Z (“Takeover”, “ETHER”, “Blueprint 2”, “Superugly”)- I mentioned earlier that I’m a SUPER Jay-Z fan. I always dug on Nas but I didn’t really REALLY appreciate him until my later years. Still wasn’t ready to put him over Jay AS MY FAVORITE (we can argue all day about rapping abilities, ets.) …
then “Takeover” comes out. Didn’t really appreciate it, but I knew it was something serious. Yeah, Jay went at Mobb Deep, but who cares. Nas is who we were here for.
And boy, did Nas come back hitting STRONG. From the opening “Eff Jay-Z” to my sentiments whenever someone tries to come for me (“I know you ain’t talkin’ about me- you, what???”), and then that beat drop…ish was over. R-O-C got gunned up and clapped quick on some high school schoolyard, unsubstantiated gossip-type…but it was just so RAW. What separates this tear down from Pac’s “Hit ‘Em Up” (and quite possibly brings them back together, song and artist alike) is that up until “Ether”…you never really heard Nas like this. This was God’s Son, your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper (an overused term but quite accurate in some cases), the prodigy who gave us all hope. And for him to come out swinging like this??? Yeah, we got “Superugly” (another below the belt, factual-smactual from Jay that prompted Mama Carter to tell Hov to chill out) and a few other barbs and tracks…but nothing will ever touch “Ether”. You just felt that ish burning your soul slow 😉
Well, I hope y’all enjoyed it. There’s A LOT I left out (Quik vs. Eiht comes to mind), but that’s why you go out and research and ear (not hear: EAR) what came before.
And I’m out! “The lyrical molestin’s takin’ place/effin’ wit B.I.G.- it ain’t safe!”
The views and opinions expressed on this article are soley those of the original author, L. Migraine. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Dynamo Reckless, the staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.