Top 5 Realest Rapper Feuds
After Snoop Dogg tweeted a rather unflattering meme that he captioned “Iggy Azalea without makeup.” Iggy took it seriously and incited an ongoing Twitter war between the veteran rapper and the fancy Aussie. As real as this may be for their fans, it doesn’t really hold a candle compared to other recent rapper fights, and certainly not compared to the battles of old. To remind everyone of what a real rap spat looks like, here is our list of the Top 5 Realest Hip Hop Feuds. Try not to get too offended ya’ll, in the immortal words of Missy Elliott: “If you wanna be hard and ice grill and still Harlem shake at the same time, whatever, let’s just have fun, it’s hip-hop man, this is hip-hop.”
5. Kendrick Lamar vs. the World: Kendrick made one hell of an entrance onto the scene with his 2012 album good kid, m.A.A.d. City, a kingmaking album that no one could deny in terms of sheer hip-hop artistry. But he ignited a firestorm throughout the entire rap world in his verse on Big Sean’s 2013 single ‘Control’. Kendrick bragged on the track that he was going to murder and bury his fellow rappers through his rhymes, and then proceeded to name call everyone from Drake to A$AP Rocky to Mac Miller. It was a featured verse that launched a thousand responses, and by year’s end it seemed that every rapper anywhere had put in their two cents on a Soundcloud.
Winner: Kendrick. Sorry folks, nobody had nothing on his initial verse. Hope you enjoy your burial service courtesy of Mr. Lamar.
4. Lil Kim vs. Nicki Minaj: This is far from Kim’s first rap feud, but this certainly seemed to get the most mainstream attention thanks to Our Lady of the Pink Friday. Kim felt that Nicki had copied her image, which frankly may be a valid argument, and things just snowballed from there. From Nicki’s subversive lyrics in the track ‘Stupid Hoe’ to Kim releasing the diss-mixtape ‘Black Friday’ which featured artwork of Kim chopping Nicki’s head off with a samurai sword, it’s a feud which technically remains unresolved.
Winner: We’re going with Nicki. Lil’ Kim may have been the preeminent female MC, but she hasn’t released anything as earth quakingly capable of shitting on your whole life as Nicki’s Beez in the Trap.
3. N.W.A. vs. Ice Cube: N.W.A. was nothing short of an immaculate conception in the world of hip-hop; the holy trinity of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E delivered unto the world the birth of gangster rap as we know it with their debut album, Straight Outta Compton. Catapulted to stardom with still recognizable hits like ‘Fuck tha Police’, the fame proved too much for the group and Ice Cube split because of issues with the album’s royalties. Dre took the move as an unforgivable betrayal, even labeling Ice Cube as ‘Benedict Arnold.’ N.W.A’s two subsequent albums were spent trashing Ice’s reputation.
Winner: N.W.A., for the sole reason that none of the members that remained ever starred in a film like Are We There Yet?
2. 2pac vs. Notorious B.I.G.: While these two holy icons of hip hop never had as direct a feud as some of the others on this list, they are the definitive embodiment of the great East Coast vs. West Coast hip hop feud that nearly tore our fair nation apart. 2pac was shot five times while recording in New York, an act of violence that he attributed to Biggie, and things escalated quickly. Biggie released ‘Who Shot Ya?’ and 2pac was offended, 2pac released ‘Hit ‘Em Up’ where he implied he had sex with Biggie’s wife, etc. This story of course ends in tragedy, with the loss of two of the most gifted MC’s ever born, effectively ending the coastal divide in a Romeo and Juliet esque way.
Winner: Not at liberty to say, when a clash of the titans like this occurs, we mere mortals cannot take sides but watch helplessly.
1. Jay-Z vs. Nas: The death of Notorious B.I.G. left the throne reserved for superior East Coast rapper open. Jay-Z and Nas responded in full on Game of Thrones viciousness, beginning with Jay-Z mocking Nas on stage about his rapping prowess. From there, the feud became a veritable ping pong match, with over two dozen diss tracks lobbed back and forth like rap artillery. It was a battle so bloody that it led to a mutual truce between the two, but it was a battle so immense that not even its own Wikipedia page could begin to do it justice.
Winner: Jay-Z, because Nas ultimately ended up signing onto Jay’s label Def Jam, a quiet surrender if we ever saw one.