A lot of artist and fans say they want hip-hop to go back to being so “unfriendly” and honestly, I’m all for that as long as the art isn’t sacrificed. Although I am not complaining about this era of music overall, I don’t like the fact that we are in this “expose” and “who’s real” era, because it’s dimming the light of artistry and real talent. We have some artist trying to keep it so real that they aren’t entertaining or lyrically impressive. With all that said, I wanted to take time to highlight some of my favorite diss tracks from this current era.
Let’s get the ones that don’t need and introduction out the way.
Nas – Ether
Jay-Z – Takeover
50 Cent – Backdown
Murder Inc – The joint where Ja spelled Murder wrong but delivered the best line of the beef.
Shady Marines – Do Rae Me
Talking about the ones above is literally beating a dead horse to glue. Let’s talk about the unsung heroes of diss tracks.
Beans Jada Diss: Can’t lie, I tried to front on this diss because I was so tired of rappers using Biggie Bars to get their point across, but no way you can deny this isn’t one of the best disses of the 2000’s or ever for that matter.
Sheek, Jae Hood and Styles P Breaking The Rules/Rocafella White Label Freestyle Diss: When it looked like Jada fell back, the rest of the L.O.X came through swarming! Some of these bars literally blurred the lines of music and reality for me. Vicious to say the least. Styles P is my favorite LOX member because of these moments.
Freeway Y’all Get Out [Nas and Jada Diss]: With Beans going completely ballistic, a lot of gems were missed from the rest of State Property. One of those was definitely Freeway’s diss to Nas and Jada. Free had no Pedigree outside of 1-900 Hustler, so I liked the fact he wanted a piece of the vets out the gate.
Jadakiss and Styles P Problem Child [50 Cent Diss]: Learning to not take anyone lightly again, Jadakiss came back on that bull when it was time to go at 50. Had 50 not had sold over 12 million on album 1 and 1 million in a week on the second album, this might have stung more. Even 50 admitted that lyrically Jada was superior, but it didn’t matter grand scheme to the masses.
KRS-One – Over Here [Nelly Diss]: Now this diss is good, but when you go after one of the hottest rappers in the world at the time, based on sales, it’s just hard to make impact. Over Here was so classic, traditional hip-hop that you can’t not like it. I’ve even heard a rapper take the beginning of KRS intro for his own introduction. Heads know the deal with KRS even if he’s not in casual conversations anymore.
Joe Budden Blood On The Wall, Verse 2 Prodigy Diss: Joe Budden is one of the best rappers of his era whether people want to admit it or not. If the track record of Mobb Deep Diss tracks was better, this would have gotten way more attention. Just when you thought Pac, Jay and Nas said all there could be said about P, here comes Joey bringing new life on an old topic.
Saigon Pushing Buddens [Joe Budden Diss]: Saigon got a little too mad off a clever line where Joe used his named. A rap battle ensued and Saigon unleashed a Mega Flurry style diss that quieted everything down. SHEESH!
Yukmouth – Breathe [Game Diss]: Game is always in the midst of lyrical warfare. Yukmouth really wasn’t up for the games though. Literally; This got ugly quick but this was the nail in the coffin. Respect The Bay.
The Game – Bigger Than Me [Freshmen Class Diss]: I’m honestly not a fan of The Game, but when it’s time to fight and talk about rappers, he’s a Viking! It’s so many diss tracks and responses you can name, but let’s take another listen to when he dissed the entire Freshmen class for no reason.
Nature Nas Is Not [Nas Diss]: To take it back a about a decade or so, Nature was really upset after Stillmatic dropped. So angry that he hit the booth and created this. This moment solidified a firm reunion was definitely never going to happen again.
Foxy Brown’s verse on CNN’s Bang Bang [Lil Kim Diss]: You want to escalate the situation? Let Fox Boogie Brown on the track. This verse here lead to a shootout in front of Hot 97! No need to say more after that.
Ludacris Stomp Verse [T.I Response Diss]/Bada Boom [Drake & Big Sean Diss]: Luda likes to have fun with this music ish, but never get it confused that he’s not ready to go to war lyrically when the opportunity presents himself. Definitely one of the best quick responses we’ve heard of this time.
This went somewhat under the radar but Luda will go nuts on you if he needs to.
Drake Back To Back [Meek Mill Diss]: We all know the story on this. So let’s close it out here.
These are just some of my favorites. The entire Paper Trail album by T.I definitely quieted the Shawty Lo situation, so I couldn’t just name one track. I know some of you were waiting to relive Kendrick’s Control verse, but reality is, that wasn’t a diss. You got to understand the foundation that rap was built on to understand that verse. The quick Drake vs Common bout could have been pretty good, but if the basis of it comes from a misunderstanding or Serena Williams, I don’t even want to focus on that.
When it comes to the art of verbal warfare, you can be venomous, lyrical and entertaining, but if you can’t, you’ll get eaten alive out here!
Be Safe. Be Humble. Live Hip-Hop.