This is somewhat of a Part 2 to my September 2015 post “My Favorite Diss Tracks From The 2000’s Till Now”
Rap is so polite even in conflict in this era. Taking nothing away from what the new young cats are doing now, but I’m over the subliminal shots. I’m over the scapegoats, the deflections the innuendoes and double entendres that can be “meant for anybody that wants to take it.” I want to hear direct, blatant shots thrown from one emcee to another.
No one wants to see someone die over rapping, but we do want to hear direct verbal combat between guys who all believe they are the best and in the mind of mine and many others, should be wiling to prove that at any given moment.
The bar was set so high on HOW to diss in the late 90’s and early 2000’s that it makes it hard to respect or appreciate what is deemed as a diss track today. I was raised in an time where Rapper A would call Rapper B a “f**king fa**ot” and a “b**ch a$$ ni**a” and say their name, before the verse even started and leaving no speculation that it’s a diss. It may not be a popular opinion, but I honestly miss those days.
Styles P set the bar so high for Diss tracks for me when he started his verse with… “Holiday’s getting on it, F**K BEANIE SIGEL!”
Sheek Louch wouldn’t even rap sometimes. He would be in the studio yelling “I’ll smack the s**t out you gorilla face ni**as! It’s Sheek Louch talking to you, B**ch A$$ Ni**a!”
Kurupt said “Muthafawk D. Muthafawk M. The only X I know is Xzibit or RBX.
Beans said “J-A-D-A. Pinkett or Kiss. No matter how I look at it, I think of a B**ch…”
Common [YES COMMON] said “A B**ch Ni**a with an attitude named Cube. Stepped to the Com with a few.” Then followed up later in the song with “Imma have to wreck a “Hoeshea”, I heard a hoe say you her favorite rapper. So I had to slap her.”
Cam’ron threatened to take Nas daughter to R.Kelly and have his way with her face.
50 Cent had a hook for a song that was simple “I Smell Pu$$y” and the rest was naming rappers he thought he might be smelling.
Ja Rule said to Eminem “Em you claim your mother’s a crackhead and Kim is a known slut, so what’s Haley gon’ be when she grows up?”
You’ve heard Ice Cube’s No Vaseline
And lets not forget the Pioneer of the disrespectful opening line to kick off a diss track, by the late great 2Pac Shakur “That’s why I f**ked your b**ch, you fat motherf**ker!” With his outro of “F**k You’s to close out the song.
I understand the dilemma. The stuff stated above was a pathway to take it beyond the booth. However, you can’t deny the fire and passion that fueled these lyrics that really heated up rap and the summers in which these venomous bars were spewed. You can’t even get a rapper to definitely feel a way about an emcee let alone name them off top. And you definitely couldn’t get them to speak in a directly unflattering way. Even taking the Canibus “2nd Round K.O” route is more venomous than today. He was so vivid in his description bar for bar he could ONLY be talking about LL Cool J. We don’t really have that present day.
It was definitely a more violent time, but those diss tracks were memorable moments in hip-hop. Moments that brought out the best of the worst of our favorite emcees. I think that’s needed as long as it doesn’t end in fatality.
In this era, the big diss is, flying a rappers girl out or sliding in her DM. It’s about who makes more money so they have more power behind their voice. It’s slanderous memes that are shared with “scathing captions.” Cyberbullying shouldn’t be a new element in hip-hop.
They say rap beef doesn’t sell records. In some ways I think Nas and Jay would beg to differ. Drake kind of destroyed that notion as well. This also might be a way to get a lot of the less talented rappers out the game for good. Some of these cats aren’t selling anyway, so who wants to put them out of their misery? Who’s going to say that name and go in? Hip-Hop is waiting.