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The Top Ten Diss Songs Of All Time
Hip hop battles are always the most fun when all the attacks are done verbally and for all to see, or rather, listen. With this list, I present you some of the best diss songs that have been released in the hip-hop genre. I'm putting every category into play, and this is my final version. Enjoy, and please let me know what you think in the comments section.
10) Dr Dre feat. Snoop Doggy Dogg: F*ck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebratin')
Who was dissed? Eazy-E, Tim Dog, and Luke
Why were they dissed? Eazy-E: This all started when Ice Cube left N.W.A, feeling Eazy-E and Jerry Heller, his manager, were robbing him of his worthy pay (more on that later...). Soon after, Dre felt the same and left, releasing this diss track. Tim Dog: When Dre was in N.W.A, Tim Dog released a diss track against them called "F*ck Compton". Luke: Luke released a diss track against Dre and Snoop entitled "Fakin' Like Gangsters".
Why did this make the list? It revolutionized the way diss songs were recorded and presented to the public. The music video (involving a faux Eazy called "Sleazy-E" holding a sign reading "Will Rap For Food" whilst doing the running man dance at the side of the freeway) was mainstay on MTV and BET. "Dre Day" changed hip-hop beef forever, pelted Tim Dog into obscurity and introduced the world to the term "Frisco Dyke".
Best line: "Used to be my homie/Used to be my ace/Now I wanna slap the taste out your mouth."
9) Nas: Ether
Who was dissed? Jay-Z
Why was he dissed? It's undetermined when and how exactly the Jay-Z/Nas beef began. Some say it all started when Jay-Z performed the first version of "Takeover" at Summer Jam (finishing on the line "Ask Nas, he don't want it with Hov, no!"), while others believe it's goes as far back as Jay-Z sampling Nas on "Dead Presidents", but the first official diss was a Nas freestyle, commonly called "H To The Omo" or "Stillmatic". Jay-Z shot back with a new version of "Takeover". Everyone thought this had finished Nas, until he came out with Ether.
Why did this make the list? I'm gonna be honest, I don't really think much of Ether as a diss track in terms of lyrical content ("Gay-Z"? "C*ck-a-fella"? Seriously?!), but it made the list for three importants reasons: One, it's a damn good song. Two, it rebirthed Nas (although only temporarily). Three, most importantly, without exaggerating, a part of Jay-Z died when it came out. What a lot of people don't realise is that the aim of a diss song is to have an impact on the victim, and no diss song has done that better than Ether. Sure, other diss songs have destroyed careers (and Jay-Z is still going strong), but some people swear that Jay-Z cried when he first heard Ether, and if that isn't impact, I don't know what is.
Best line: "How much of Biggie's rhymes is gon' come out your fat lips?"
8) DJ Quik: Dollaz + Sense
Who got dissed? MC Eiht
Why was he dissed? I doubt either of them know. I think they just enjoy dissing each other.
Why did this make the list? It ended MC Eiht's career. To be fair, Eiht still went on to amass a longstanding career, but his relevancy and popularity immediately dipped after "Dollaz + Sense." At the time, Eiht and Compton's Most Wanted were a respected and acclaimed group. All of that changed, though, with three of the most vicious bars ever seen in a battle: "Givin' your set a bad name with your misspelled name/E-I-H-T, now should I continue?/Yeah, you left out the G 'cause the G ain't in you." Everyone immediately knew Eiht lost the battle with Quik after those lines.
Best line: "E-I-H-T, now should I continue?/Yeah, you left out the G 'cause the G ain't in you"
7) Jay-Z: Takeover
Who got dissed? Prodigy and Nas
Why were they dissed? Prodigy: Jay-Z was originally good friends with Mobb Deep, until Prodigy took offence at a line on "Money, Cash, H*es" he believed was taking subliminal shots at Mobb Deep and referenced their relationship with 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, and Death Row Records. Jay-Z decided to call him out on stage at Summer Jam, revealing a picture of a young Prodigy dressed as Michael Jackson. Nas: They're were tensions between him and Jay-Z ever since Nas refused to appear on Jay-Z's first album, resulting in Jay-Z sampling Nas on "Dead Presidents" instead. It's been accepted that they were really fighting over the title of "The King Of New York". When Notorious BIG died, the throne was empty, and Jay-Z and Nas were the only two rappers who could take it's place, but only one of them could have it.
Why did this make the list? Quite simply, because it's probably the most well-written diss song of all time. Jay-Z attacks every weak spot Nas had, from his fauz Esco persona to his questionable discography. Then there's Prodigy. His diss is often forgotten because of the bigger Nas diss, but the Mobb Deep rapper probably got it worse than Nas. Jay-Z ended him with five lines: "You little f*ck, I've got money stacks bigger than you/When I was pushing weight, back in '88/You was a ballerina, I got your pictures, I seen ya/Then you dropped "Shook Ones," switched your demeanor?/Well, we don't believe you, you need more people." Damn, that gotta hurt.
Best line: "Four albums in ten years n*gga? I can divide/That's one every, let's say, two/Two of them sh*ts was doo/One was naahhh, the other was Illmatic/That's a one-hot-album-every-ten-year average"
6) Eminem: Nail In The Coffin
Who was dissed? Benzino
Why was he dissed? For those of you who don't know who Benzino is (basically, all of you), he's a failed rapper. He was in a fairly successful and respected group called RSO, but once he attempted a solo career, it all went downhill. Eventually, he got co-ownership of The Source magazine. Out of nowhere, he started attacking Eminem, claiming that him being white gave him an unfair advantage over other rappers (despite the fact that Benzino himself is half-white). Not only did that, but he gave Eminem's albums ridiculous reviews (2 out of 5 stars for The Marshall Mathers LP? What's up with that?!) and gave his own group's albums good review whle writing under a false name. When Benzino released a diss song against Eminem, entiled "Pull Your Skirt Up", Eminem decided enough was enough and released two venom-filled tracks, "The Sauce" and "Nail In The Coffin".
Why did this make the list? It's more "The Sauce" and "Nail In The Coffin" together that's impressive, rather than just "Nail In The Coffin" on its own. However, I can only pick one, so i chose my personal favourite "Nail In The Coffin". While Eminem spends some time on "The Sauce" to explain the situation, it's just non-stop attacks on "Nail In The Coffin" starting with "I would never claim to be no Ray Benzino/An eighty-three year old fake Pachino" and finishing with "Here, let me slow it down for you so you can understand if I say it slower/Let it go, dawg, it's over". Add an amazing adlib at the end that still manages to murder Benzino, and you've got yourself one hell of a diss song. It was only the beginning of the Eminem/Benzino feud, but Eminem had already won.
Best line: If you was really selling coke/Well then, what the f*ck you stop for, dummy?/If you slew some crack/You'd make a lot more money then you do from rap"
5) LL Cool J: To Da Break Of Dawn
Who was dissed? Kool Moe Dee, MC Hammer, and Ice-T
Why were they dissed? Kool Moe Dee: This fierce battle started when Kool Moe Dee randomly dissed LL Cool J on his song "How Ya Like Me Now?". LL fired back with "Jack The Ripper", and so began one of the biggest beefs in hip-hop. MC Hammer: Poor MC Hammer got an entire verse dedicated to him simply because he said in his song "Let's Get It Started" that he was "second to none, from Doug E. Fresh, LL Cool J, or DJ Run". Ice-T: Ice-T dissed LL on two of his songs, "I'm Your Pusher" and "The Syndicate".
Why did this make the list? Kool Moe Dee was so big back then. "Jack The Ripper" destroyed him, and "To Da Break Of Dawn" brushed his ashes under the carpet. Although this track didn't really affect MC Hammer or Ice-T, the fact LL went at three extremely popular artists was a massive deal. It hadn't really been done before. Oh, and it's a really good song.
Best line: "Songs that ain’t strong, brother, you’re dead wrong/ And got the nerve to have them Star Trek shades on"
4) Canibus: 2nd Round K.O.
Who was dissed? LL Cool J
Why was he dissed? I don't know if LL was still reeling from his beef with Kool Moe Dee, but he managed to take offence at a completely innocent line on Canibus's guest appearance on LL's song "4,3,2,1". LL re-recorded his own verse, this time changing it to diss Canibus. LL asked Canibus to change the line, and then he would change his verse. Canibus kept his end of the bargain, but LL didn't. In revenge, Canibus dropped this gem on his debut album.
Why did this make the list? Canibus won this war, even though he was the new-comer going up against the massive LL Cool J. That sure as hell got people's attention. Canibus did a lot of good research for this track as well, so he had ammo (LL's large female fan base), backup ammo (LL's acting career), and even backup ammo for the backup ammo (LL's wasted potential).
Best Line: "Mad at me cause I kick that shit real niggaz feel/ While 99% of your fans wear high heels"
3) Common: The B*tch In Yoo
Who was dissed? Ice Cube
Why was he dissed? Ice Cube felt that a line in "I Used To Love H.E.R" was a shot at the West. It was a misunderstanding, but nonetheless Ice Cube fired back with "Westside Slaughterhouse". No one expected Common to reply. Guess what? He did.
Why did this make the list? No one thought Common would reply to Ice Cube, because he wasn't that type of rapper. Well everyone was proven wrong when he came out with this. Common doesn't beat around the bush, calling Ice Cube a "b*tch n*gga" right off the bat, and it only gets better from there. Common treats every line like it's the last line of the song, it's just diss after diss after diss. A simple misunderstanding ruined Ice Cube's rapping career.
Best line: "There’s a thin line between the fake and the real /Grafted ass nigga, I see through your Glass Shield"
2) Ice Cube: No Vaseline
Who was dissed? N.W.A
Why were they dissed? Ice Cube felt he was being robbed of his rightful pay by Eazy-E and Jerry Heller, so he decided to leave N.W.A. Despite his obvious anger at this situation he never released a track dissing his old group... That is, until they released a track dissing him. In "Message To B.A.", they referred to him as "Benedict Arnold" and told him they would f*ck him with a broomstick. Big mistake. Ice Cube hit back with every thing he had.
Why did this make the list? As I said before, Ice Cube unleashes every thing he's got. Plus, he was speaking the truth, he hits from everywhere: telling Dre to stick to producing, homosexual jabs about Eazy, comparing Ren with Kunta Kinte, calling Heller the Devil, saying Yella's a lost cause, ect. He completely tore N.W.A apart. Dre left the group soon after this song and released his own diss track (see number ten), and it was all over from that point on. Don't f*ck with Ice Cube, because he'd "rather f*ck you".
Best line: "It's a case of divide and conquer/'Cause you let a Jew break up my crew"
1) Boogie Down Productions: The Bridge Is Over
Who was dissed? Juice Crew
Why were they dissed? MC Shan (kind of) claimed that Queensbridge was the birth place of hip-hop in his song "The Bridge". BDP replied with "South Bronx", which was pretty much the same song, just praising the Bronx instead of Queens. Shan fired back with "Kill That Noise", prompting BDP to release the greatest diss track of all time.
Why did this make the list? This is the blueprint for all diss tracks. This showed everyone how to end careers with one single blow. Shan was no more after this. Up for a laugh? Listen to Shan's disses, then listen to this. It was too easy for BDP. You didn't hear anything but "the Bronx" from anyone's mouth when asked "where was the birthplace of hip-hop?" after this song came out. The. Greatest. Diss. Track. EVER.
Best line: "Manhattan keeps on makin' it/Brooklyn keeps on takin' it/Bronx keeps creatin' it/And Queens keeps on fakin' it"
Roxanne Shante: Have A Nice Day
Mobb Deep: Drop A Gem On 'Em
MC Lyte: 10% Dis
LL Cool J: Jack The Ripper
Boogie Down Productions: South Bronx
Tim Dog: F*ck Compton
Eminem feat. D12: Quitter/Hit 'Em Up
Lauryn Hill: Lost Ones
Royce Da 5'9" feat. Tre Little: Malcolm X
Eazy-E feat. Gangta Dresta & B.G. Knoccout: Real Muthaphuckkin G's
Why "Hit 'Em Up" Isn't On The List
Well, when you think about it, it isn't really - aw, screw it, I'm just gonna come out and say it. "HIT 'EM UP" IS A TERRIBLE DISS TRACK! There, I said it. I mean, what's so good about it? Really?! One writer put it perfectly when he said 2Pac sounded like a child throwing a temper tantrum. The only real diss is the allegations that he slept with Faye Evans, the rest is just a bunch of "f*ck you's". The whole thing is just a mess, and the only thing it accomplished was possibly the death of both 2Pac and Biggie. And that is no accomplishment.