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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Beef: It's what's for dinner’if you rhyme

We all know that the old-school beef-on-record phenomenon has never died. The media blew up the east-west thing until it was all that people could think of to explain the Pac-Big tragedy. I'm not going to call that one beef; it was simply a misunderstanding between friends that could not be resolved before time ran out. Who knows who was really winding the clock? Marley and Shan made \The Bridge,"" and then Chris and BDP made "" The Bridge is Over."" Cool J and Mo Dee, of course, had their storied episodes, and then LL played the punk role and wrote his dis verse after Canibus' was already laid down. The shame is that Can-I-bus' career has been minimal at best (good thing he studied computer science), and as a result garners little credit for his immense gift with words.

Derrick's all-time favorite beefs

New-school beefs or old-school rifts? Which is the best beef of all time? Is it measured by popularity, or is it the degree of dopeness of the bangin'-on-wax that is done during the conflict? Here are just a couple of thoughts. 
Best (non-mixtape) disses of all time:
  1. Ice Cube's ""No Vaseline""
  2. BDP's ""The Bridge is Over""
  3. Pac's ""Hit'em Up""
  4. Jay-Z's ""The Takeover""
  5. Mobb Deep's ""Drob a Gem""
  6. Canibus' ""First Round Knock Out""
  7. Dre's ""Fuck with Dre Day""
  8. Wyclef's ""What's Clef Got to Do""
  9. Easy E's ""Real Compton City Gees""
  10. Kool Moe Dee's ""How You Like Me Now?""
Most intriguing conflicts of all time:
  1. Biggie/Pac
  2. Cube/NWA
  3. NWA/FBI
  4. Too Live Crew/U.S. Supreme Court
  5. Nas/Jay-Z

Luke Skywalker and The Too Live Crew's beef with the U.S. government and NWA's letter from the FBI produced nothing but publicity and platinum, and who can forget maybe the most famous and best conflict on record? The formerly great Ice Cube tore NWA a new one with ""No Vaseline"" when he left. It then became obvious that Cube was in the right, and Dre then left NWA. He did records with Snoop to dis Cube and Eazy, but was and is cool with Ren. Everyone seemingly settled their respective issues with the others, and proceeded to announce new projects with their former enemies. Cube and Dre are cool now, and had planned a NWA comeback with Snoop and Ren, and that would have been great judging from ""Chin Check"" on the Timbaland-produced NWA track on Snoop's Last Meal. 




Recently, there have been heated words between many of today's more prominent artists. There are the various rivalries in the middle of which Eminem has beef. Beenie and Jadakiss are currently going at it. Most recently, Beenie responded to Cappadonna's Roc-a-Fella dis. Cormega made ""Fuck Nas,"" and dissed Nature in that track apparently because he lost his spot in The Firm to Nature while he was locked up. Cormega then surfaced on Nas' ""The Bridge 2000"" with the line, ""Mega more mature now/I'm on a record with Nature."" Then, all of a sudden, he disses Nas again on his album, which I've heard is raw. This is all tangled in a weird way. Queens has some of the most talented writers we've ever heard, and many of them know each other, have collaborated, and are friends. Prodigy of Mobb Deep is still cool with Cormega and Nas even though the two have beef. Nore has issues with his mentor Tragedy (The Intelligent Hoodlum), but his partner Capone appeared on ""The Bridge 2000"" along side Tragedy. Everyone has heard Jay-Z's destruction of Nas on his soon to be super-duper platinum opus. What some have not heard, though, is Nas' ""Stillmatic,"" a great dis track aimed at Jay. I've heard a lot of people say that they could never listen to Nas the same again after hearing the things that Jay said on ""The Takeover."" Come on now, let us not go overboard. For those who feel that way, listen to ""Stillmatic."" The things that Nas has done (or not done) during his career are good reasons to have ill feelings toward him as an emcee. Nas has lost a lot of fans and respect because of his underachievement, but don't be foolish. I'm going to make a very big statement. It is clear that Jay has had a much better career than Nas in a shorter period of time, but I still say that at their best Nas is the superior writer. He does not have the sense of humor or charisma that Shawn Carter has, but he has the second best album of all time. Yes, Illmatic will always be better than The Blueprint. They are both virtually flawless, but Illmatic is more revolutionary for its time and is partially responsible for bringing the spotlight back to NY from California, so that emcees like Jay could have the success that they have now. In Jay-Z's words circa 1997, ""Who's the greatest emcee'Biggie, Jay-Z, or Nas?\

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