Hip-Hop’s Funniest Rivalries

Thanks to Nicki Minaj’s Grammy’s ‘performance’ in Sunday, everyone with an opinion is rushing out to be first in line to comment. Luckily for Lil Kim, this also gave her a chance to get a blow in at her rival, noting that “if you have to make a song called ‘Stupid Hoe’ you must be a stupid hoe”.

Minaj and Kim aren’t the first to trade snipes through song though. Here are our five funniest disses in hip-hop.

5Nicki Minaj, ‘Roman’s Revenge’


This is where the beef began. Kim was knocking Nicki for stealing her style- both in rapping and in fashion. Nicki responded through the medium of the blistering ‘Roman’s Revenge’. Trading verses with Eminem (in Slim Shady mode), Nicki went hard. All Kim could do to respond was rant during a club appearance, and bluster about her new mixtape coming out.

Is it my fault that all you bitches gone?/Shoulda sent a thank-you note, you lil’ ho, now Imma wrap your coffin in a bow/’Nicki she just mad ’cause you took the spot,’ word, that bitch mad cause I took the spot? Well, bitch if you ain’t sh*tting then get off the pot.

4LL Cool J, ‘Jack The Ripper’


One of the most celebrated diss tracks in hip-hop, ‘Jack The Ripper’ sees LL Cool J unleash all he’s got. Rapper Kool Moe Dee began the feud by having a photo of a red Kangol hat (LL’s trademark) crushed under the wheel of a jeep as the cover of his 1987 album ‘How Ya Like Me Now’. Dee accused LL of copying his style, and of stealing other rappers beats. On ‘Jack the Ripper’, LL never refers to Dee by name, instead calling him a ‘a washed-up rapper’ before the high-point of:

How Ya Like Me now?’ I’m getting busier, I’m double platinum, I’m watching you get dizzier.

3Canibus, ‘Second Round KO’
LL wasn’t safe for long though. After protégé Canibus indirectly dissed LL on ‘4,3,2,1’, LL made Canibus change the offending verse, and hid a diss in the song. Canibus wasn’t pleased, and recorded ‘Second Round KO’. An attack from within ranks, Canibus attacked LL Cool J for pretending to be a drug-free rapper, appealing only to women and for being a rubbish rapper.

You walk around showing’ off your body ‘cause it sells/ Plus to avoid the fact that you ain’t got skills.

2Jay-Z, ‘Takeover’


One of the most high-profile disputes between rappers, ever- Jay-Z and Nas’s feud was inescapable during the 00’s. In 1997, Nas was supposed to guest on Jay-Z’s ‘Reasonable Doubt’, and also sign to Jay’s Roc-A-Fella records. He failed to show up though, and subsequently signed with Dr Dre. Seeds of disquiet were sown, and in 2001, Jay-Z made the first open move, dissing Nas’ output on ‘Takeover’.

You said you been in this 10/I’ve been in it five, smarten up Nas/Four albums in 10 albums years, nigga? I can divide/That’s one every, let’s say two, two of them shits was due/One was, nahhh, the other was Illmatic/That’s a one hot album every 10 year average.

1Nas ‘Ether’


This round went to Nas, though. He responded to ‘Takeover’ with ‘Ether’. While Nas aims low with references to “Gay-Z” and “Cockafella Records“, he really hits the spot when he accuses Jay-Z of lazily recycling Notorious B.I.G’s rhymes. Thanks to this track, ‘Ether’ has since entered rap slang as a verb. To ‘ether’ someone is to burn them – and to leave them with no comeback.

How much of Biggie’s rhymes is gonna come out your fat lips/ wanted to be on every one of my classics.