Hip-hop culture has evolved throughout the decades and rap continues to shift as an art form, but the spirit remains the same. One important aspect of the genre is beef. Beef is entertaining, it’s theatrical showmanship, and fans love it. Almost all beef gets squashed eventually, which is the best case scenario. Sometimes it can get intense and deeply personal, though. Let’s explore the history.
Here’s a list of the greatest rap beefs of all time.
2pac vs. Biggie
Obviously, 2pac and Biggie are considered the two greatest rappers of all time. I respectfully disagree; I think the best rapper ever is whoever wrote the Danny Phantom theme song, but whatever. Big and Pac traded stray shots and lyrical jabs with classics like ‘Hit Em Up’ and ‘Who Shot Ya.” Unfortunately, this ended in the worst way possible, with two great artists dying young.
WHO WON: Nobody.
Jay-Z vs. Nas
This is when beef goes right. Two top tier artists challenging each other and creating some phenomenal music. Hov’s ‘Takeover’ and Nas’ ‘Ether’ are arguably the two greatest diss songs of all time. They eventually set their differences aside.
WHO WON: Every rap fan.
50 Cent vs. Ja Rule
You probably forgot that poor Ja existed until you read this shitty article. Back in 50 Cent’s prime, he straight up ended Ja Rule’s career. It was not pretty.
WHO WON: 50
Meek Mill vs. Drake
This one is relatively recent. Meek Mill is the king of taking Ls. After this, he became the ultimate loser. Meek Mill didn’t just lose this beef; he loses everything now. Who lost the Super Bowl? Meek Mill. Who lost in the Mayweather-Pacquaio fight? Meek Mill. Who lost in Batman v. Superman? Meek Mill.
WHO WON: Drake
Eminem vs. Insane Clown Posse
On paper, this feud makes sense. They’re both white rappers, they’re both from Detroit, they both rap about raping and killing people, etc. Fortunately for Marshall, ICP are two of the most disgustingly obnoxious and freakishly untalented people in the world (don’t worry, #1 is Wally Bryton).
WHO WON: Eminem.
Macklemore vs. his own pretentiousness
Macklemore had one good song, ‘Same Love.’ Sure, it was corny and pretentious, but rap is traditionally homophobic so it was powerful to see hip-hop finally start to move past that. It was well meaning and it had a good message. But unfortunately for us, Macklemore didn’t retire immediately afterwards. His pretentiousness reached peak insanity when he released ‘White Privilege II,’ a song that criticizes Iggy Azalea and Miley Cyrus for appropriating black culture, which is basically like Bill Cosby criticizing someone for not respecting women.
WHO WON: annoying 14-year-old white girls who still listen to ‘Thrift Shop’
Iggy Azalea vs. her Australian accent
I sincerely apologize for reminding you of Iggy’s existence. If you attempt to listen to her shit (I don’t recommend it), she tries very hard to adopt a “blaccent.” It’s unintentionally hilarious at best, uncomfortably racist at worst. Either way, 100% fuck no.
WHO WON: SJWs who got to write 11 trillion think pieces about her.
2 Chains vs. intelligence
Intelligence tries REALLY hard to get into 2 Chains’ music. But God bless 2 Chains’ heart. That fucker REFUSES to let intelligence anywhere near his art. Inspiring.
Kanye West vs. Jesus
Yeezy and the Lord used to be tight friends. Kanye blew up with his musical love letter to him, ‘Jesus Walks.’ Unfortunately, in 2013, Christ got overly offended when Kanye nicknamed himself ‘Yeezus’ and named his album that. Since then, things got rough. They started getting into profane Twitter arguments, had bloody fist fights in nightclubs, and started fucking each others’ bitches.
WHO WON: Atheists
Rick Ross vs. Vegetables
No matter how many times Rick’s doctor tells him to start eating vegetables, the man sticks to his principles.
WHO WON: Who the fuck do you think won?!.