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Unforgettable 90’s rap feuds

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Song lyrics that cut so deep it lead to actual fights? In 90’s rap, there were no rules.

Many things have evolved and changed since the 1990’s. From the style of clothes people wore to the shows and movies shown on TV, it is clear the 1990’s was a very exciting time period. Those bright shirts and baggy pants represented the cultural mood of nearly everyone.

Hip hop was also at its pinnacle during this decade and its artists will go down in history. It was a cultural revolution and rappers like 2Pac, Notorious BIG, Jay-Z, and Ice Cube ran the sho’. Their lyrics touched on a lot of problems with society, including other rappers. They all had their fair share of beef with one another, especially when trying to save their “rep”. This is where the “diss track” finally made its claim to fame. If you dissed on a rapper in a song, you can definitely expect to be dissed on in one of their tracks. Here we dive into some of those famous feuds. Some were just all cheap talk, but others were fatal.

Eastside vs Westside (2Pac vs Notorious BIG)

Looking at these two names now we see that both of these men are now deceased, which could have very well resulted from this beef these two rappers had for each other.

In the 90’s these were the most famous rappers on the planet. 2Pac who represented California and the West Coast, and Notorious BIG who represented the New York and the East Coast. In 1994, while recording at a New York studio 2Pac was shot at and was hospitalized. Biggie was at the scene, along with his buddy Puff Daddy. 2Pac most likely presumed the shooting was a set up to kill him, so Biggie could be the top rapper on the planet. Although no evidence supported that claim, he thought Biggie and P Diddy were involved.

Right after the shooting, 2Pac went to prison and the moment he was released, he started consciously attacking Biggie in any way he could. This included making the famous diss record “Hit em Up”, where he completely demolished his opponent. He basically talked about him and his buddies were gonna assassinate Biggie Smalls. That aside, there was no coming back from Biggie’s side, because 2Pac said it all with that track.

Sadly both were shot and killed within that next year, and people still speculate whether these 2 rappers were responsible for each other’s deaths.

Jay-Z vs Nas

This is one of the less-popular feuds using today’s standards, but at the time it was must see TV. With arguably the greatest rapper of all time in Jay-Z and the phenom in Nas, fans were on the edge of their seat waiting to see who would get the last laugh. They started off with subliminal jabs and moved up to body shots. Fans cheered on. Crews got in the mix. Digs got so personal that parents had to step in. Thankfully, the battle didn’t end in tragedy like 2Pac and Biggie.

After the mid-90’s however, Jay-Z released one of the most famous rap albums of all time, The Blueprint, in 2001. There his song Takeover, ripped apart Nas when his career was seemingly over. Jay was sure he ended the feud once and for all with victory on his side. But he was wrong.

Nas answered back with his track, Ether his album Stillmatic. This track went right at Jay’s throat, and it went down as a top three diss track of all time. Jay even admitted to the loss to Nas, and have since made up, leaving the beef in the past.

Ice Cube vs N.W.A.

This is a fun one. Ice Cube was a main rapper in the group NWA. This group consisted of Ice Cue, Dr. Dre, Eazy E, MC Ren, and Yella. Straight Outta Compton, was a movie made about the rap group and their challenges they faced. Aside from that, the N.W.A. was one of the first

major rap groups. They basically put rap on the map, and laid out the footwork for so many others to follow in.

Back to the beef, it all started when Ice Cube left N.W.A. to go solo. It was a peaceful separation, and Ice Cube was under the impression that everything was cool among the five guys. However that turned awry, when N.W.A. came out with a diss-track (can’t be named NSFW) against Ice Cube calling him “traitor” and “Benedict Arnold”. This frustrated Cube, because he felt blindsided and betrayed. Sadly for Eazy E and Dr. Dre, they shouldn’t have poked the bear. What came next is regarded as the second best diss-track of all time, only to 2pac’s Hit ‘Em Up. On Ice Cube’s first solo album, Amerikk*a’s Most Wanted, he added one more track at the end of an already finished album, No Vaseline. Eazy E and Dre had no comeback, as they got ripped apart left and right. Ice Cube didn’t make it a contest, he ran away with the victory without any competition.

 

 

Note to self: Never diss on Ice Cube.

 

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About the Writer
Nick Gillespie '19, Staff Writer

"Heroes get remembered, but legends never die." That's the motto I live by. You don't believe? You want proof? Bruh, when I write an article, "the ceiling...

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Unforgettable 90’s rap feuds