15 Battles We Wish Would Happen

Pay close attention to the interview in the latest issue of XXL between Slaughterhouse, Eminem, and Yelawolf. A lot is discussed, but the subject that gets all parties talking is battle rap. What it used to be and what it is today. As Royce Da 5’9″ says, “These kids now, they don’t even call it battlin’. They just straight up call it beef.”

We can’t say Royce is wrong. Let’s be real, what qualifies as battle rapping these days is a bunch of diss records where rappers go after one another with threats of real warfare instead of waging lyrical warfare. But oh how we long for the days when rappers wouldn’t be afraid to go against one another in a straight up battle of who was nicer on the mic. Excuse our nerd-dom as we imagine what it would be like to hear these 15 battles between some of our favorite MCs.

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  • Biggie Pun Battle
    Notorious B.I.G. VS Big Pun <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: Besides the two of them obviously being in the same weight class, no two MCs represented New York hip-hop in the streets and in the clubs better than Pun and Big.
  • Redman Kurupt Battle
    Kurupt VS Redman <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: Two of the most underrated lyricists on both coasts could probably give each other a run for their money. When we think about the metaphors Red and Kurupt would come up with and use against one another, we laugh, and our heads almost explode.
  • Bun B Killer Mike Battle
    Bun B VS Killer Mike <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: Obviously there's the Southern connection Bun and Mike have (Texas and Georgia, respectively), but it's obvious Mike is a disciple of Bun's style. There's the rapid-fire aggressive braggadocio raps mixed in with the street conscious storytelling, all of which make for an intriguing match-up between the two wise men.
  • J. Cole Drake Battle
    J. Cole VS Drake <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: We thought we were going to hear a "Renegade"-like cut between these two when reports of their collaboration first broke. Instead, we got something like an R&B duet on "In The Morning." All good though, we're not complaining, but we are being greedy. Obviously Drizzy and Cole are cool peoples, but a lyrical sparring match between the two could only strengthen their bond, right? We think so.
  • Lil Wayne 50 Cent Battle
    Lil Wayne VS 50 Cent <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: For years 50 has taken aim at Wayne only to hear crickets in response. We say these two kings of first-week sales push the petty money-talk aside, put some money up for charity instead and over some dope Bangladesh beat, go in, best two out of three, 16 bars each round.
  • Tupac Nas Battle
    2Pac VS Nas <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: Lyrically, we know what Nas can do. Emotionally, we know what 'Pac could do. It's a shame the two never collaborated together, but we can dream, can't we? Mr. "Black Girl Lost" against Mr. "Brenda's Got A Baby", sounds like a rumble we can ride with.
  • Ludacris Busta Rhymes Battle
    Ludacris VS Busta Rhymes <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: These sultans of the guest-verse make complete sense in a rhyme face-off. Not only are they go-to guys whenever someone needs a hot 16 for a remix, they're also two of the most animated lyricists to touch a microphone. The ad-libs, the punchlines, the multiple rhyme patterns? Someone set this one up now!
  • Jim Jones Tony Yayo Battle
    Jim Jones VS Tony Yayo <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: With these two, it's always been more style over substance, and we can't say that's a bad thing. They may not give us the illest lines we ever heard, but we're pretty sure they'll come up with a crazy dance or two to go with their rhymes and we'll be doing said dance in the streets for months.
  • Lloyd Banks Juelz Santana Battle
    Lloyd Banks VS Juelz Santana <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: This one's obvious. Everyone knows when it comes to the lyrical credibility of G-Unit and Dipset, it rides on the shoulders of Lloyd Banks and Juelz Santana respectively. These two are the lyrical muscle of their crew, so it only makes sense for them to flex on each other at some point in time.
  • Cam'ron Kanye Battle
    Cam'Ron VS Kanye West <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: The history of bad blood between these two rappers has been well-documented, but has anyone noticed how both their styles compliment each other. Cam'Ron is definitely a disciple of Mase, and Kanye has gone on record to say Mase was one of his biggest influences as an MC. Few MCs can stunt as cleverly as 'Ye and Cam, and few have caused as much controversy with their wardrobe selections. One of the requirements for this battle would have to be both of them wearing furs.
  • Young Jeezy T.I. Battle
    Young Jeezy VS T.I. <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: Both from Atlanta. Both from the traps. Both made a name for themselves talking about these very things, so in a verse who can capture the spirit of where they're from better? A battle would certainly help settle this.
  • Pimp C Too Short
    Pimp C VS Too $hort <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: When it comes spitting that pimp game, few can touch the jewels Short Dog and Pimp bestow on the masses. We don't know who would take this one, but what we are sure of is only the women with the thickest skin would be able to tolerate it.
  • Rick Ross E-40
    E-40 VS Rick Ross <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: Another heavyweight face-off, we like this match-up because of how often both MCs use words and brands we never thought could rhyme. Lyrically this would be a match we would have to rewind on more than one occasion just to understand.
  • Andre 3000 Ghostface Battle
    Andre 3000 VS Ghostface Killah <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: Arguably two of the greatest storytelling MCs to ever record a song, we kind of feel like this one could be a story song battle. Give them some characters to work with and see who can come up with the best beginning, middle, and end in one 16.
  • Eminem Jay-Z Battle
    Eminem VS Jay-Z <em>Why We Want To See It</em>: Neither of these two will go on record and admit they bested each other on their collaborative song, "Renegade," and we don't really like ties in hip-hop, so how about it? Jay-Z against Eminem? We say in the booth, leave everything they have. No mercy. Shake hands after, press up the results, watch it sell millions.
  • Tyrannical T

    Eminem and Jay will never battle because they represent 2Pac and Biggie for this generation of spitters. Nobody wants to see the outcome of that ever happen again.

    • Hannibal

      They represent what?? The T stands for teenage white boy, I presume…Eminem is the 2pac/Biggie of this generation…Go kill yaself homie

      • SQUADDA

        hahahahaha…get em

    • YoungTruly

      @Tyrannical u sound dumb as fuck…they’re talking about a lyrical battle not a rap beef jack-ass

  • HoLoGraM

    you couldnt put it any better man.
    its true

  • Poindexter

    LMAO DRAKE in a Battle??? Hahaha he can’t freestyle at all… there is no way he could win.
    50 cent vs Lil wayne would be sick!!!

    • swype-matic

      50 vs Wayne would be sick??? 50 fell off, and all Wayne can do is freestyle for 30 minutes straight without actually saying anything, yet people jump out their seats like he just recited Illmatic & Reasonable Doubt.

  • D90

    eminem would murk jay z jus like he overshadowed him on renegade

    • Chris S

      yeah dude. it wouldn’t even be close. i’d like to see Ludacris and The Game go at it.

      and by the way, Tony Yayo looked absolutely retarded in the picture. even moreso than usual

  • http://twitter.com/jake_espy ESPY

    juelz would destroy banks..

  • Tumi

    Em wil destroy Jay. Nas would have killed Pac. E-40 over bawse. Biggie and Pun, luda and busta, 3stacks and starks wil all be close.

  • MR. UNDI$PUTED THE MOGUL

    THIS HAS TO BE ONE OF THE COOLEST, YET FUNNIEST CONCEPTS YOU GUYS HAVE EVER HAD & I’VE BEEN COPPING XXL’S SINCE THE VERY 1ST DUAL COVER ISSUE WITH JAY-Z/MASTER P ON THE COVER. SOME OF THESE ARE REAL BATTLES THAT PEOPLE WOULD WANT TO SEE OTHER’S LIKE 50 CENT V/S LIL WAYNE IS NOT A REAL BATTLE WHEN IT COMES TO AT LEAST HALF WAY OFF THE DOME RHYMING NOT TOTALLY FREESTYLING. TONY YAYO V/S JIM JONES BASED ON YOUR DESCRIPTION ALL I CAN PICTURE IS 1/2 WAY THROUGH THEIR 2ND VERSE ONE OF THEM PULLING AN ASHLEY SIMPSON ON SNL WHEN THE RECORD SKIPPED & SHE WENT INTO SOME OFF BEAT DANCE TO MAKE UP FOR THE FACT SHE WAS LIP SINGING. AS FOR THE DIPSET LYRICAL MUSCLE I’D GIVE THAT TO EITHER HELL RELL, JR WRITER OR EVEN 40 CAL BEFORE JUELZ SANTANA. AT LEAST YOU FINALLY ACKNOWLEDGED THE FACT THAT ON RENEGADE, JAY & EM WERE ACTUALLY NOT TRYING TO OUTSPIT EACH OTHER. IT’S AMAZING IN HIP HOP HOW 1 PERSON MAKES A STATEMENT & FROM NOW UNTIL ETERNITY, EVERY TIME MC’S GET ON A SONG WITH EACH OTHER, THE 1ST THING EVERYONE SAYS IS SUCH & SUCH GOT BODIED OR LOST AS OPPOSED TO THE GOLDEN DAYS OF HIP HOP WHEN WE’D JUST SAY THIS GUY HAD THE BEST VERSE OR VERSES. GREAT CONCEPT!

    PEACE & GET MONEY!!!
    MOGUL $$$ GAME ’11!!!

    • T

      Anyone really going to read this shit?

      • Chyllmatic

        Lmfao, FOR REAL.

      • swype-matic

        LOL! Man I read the first line and was like fuck this, I could be reading an ACTUAL book instead.

        • Dead President

          haha thats funny i skipped reading that & then read ‘anyone really going to read this shit’ hahahaha so tru

    • Too Great

      lol…..dude, keep it simple, we not trying to get a degree here

  • Real2Real

    What about Jada Vs Big L? or, Styles P vs Big L?

    • Too Great

      styles P wud kill L

      • Nah…

        I think you should go listen to Big L’s The Big Picture again. Big L would shit on P, and he had the persona to go along with it. Very aggressive spitta.

  • T

    A lot of these battles are horribly one-sided. The only great match-up was Nas vs. ‘Pac. That would be legendary.

    • Dead President

      no brotha i think nas would hav pac in the battle like he murked wit ether but pac take 2 heart drop a hit em up like rap bout torturin the nigga n murder nas on wax 1st round

  • Donte

    yo what i really want to see is tony yayo vs jim jones lmao……really XXL lol

  • Q461

    I don’t really understand the point of this list. are you talking about you want to see these dudes square off and freestyle battle like on 106 and Park or get into a beef and throw diss records at each other? 2 VERY different things.

    For one, some of these dudes have never really freestyle battled let alone did a real diss track (subliminals not withstanding). There are some on here I’m sure could do eithier one or the other or both, and some that couldn’t do eithier. Yall really wanna see Too Short in a freestyle battle? Tony Yayo? Jeezy? E-40? No disrespect cause I like these artists, but none of them have been known for being really lyrical or the type of guys I would think could really give a good freestyle battle, just for example.

    On the other hand I thnk Drake, Ghost, J Cole, 3 Stacks, Pun, Kanye, Luda, Weezy etc DO have the lyrical strengths and creativity to freestyle battle and/or write capable diss records.

    For all of the artists I’ve listed though, it’s obviously never been their lane ( a few dudes notwithstanding) so until it is, this is kind of dumb.

    Just for the record though I’d go with the classic battle that never happened : Rakim vs Big Daddy Kane

  • jala

    Cam’Ron and Kanye are cool now.

  • Don mcCaine

    “are you talking about you want to see these dudes square off and freestyle battle like on 106 and Park or get into a beef and throw diss records at each other? 2 VERY different things”

    ^ this

    “A lot of these battles are horribly one-sided.”

    ^ this too

    3 Stacks v Starks? Luda v Busta? smh…

  • KiNGPiN

    how bout Tech N9ne vs Twista? Common vs Mos Def? Talib Kweli vs Q-Tip? Jay Rock vs Pill? now tht shit would be interesting

  • PAH

    Gucci vs. WaKa.

  • king t

    yo nas cant fuck witth pac stop with the bull shit yadig me son jayz and em would be cool but they not on that yadig me em will kill murder wayne fast rickross and jeezy would be cool to.

  • This Article A Crime

    1. Eminem been on new article everyday this week

    2. TONY YAYO? LMAO.

    3. I’d like to see B.I.G vs Punisher (would be interesting), Kurupt vs Redman (epic), Pac & Nas (dream come true), Andre 3K vs Ghostface (would be dope), Em vs ANYONE but Jay — seriously, Hov ain’t put good shit out since Black Album; and I ain’t bought no album of his since Reasonable Doubt. However, Eminem is a lyrical murderer. I would love to have Eminem vs Crooked I. That’d be a wrap, too bad Crooked ain’t no mainstream faggot.

    4. How you gon do a battle article and exclude GAME? Ya trippin.

    • T.A.A.C

      Oh, forgot Immortal Technique. He’d kill everyone and everything (check Obnoxious).

      • Too Great

        there’s one cat that can rip immortal apart in a battle…..CANIBUS

  • fazetwo

    This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen. All of these battles would be stupid as fuck except for a few exceptions.

  • Too Great

    Nas vs Eminem, i think Em wud kill nas & Jigga combined

  • No Name

    Pretty dope and reasonable selections. I remember way back when Meth and Rae cut “Meth vs. Chef” and they were battle rapping against one another on the same track. It’d be dope if artists got together and did things like that.

  • pussy p

    How Pusha T vs Royce Da 5’9?

    • Wu Clanman

      That would be nice……..

  • Wu Clanman

    How about group battles.

    Wu Tang vs. G Unit ect……

  • http://xxlmag.com ARGGHHH!!!

    ARGHHH!!!! Cant comment Right NOW takin a shit!!!! ARGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • WhatsMyName?

    Tupac Vs. Nas sounds good. But Pun Vs. Big would be a total domination by Big.

  • gaddic

    Nas & 2pac?
    Laughable Nas would obliterate Tupac!!!
    He’s just a poet with great emotional ryhmes
    Nas is a full-fledged hardcore lyricist-light years more complex rhyming,, metaphors, multi-syllabic rhtyming,rhyme scheme..s no comparison!
    Jay-z & eminem? boring!!… eminem would wipe the floor with him!!!
    Jay-z isnt as good as Eminem lyrically despite being a ‘better’ rapper because of impact and influence and overall consistency
    All the battles listed would be extremely predictable
    Biggie&Big Pun-Pun would wax Biggie-Chris wallace can’t spar in a lyrical brawl with Pun.. Im sorry Pun is way more lyrical

  • ThaReal

    Are you kidding me all your doing is putting young money against g-unit against Dipset. Talk about real battles like early Jay-Z battling DMX in a pool hall in the Bronx. This is just to get hits for your site please….XXL doesn’t know jack shit about hip hop Ill wait for my comment to be deleted

  • Santino

    Ghostface should be in any battle.

  • Master T

    Where is my man Tech N9ne. ?????? only makes me wanna yell FTI louder. Don’t make me call u Mitchell bade.

  • Ace Wonders

    Man, No DMX vs. 2Pac???
    That battle would have happened if Pac didn’t die, and it would have been epic for sure.

  • oskamadsion

    OK, here’s some for ya:

    Ghostface (Supreme Clientele era) vs. Kool Keith (Dr. Octogon era)
    Black Thought vs. Pharoahe Monch
    Royce da 5’9 vs. Ras Kass
    Kool G Rap vs. Nas (teacher 1 vs. student)
    Tragedy vs. Nas (teacher 2 vs. student)
    Large Professor vs. Diamond D (make ‘em battle on the mics and the MPC’s)
    Common vs. Mos Def
    The Clipse vs. Jadakiss and Styles P
    what y’all think???

  • oskamadison

    Oh, one more…

    Eminem vs. Bubba Sparxxx (don’t sleep, it won’t be as one-sided as you think.)

  • Brenda

    Jeezy vs. TI? are you kidding? With punchlines and shit TI is soooo far ahead of jeezy, it’s a no contest. And wayne would KILL 50 if they battled right now. 50 has no punchlines, and wayne could say so much about how 50 is irrelevant in rap. Andre vs. Ghost would be really interesting though.

  • http://xxlmag.com LilDominicanPrince

    1st and 4 most 2pac will destroy Nas handsdown there is no comp there.. Big Pun to me being from Brooklyn believe that he could have destroyed Biggie.. Capital Punishment is one of hiphop greatest albums ever made and so was ready to die but Pun was on another level…. as 4 the lloyd banks and juelz that would end juelz career people remember who the punch line KING is…

  • CYRIL XOLANI

    nas would destroy tupac honestly if you listen to the thingz his sayin on the message thats just classic subliminal ! !!!