White On White (Lyrical) Crime
White rappers just can’t seem to get along with one another. Similar to the same problem that affects female MCs, there only seems to be room for one pale-faced lyricist in the game at any given moment, which can cause quite a predicament. To explain our point, XXL took a look back and highlighted 10 of the most memorable beefs in no particular order. This is strictly white meat. Now dig in.
3rd Bass Vs. Beastie Boys
When the Beasties left Def Jam in 1989 for Capital, Russell Simmons quickly tried to replace them with MC Serch and Prime Minister Pete Nice. The duo, hailing from Queens and Brooklyn respectively, wasted no time in dissing the white rap forefathers. On “Sons of 3rd Bass,” the second track off their Def Jam debut, The Cactus Album, the fellas took plenty of shots at the Boys. Pete specifically called out Ad-Rock for his lack of street cred.
“You know about that silver spoon havin, buckshot acne showin, L.A. weak-ass sellout. non-legitimate, tip-doggin’, jethro pseudo intellectual, dust-smokin, pretty boy playwright posin’, folks wiggin, whinin’ annoyin Def Jam reject devil, white bread no money havin, slum village people cloning, step children!”
Of course The Beasties took notice and on “Professor Booty” MCA, responded by poking fun at Serch’s penchant for dancing. “I’m bad ass, move your fat ass ’cause you’re wack son/Dancin’ around like you think you’re Janet Jackson.” Ouch.
3rd Bass Vs Vanilla Ice
The Beasties weren’t 3rd Bass’s only victim. The guys’ bigger beef was with the Ice Man. They were always vocal with their disliking of the pop rapper, whom they considered a fraud. On 1991’s “Pop Goes the Weasel”—ironically their biggest hit (making it all the way to No. 1 on Billboard’s rap charts)—the group hanged dude out to dry. They even went as far as hiring an Ice look-a-like for their video (played by punk rock legend Henry Rollins), who they beat up with baseball bats at the end of the clip.
Eminem Vs. Everlast
Back in 2001, Em and Whitey Ford notoriously exchanged words over a handful of diss records. As the legend goes, Whitey Ford allegedly caught feelings when the two crossed paths backstage at a concert, and the blonde bomber didn’t show him any recognition. The House of Pain frontman felt slighted and dropped a subliminal diss to Em on Dilated People’s “Ear Drums Pop (Remix).” “I buck a .380 on ones that act shady.” Never known to back down, Em quickly responded with “I Remember” addressing the comments over an acoustic track that poked fun at Ev’s new, softer “Whitey Ford” persona. Everlast busted back on “Whitey’s Revenge,” calling out Mr. Mather’s daughter and mother, which resulted in two more hard-hitting songs by Shady, “Quiter” and “Shit on You” with his group D12, which answered any questions who was the victor in this battle.
Eminem Vs. ICP
Eminem and the Insane Clown Posse’s beef runs deep. The two acts, both hailing from Detroit, have had problems since the late 90s. Supposedly the issues started when Em put ICP’s name on a flyer in order to draw a crowd at a show, before he got signed by Dr. Dre. Ever since they’ve both talked ill of one another in interviews (especially on the Howard Stern show) and had lines in each others songs. ICP even went as far to release a remix of “My Name Is,” called “Slim Anus,” recruiting a Shady sound-a-like to record homoerotic voiceovers.
Eminem vs Cage
When Eminem first came out, New York based underground rapper Cage felt as though the Detroit rhyme slinger stole his shtick. Being another obscene, sucicidal, white MC who rapped about taking an insane amount of drugs and having a messed up life, it wasn’t hard to see the two’s similarities. So Cage called him out on several of his 12 inch singles, and freestyles on the Stretch and Bobbito show—the seminal radio program that helped launch both MCs careers. This resulted in a war that went on for years. Em is heard throwing shots at Cage throughout his debut album, The Slim Shady LP, most notably on “Role Model” where he spit, “I bought Cage’s tape, opened it and dubbed over it.” He even appeared on the cover of former rap mag Stress’s cover dressed as Cage’s rap alter ego Alex, (from the Stanley Kubrick film, A Clockwork Orange) decked out in the characters garb, holding a knife to his eye.
Cage Vs. Esoteric
In the early 2000s Cage Kennylz and fellow independent Boston MC Esoteric went at it. Why? It’s not exactly clear, but it spawned several entertaining diss records including Cage’s “Haterama” and 7L’s “Do It.” The Big Apple and Beantown never could get along.
Cage Vs. The High & Mighty
When Cage left H&M’s label Eastern Conference Records for Def Jux he publicly harbored bad feelings towards his former partners-in- rhyme. On “Public Property,” off his 2006 album Hell’s Winter, he blasted the Smut Peddlers for owing him money and exploiting his talent. “But upon departure of y’all I checked nothing just carried on my vision/ Wrote ’till my fingers bled, got no respect or love/ So now y’all can pay me back by writing out my check in blood/ But pay me no mind if my records are wreckless/ This time around I’m just one of you fucking depressed kids/ You saw the bottle splash next see the tech spray…”
Copywrite Vs. Asher Roth
Following the success of Asher Roth’s “I Love College,” a lot of random white rappers came out of the woodwork to throw shots at the suburban sensation. One of the more credible MCs to take offense to Roth’s existence was former Eastern Conference rep, Copywrite who launched a campaign against the 2009 XXL Freshman. He released a few records including “The Real Fake Shady” and “Cremation.” Many believed that Ash responded on the song “Silly Boy,” but the verdict is still out.
El-P vs Sole
S.A.T. words never sounded so hard. In the late 1990s El-Producto of Company Flow and Sole of the Aniticon crew got involved in some intellectual sparring, that showcased how El originated the 50 Cent rap war tactic of taping phone conversations. Sole apparently called El before stuff got out of hand, and El used the convo to his benefit on his diss track “Linda Tripp” where fans heard him not only sonning Sole, but putting the Anticon MC’s standom of his own group on blast. “I love Company Flow.” FAIL.
R.A. the Rugged Man vs. The Alchemist
R.A. took a pot shot at ALC on his track “Lessons,” accusing the producer of stealing his beat for “Stanley Kubrick” and using it for another beat. On the song he says, “Alchemist you still my little buddy/Although you stole that Royce Da 5’9” ‘The King’ beat from me.” Apparently they mended their bad blood exchanging witty twitter messages last summer.