Jay Z’s 6 Best Diss Verses In The Past Year

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  • jay z
    When Hova's name is called, you best expect a response, and Drake learned that the hard way this weekend after Jay Electronica and Jay Z dropped a freestyle over "We Made It" where the Roc Nation kingpin spent a good chunk of his verse either knocking Drizzy back down a few notches or reminding the OVO man that you may think you're on top of the rap game, but there are still some people who are untouchable. Jay's diss was in response to a <a title="rs" href="http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/drake-high-times-at-the-yolo-estate-20140213" target="_blank">comment Drake made to <em>Rolling Stone</em></a> in his much-maligned—by the rapper, at least—feature interview in February.<br /><br />That Jay clapped back so quickly—and on wax, a more admirable arena to take shots in the hip-hop world—continues a trend he's reignited over the past year, hitting back swiftly and decisively against critics both within and without the rap game. Hova used to engage full-on in beefs and diss records—Nas, anyone?—but he's taken the high road more often than not in the last half-decade. No longer. <em>XXL</em> went through the past year of Jay's verses and picked out six instances where he snapped back at criticism, taking down rappers, newspapers, Civil Rights pioneers and international businesses depending on his moods. The takeover; the break's over. <em>—Dan Rys (<a title="danrys" href="https://twitter.com/danrys" target="_blank">@danrys</a>)</em>
  • beyonce-jay-z-cuba
    <b>Diss: </b>Jay Z and Beyonce Criticized For Vacationing In Cuba<br /><b>What Was Said: </b>Mauricio Claver-Carone, the executive director of Cuba Democracy Advocates, <a title="tmz" href="http://www.tmz.com/2013/04/05/jay-z-beyonce-cuba-anniversary-trip-criticized/?adid=hero2" target="_blank">complained to TMZ</a> that Beyonce and Jay Z didn't educate themselves on Cuba's human rights violations before going to Cuba to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. "There are women getting beaten on a daily basis, women who are being jailed for no reason...people are fighting for their freedom... It’s extremely insensitive."<br /><b>When The Diss Came:</b> April 6, 2013<br /><b>Response: </b>"Open Letter"<br /><b>Date Of Response:</b> April 11, 2013<br /><b>Days Between:</b> 5<br /><b>Lyric:</b> "Obama said 'Chill, you gonna get me impeached' / But you don't need this shit anyway, chill with me on the beach"<br /><b>Fallout:</b> I'm sure you can only imagine what this Jay lyric did to conservatives in Washington—thankfully, none of them actually had the heart attack they feigned when they heard it. Obama was able to <a title="respond" href="http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.23733/title.president-obama-jokes-about-jay-z-cuba-controversy-at-correspondents-dinner" target="_blank">respond light-heartedly two weeks later</a> at the White House Correspondents' dinner after denying any prior knowledge of the power couple's trip, saying, "Some things are beyond my control. For example, this controversy about Jay Z going to Cuba. It's unbelievable. I've got 99 problems, and now Jay Z's one." He also came in to DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win," so that tells you the type of mood the president was in at the time.<br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/XyUxCQt9T0E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • new york post
    <b>Diss: </b><i>New York Post</i> <a title="racist" href="http://rapfix.mtv.com/2012/05/05/new-york-post-jay-z-brooklyn-nets-racist-column/" target="_blank">Columnist Phil Mushnick Gets More Than A Little Racist</a> After Brooklyn Nets Logo Is Unveiled<br /><b>What Was Said: </b>"Why the Brooklyn Nets when they can be the New York N----s? The cheerleaders could be the Brooklyn B----s or H--s. Team logo? A 9 mm with hollow-tip shell casings strewn beneath. Wanna be Jay-Z hip? Then go all the way!"<br /><b>When The Diss Came:</b> May 4, 2012<br /><b>Response: </b>"Open Letter"<br /><b>Date Of Response:</b> April 11, 2013<br /><b>Days Between:</b> 342<br /><b>Lyric:</b> "Would've brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free / Except I made millions off it, you fuckin' dweeb"<br /><b>Fallout:</b> Frankly, Hova let him off easy with this one. Nothing happened to Mushnick—who many consider one of the worst and most offensive columnists in sports, which is saying something—and the column stayed online, for some reason. Stay classy, <em>New York Post</em>.<br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/XyUxCQt9T0E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • HarryBelafonte
    <b>Diss: </b>Harry Belafonte Calls Out Jay Z And Beyonce For Lack Of Social Responsibility<br /><b>What Was Said: </b>“I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities," <a title="thr" href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/harry-belafonte-locarno-mitt-romney-359192" target="_blank">Belafonte told <em>The Hollywood Reporter</em></a>. "But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay Z and Beyonce, for example."<br /><b>When The Diss Came:</b> August 7, 2012<br /><b>Response: </b>"Nickels And Dimes" from <em>Magna Carta...Holy Grail</em><br /><b>Date Of Response:</b> July 4, 2013<br /><b>Days Between:</b> 331<br /><b>Lyric:</b> "I'm just trying to find common ground / Before Mr. Belafonte come and chop a nigga down / Mr. "Day-O," major fail / Respect these youngins boy, it's my time now / Hublot homie, two door homie / You don't know all the shit I do for the homies"<br /><b>Fallout: </b>Belafonte changed his tone rather quickly, from confrontational to reconciliatory, <a title="offering" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2013/07/harry-belafonte-wants-to-talk-out-his-differences-with-jay-z/" target="_blank">offering to meet with Jay</a> so that they could talk out their differences, saying, "I would like to take this opportunity to say to Jay Z and to Beyonce, I’m wide open. My heart is filled with nothing but the hope of the promise that we could sit and have a one on one and let’s understand each other rather than trying to answer these questions and answer these nuances in a public place."<br /><br />Jay went on <a title="maher" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2013/08/jay-z-talks-harry-belafonte-achieving-greatness-politics-on-real-time-with-bill-maher/" target="_blank">Bill Maher's show a couple days later</a> and responded on the show, saying, "I didn’t think it was the correct venue. If it was something that was a real problem I’m not that difficult to find. Especially to someone of that stature. He can reach out to me and we can have a conversation and we can do some good together. It was a bit grandstanding to me." Nothing ever really came of it after that.<br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/PuIU0kJ46uI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • beanie-sigel
    <b>Diss: </b>“What You Talkin' About (I Ain’t Your Average Cat),” by Beanie Sigel, among a whole host of others from Beans<br /><b>What Was Said: </b>Beans: "But the rapper Shawn called the police on me / Cause I was front row at the Blueprint 3 / I just wanted to see him MC / And reminisce when we was the R.O.C / But he called on the C.O.P's / Not only that, he brought in the F.E.Ds (snitch) / So that's telling me "F.U. Sig" / So F you too and F Bleek 3"<br /><b>When The Diss Came:</b> October 30, 2009<br /><b>Response: </b>"Pound Cake / Paris Morton Music 2," Drake featuring Jay Z<br /><b>Date Of Response:</b> September 19, 2013<br /><b>Days Between:</b> 1,431<br /><b>Lyric: </b>"I've done made more millionaires than the lotto did / Dame made millions, Biggs made millions / 'Ye made millions, Just made millions / Lyor made millions, Cam made millions / Beans'll tell you if he wasn't in his feelins"<br /><b>Fallout:</b> Honestly, this could have been going at either Beans or Cam'ron—Beans because he had been dissing Jay since 2009 before finally apologizing, Cam because he's Cam—but since "What You Talkin' About" is considered the classic Beanie shot toward Jay, we chose this one as the reference point (and that dig at Beanie is a lot more flippant than his words towards the rest of the Roc). Beans is in jail still, so a response is unlikely until he emerges, but Killa wasn't one to take this one lying down. Eleven days later, Cam dropped his <em>Ghetto Heaven, Vol. 1</em> mixtape which included "Come And Talk To Me (Remix)," his response to Jay's allusion that the Roc was the only golden spoon that gave Cam a mil. "I had a mill before I met him baby, that ain’t no lie / He named some Harlem cats and the homie from the Chi / But my thing: he ain’t name nobody from the Stuy / And I do it like Bed Stuy, do or die / But let’s talk about somethin’ else, you and I." A classy response from Killa, to be real.<br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/PE4kaEBmKf0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/aDweSPl6LQg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Barneys_30bus
    <b>Diss: </b>Barney's Racial Profiling Scandal Leads To Petition, Backlash<br /><b>What Was Said: </b>“Barneys lacks any connection with the Black and hip hop community,” said Derick Bowers, the <a title="petition" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2013/10/jay-z-petitioned-to-drop-barneys-for-stores-alleged-racism/" target="_blank">creator of the Change.org petition</a> asking Jay to withdraw his support of Barneys, in a statement. “And without his vast wealth and brand power, they would see him the same as they see Trayon Christian [one of the men alleging racial profiling]. Jay Z should be appalled by Barneys' actions, and withdraw all support from them. If he does this, he will send a clear message to all corporations that are likeminded, that this behavior cannot be tolerated any longer."<br /><b>When The Diss Came:</b> October 25, 2013<br /><b>Response: </b>"The Devil Is A Lie," Rick Ross featuring Jay Z<br /><b>Date Of Response:</b> December 19, 2013<br /><b>Days Between:</b> 55<br /><b>Lyric:</b> "You seen what I did to the stop and frisk / Brooklyn on the Barney's like we own the bitch / Give the money to the hood, now we all win / Got that Barney's floor lookin' like a VIM"<br /><b>Fallout:</b> Jay never gave up the Barneys partnership, and it paid off for him to the tune of more than $1 million after its November launch. But there <em>was</em> a positive spin after all—Barneys agreed to donate 100 percent of the profits of the line to the <a title="carter" href="http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1719885/jay-z-barneys-charity-one-million.jhtml" target="_blank">Shawn Carter Foundation</a>, which is aiming to help high school kids with socio-economic challenges land college scholarships. A win for everyone?<br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pQ7TMCYqrOc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • drake-rolling stone
    <b>Diss: </b>Drake in <i>Rolling Stone</i><br /><b>What Was Said:</b> "It's like Hov can't drop bars these days without at least four art references! ... I would love to collect at some point, but I think the whole rap/art world thing is getting kind of corny."<br /><b>When The Diss Came:</b><a title="feb" href="http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/drake-high-times-at-the-yolo-estate-20140213?page=3" target="_blank"> February 13, 2014</a><br /><b>Response: </b><a title="elect" href="http://www.xxlmag.com/rap-music/new-music/2014/03/jay-z-and-jay-electronica-remix-soulja-boys-we-made-it/" target="_blank">"We Made It," Jay Electronica featuring Jay Z</a><br /><b>Date Of Response:</b> March 23, 2014<br /><b>Days Between:</b> 38<br /><b>Lyric:</b> "Damn Hov stunt on them haters / Sorry Mr. Drizzy for so much art talk / Silly me rappin' 'bout shit that I really bought / While these rappers rap about guns they ain't shot"<br /><b>Fallout:</b> None yet, though it will be interesting to see if Drizzy responds on wax or in an interview. Drake threw a lot of shots during that <i>Rolling Stone </i>interview—Macklemore and Kanye also took words from him—but has refused to respond to most people on records, seeing most rappers as below his level. Time to stand up for your "best rapper of my generation" claims now, Drake.<br /><br /><iframe width="670" height="380" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FdMJf-gm-us" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Previously: Jay Z And Jay Electronica Remix Soulja Boy’s “We Made It”
Ranking Jay Electronica’s Best Verses Since Signing To Roc Nation