Shots Fired

70-pac.jpgOn March 9, 2005, NYC residents were glued to their radios. Anticipation was building in the Big Apple. DJ Funkmaster Flex was at his cocky best, promising a one-two punch of exclusives—Fat Joe’s “My 44” and Jadakiss’ “Checkmate”—the long-awaited answer records to 50 Cent’s “Piggy Bank.” Explosions were heard throughout the tri-state area as Joe Crack got his Fred Flintstone on and ’Kiss mockingly toasted his rival’s SoundScan success. Yup, on the eighth anniversary of Biggie’s death, rap beef was alive and well.

What is it about this stuff that’s so intriguing? We’ve all seen 8 Mile,S.M.A.C.K. DVDs, and 106 & Park on Fridays. A microphone-à-microphone battle of wits is a major part of the culture. Some-times (sorry, hip-hop police) harsh words lead to hurt feelings that lead to fisticuffs, or worse. But for the most part, the strife has stayed on wax—resulting in some of the finest rap music ever recorded. Nothing like a bruised ego for motivational fuel, huh?

While XXL has enjoyed the latest round of mudslinging (thanks for stirring shit up, CJ!), of it pales in comparison to the 20 selections we’ve deemed the Greatest Diss Songs of all time. That’s right, new jacks, we ’bout to take you back. Back through the history of hip-hop hostilities. The Bridge Wars, LL vs. Moe Dee, Jigga vs. Nas. And of course, the wrath of ’Pac. This is what happens when rhyme animals attack.

20.
Song: “Back Down”
Year: 2003
target: Ja Rule, Irv Gotti, Cadillac Tah, Black Child
motive: To strip one of hip-hop’s most successful artists of any remaining credibility.
brutal bars: “You’s a poptart sweetheart, you soft in the middle/I eat you for breakfast, the watch was exchanged for your necklace.”
availability:Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope)

19. Artist: Tim Dog
Song: “Fuck Compton”
Year: 1991
target: Eazy-E, Ice Cube, N.W.A, Dr. Dre, Michel’le
motive: To make a name for himself. It worked!
brutal bars: “Dre beating on Dee from Pump It Up/Step to the Dog and get fucked up.”
availability: Ruffhouse Records Greatest Hits (Ruffhouse/Columbia)

18. Artist: Eminem
Song: “Nail In The Coffin”
Year: 2003
target: Benzino, The Source magazine, Dave Mays
motive: One of two responses to ’Zino’s “Pull Ya Skirt Up.”
brutal bars:“I don’t need your little fucking magazine. I got XXL’s number anyways… and y’all can’t stand it ’cause they gettin’ bigger than y’all.”
availability: DJ Green Lantern’s Invasion Part 1 (mixtape)

17. Artist: Eazy-E featuring B.G. Knocc Out and Dresta
Song: “Real Muthaphuckkin’ G’s”
Year: 1993
target: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Death Row Records
motive: One of many responses to Dr. Dre’s “Dre Day” and other Chronic disses.
brutal bars: “I hope that your fans understand when you talk about sprayin’ me/The same records that you makin’ is payin’ me.”
availability: Eternal E: The Best of (Ruthless)

16. Artist: MC Lyte
Song: “10% Dis”
Year: 1988
target: Antoinette, Hurby Luv Bug
motive: Lyte accused newcomer female MC of lifting one of her tracks.
brutal bars: “Hot damn, hoe, here we go again/Suckers steal a beat, when you know they can’t win.”
availability: The Very Best of MC Lyte (Rhino)

15. Artist: Jadakiss
Song: “Freestyle (Fuck Beanie Sigel)”
Year: 2001
target: Beanie Sigel
motive: Response to Beanie’s “Empire Strikes Back Freestyle.”
brutal bars: “Niggas can’t stand you Sigel/Your flow is mine anyway, so don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”
availability: DJ P-Cutta’s Street Wars: Battle for the Streets (mixtape)

14. Artist: Beanie Sigel
Song: “Empire Strikes Back Freestyle”
Year: 2001
target: Jadakiss
motive: Tired of ’Kiss and D-Block throwing subliminal rocks at the Roc, Beans unleashed the beast.
brutal bars: “What’s funny Jason, really think you grimy too/Now everybody liked you better in that shiny suit.”
availability: DJ P-Cutta’s Street Wars: Battle for the Streets (mixtape)

13. Artist: Kool Moe Dee
Song: “Let’s Go”
Year: 1987
target: LL Cool J
motive: Response to LL’s “Jack the Ripper.”
brutal bars: “LL stands for Lower Level, Lack Luster/Last Least, Limp Lover…”
availability: The Jive Collection Volume 2 (Jive)

12. Artist: LL Cool J
Song: “Jack the Ripper”
Year: 1987
target: Kool Moe Dee
motive: Response to Kool Moe’s “How Ya Like Me Now.”
brutal bars: “How ya like me now? I’m getting busier/I’m double-platinum, I’m watching you get dizzier.”
availability: All World: The Greatest Hits (Def Jam)

11. Artist: LL Cool J
Song: “To da Break of Dawn”
Year: 1990
target: Kool Moe Dee, MC Hammer, Ice-T
motive: To fire back at three rap peers he felt were taking shots at him.
brutal bars: “You can’t handle the whole weight/Skin needs lotion, teeth need Colgate/Wise up, you little burnt-up french fry/I’m that type of guy.”
availability: Mama Said Knock You Out(Def Jam)

  • http://xxl Just Blizzle

    good list now let me see top ten and ether better be one or two longside with hit em up

  • http://xxl Just BLIzzle

    My bad i meant either
    (typo)
    Peace

  • D BLOCK

    wheres the rest?

  • http://myspace.com/28street Deeez Industries!!

    This whole Cd Was Crazy!Im mean I bought the cd and I was blow away!But What is the greatest Diss Song?Im gonna mention Nail in The Coffin’!Every line was a Stab!

  • Bob

    I hate ja rule

  • L.R.N.A.

    this review of the 20 Greatest Diss Songs, was sooo bullshit…im talkin bout the top ten…where u put hit em up as the best diss?!..whoa im sorry but dats bullshit ..and whats even more fucked up is that u put ETHER! under the takeover!? o wow xxl fucked up there ..i guess ya’ll wuz just ridin hov’s dick huh …only reason ya’ll get away wit dis shit is bcuz ur the only real hiphop mag left …but dont change our minds

  • Tumi

    U fucked up!! How can Hit em Up be the best diss song of all time? TAKEOVER was the shit!! Sorry TAKEOVER is the shit!!!

  • ROB G

    MAN YALL EAST COAST CATS MAD BECAUSE PAC MADE THE WHOLE COAST LOOK LIKE BITCHES ON HIT EM UP. GREATEST DISS OF ALL TIME HANDS DOWN

  • Rice

    i wanna see the rest

  • Cellus

    Where are tha other 10 at? I know Common, Cube, Pac, and KRS gott abe on here!

  • DVICTR

    Cant forget DJ QUIK $afe and Sound

  • sir dosia

    what up with 2 pac u know hit em up,
    ice cubes no vaseline??

  • THuggish RUggish BOne

    bitch as wankstaz u know hit em up is the realest diss song ever. ROB G my man u know it this bitch niggaz at east know pac fucked them up fuckers crying out loud. haha WeStCoAsT 4 LiFe

  • Medic_AL

    Tupac: “Realest shit I ever wrote”
    Realest dis ever recorded.

  • gunit killa

    the game -300 bars

    thats shit was crazy even if u dont,like game he held it down

  • John

    Game Sucks
    Ja Sucks
    Fat Joe Sucks

    i bought this mag and saw the ratings
    Hit ‘Em Up and Piggy Bank i think were down at top 10
    Suprised with Nail in the Coffin IM A HUGE EMINEM FAN it blew my mind i almost forgot about it.

  • SIX MILE SHORTIE

    Just Blizzle Says:

    March 11th, 2006 at 12:25 am
    good list now let me see top ten and ether better be one or two longside with hit em up

    Just BLIzzle Says:

    March 11th, 2006 at 9:05 pm
    My bad i meant either
    (typo)
    Peace

    D BLOCK Says:

    March 31st, 2006 at 7:51 pm
    wheres the rest?

    Deeez Industries!! Says:

    April 4th, 2006 at 5:48 pm
    This whole Cd Was Crazy!Im mean I bought the cd and I was blow away!But What is the greatest Diss Song?Im gonna mention Nail in The Coffin’!Every line was a Stab!

    Bob Says:

    April 11th, 2006 at 1:38 am
    I hate ja rule

    L.R.N.A. Says:

    May 2nd, 2006 at 11:38 am
    this review of the 20 Greatest Diss Songs, was sooo bullshit…im talkin bout the top ten…where u put hit em up as the best diss?!..whoa im sorry but dats bullshit ..and whats even more fucked up is that u put ETHER! under the takeover!? o wow xxl fucked up there ..i guess ya’ll wuz just ridin hov’s dick huh …only reason ya’ll get away wit dis shit is bcuz ur the only real hiphop mag left …but dont change our minds

    Tumi Says:

    May 26th, 2006 at 4:01 am
    U fucked up!! How can Hit em Up be the best diss song of all time? TAKEOVER was the shit!! Sorry TAKEOVER is the shit!!!

    ROB G Says:

    May 30th, 2006 at 10:12 am
    MAN YALL EAST COAST CATS MAD BECAUSE PAC MADE THE WHOLE COAST LOOK LIKE BITCHES ON HIT EM UP. GREATEST DISS OF ALL TIME HANDS DOWN

    Rice Says:

    June 1st, 2006 at 10:17 am
    i wanna see the rest

    Cellus Says:

    June 16th, 2006 at 1:46 pm
    Where are tha other 10 at? I know Common, Cube, Pac, and KRS gott abe on here!

    DVICTR Says:

    June 23rd, 2006 at 8:30 am
    Cant forget DJ QUIK $afe and Sound

    sir dosia Says:

    July 1st, 2006 at 4:34 am
    what up with 2 pac u know hit em up,
    ice cubes no vaseline??

    THuggish RUggish BOne Says:

    July 3rd, 2006 at 2:55 pm
    bitch as wankstaz u know hit em up is the realest diss song ever. ROB G my man u know it this bitch niggaz at east know pac fucked them up fuckers crying out loud. haha WeStCoAsT 4 LiFe

    Medic_AL Says:

    July 11th, 2006 at 7:20 am
    Tupac: “Realest shit I ever wrote”
    Realest dis ever recorded.

    gunit killa Says:

    July 11th, 2006 at 1:52 pm
    the game -300 bars

    thats shit was crazy even if u dont,like game he held it down

    John Says:

    July 26th, 2006 at 8:41 pm
    Game Sucks
    Ja Sucks
    Fat Joe Sucks

    i bought this mag and saw the ratings
    Hit ‘Em Up and Piggy Bank i think were down at top 10
    Suprised with Nail in the Coffin IM A HUGE EMINEM FAN it blew my mind i almost forgot about it.

    fuck yall

  • The One

    Just Blizzle Says:

    March 11th, 2006 at 12:25 am
    good list now let me see top ten and ether better be one or two longside with hit em up

    Just BLIzzle Says:

    March 11th, 2006 at 9:05 pm
    My bad i meant either
    (typo)
    Peace

    You were right the first time it’s ether jackass

  • http://xxlmag.com Marquis

    is you f***in kiddin’, Ice Cube’s No Vaseline should’ve been NO. 1. Hit Em’ Up was harsh, but this was vicious. Can’t get no better than No Vaseline