On this day, Nov. 12, in hip-hop history...

1991: Bronx-bred rapper Tim Dog made his debut with his 1991 album Pencillin on Wax, a project that arguably lit the match to the infamous East Coast vs. West Coast hip-hop beef of the '90s.

During a time when group's like Compton's N.W.A. were reigning the hip-hop charts, East Coast acts were growing frustrated with the neglect. IN March 1991, Bronx's Tim Dog dropped the track "Fuck Compton," one of the most blatant and scathing diss tracks ever directed towards West Coast. "Fuck Compton" made fun of West Coast fashion and took direct shots at rappers like Eazy-E, MC Ren, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre.

"Why you dissing Eazy?/Cause the boy ain't shit/Chew him with tobacco, and spit him in shit/I'll crush Ice Cube, I'm cool wit Ice T/But NWA ain't shit to me/Dre beating on Dee from Pump it Up/Step to the Dog and get fucked up/I'm simplistic, imperialistic, idealistic/And I'm kicking the ballistics," spit Tim in the second verse of the song.

The song was produced by Ced Gee of Ultramagnetic MCs and although it didn't gain much radio play due to it's explicit nature, "Fuck Compton" became a rally cry for the East Coast and a hit in the clubs. Dr. Dre would later respond to Tim Dog on the song's "Fuck Wit Dre Day" and "The $20 Sack Pyramid" off his own debut album The Chronic in 1992.

Pencillin on Wax as a whole was released by Ruffhouse Records and is filled with plenty of shots at California MCs besides the main single. The intro to the album samples N.W.A.'s Niggaz4Life intro and there were skits in which Tim beat up DJ Quik and bagged up Death Row singer Michel'le. To date, "Fuck Compton" still goes down as one of the craziest diss tracks of all time, which solidifies the album Pencillin on Wax as a moment in hip-hop history.

Throwback: XXL's 20 Greatest Diss Songs

Illustration: Mike Thompson


Shots Fired
Everyone loves a good battle, right? That's why we couldn't wait for 50's "Piggy Bank," and Jada and Joe's responses. But today's beef records can't touch XXL's 20 greatest diss songs. It's 2005, fellas. Step your hate game up.
Words Elliott Wilson
Illustration Mike Thompson

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the June 2005 issue of XXL Magazine.

On 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 Flinstone 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 MileS.M.A.C.K. DVDs and 106 & Park on Fridays. A microphone-á-microphone battle of wits is a major part of the culture. Sometimes (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!), most of it pales in comparison to the 20 selections we've deemed the Greatest Diss Songs off 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.

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20. 50 Cent, "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 pop tart sweetheart, you soft in the middle/I eat you for breakfast, the watch was exchanged for your necklace."
Project: Get Rich Or Die Tryin'


19. Tim Dog, "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."
Project: Ruffhouse Records Greatest Hits

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2000 MTV Video Music Awards Rehearsals

18. Eminem, "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"
Project: DJ Green Lantern's Invasion Part 1 mixtape

Photo Credit: Raymond Boyd

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17. Eazy-E featuring BG Knocc Out and Dresta, "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."
Project: Eternal E: The Best Of

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16. MC Lyte, "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."
Project: The Very Best of MC Lyte

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Detroit Pistons v Denver Nuggets

15. Jadakiss, "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."
Project: DJ P-Cutta's Street Wars: Battle For The Streets Mixtape

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Kingdome Basketball Tournament Championship Finals

14. Beanie Sigel, "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."
Project: DJ P-Cutta's Street Wars: Battle For The Streets Mixtape

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13. Kool Moe Dee, "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..."
Project: The Jive Collection Volume 2

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Spike TV's Guys Choice 2015 - Green Room

12. LL Cool J, "Jack The Ripper"

Year: 1987
Target: Kool Moe Dee
Motive: Response to Kool Moe Dee's "How You Like Me Now."
Brutal Bars: "How ya like me now? I'm getting busier/I'm double platinum, I'm watching you get dizzier."
Project: All World: The Greatest Hits

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Lip Sync Battle LIVE At SummerStage In New York

11. LL Cool J, "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."
Project: Mama Said Knock You Out

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"Time Is Illmatic" Opening Night Premiere - 2014 Tribeca Film Festival

10. Roxanne Shante, "Roxanne's Revenge"

Year: 1984
Target: UTFO
Motive: To make a name for herself. It worked!
Brutal Bars: "I ask you a question, I wanna know why/Why'd ya have to make a record 'bout me/The R-O-X-A-N-N-E?"
Project: The Best of Cold Chillin'


9. Canibus, "Second Round K.O."

Year: 1998
Target: LL Cool J
Motive: Response to LL's verse on "4,3,2,1"—a song Canibus also appeared on.
Brutal Bars: "That shit was the worst rhyme I ever heard in my life/'Cause the greatest rapper of all time died on March 9th."
Project: Can-I-Bus

Photo Credit: Robert Redd


8. Ice Cube, "No Vaseline"

Year: 1991
Target: N.W.A, Jerry Heller
Motive: Response to N.W.A's disses on the 100 Miles and Runnin' EP.
Brutal Bars: "Lookin' like straight bozos/I saw it comin', that's why I went solo."
Project: Death Certificate

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2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival - Day 3

7. Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg, "Dre Day"

Year: 1992
Target: Eazy-E, BG Knocc Out, Tim Dog, Luke, Ice Cube
Motive: A long-awaited response to various disses.
Brutal Bars: "Used to be my homie, used to be my ace/Now I wanna slap the taste out yo' mouth/Make you bow down to the Row/Fuckin' me, now I'm fuckin' you, little hoe."
Project: The Chronic

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6. Common, "The Bitch In Yoo"

Year: 1996
Target: Ice Cube, Mack 10, WC
Motive: Response to Westside Connection's "Westside Slaughterhouse."
Brutal Bars: "A bitch nigga wit an attitude named Cube/Step to the Com wit' a feud/Now what the fuck I look like dissing a whole coast/You ain't made shit dope since AmeriKKKa's Most."
Project: Roc Raida's Crossfaderz

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5. Boogie Down Productions, "The Bridge Is Over"

Year: 1987
Target: Queensbridge-based Juice Crew—Mr. Magic, Marley Marl, MC Shan, Roxanne Shante
Motive: Response to MC Shan's "Kill That Noise"
Brutal Bars: "Manhattan keeps on makin' it, Brooklyn keeps on takin' it/Bronx keeps creatin' it and Queens keeps on fakin' it."
Project: A Retrospective

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4. Boogie Down Productions, "South Bronx"

Year: 1986
Target: MC Shan and the Juice Crew
Motive: Angered that famous DJ Mr. Magic had dissed one of his early records, KRS-One took it to Magic's crew's top artist, Shan, who'd just had a hit with "The Bridge."
Brutal Bars: "So why don't you wise up, show all the people in the place that you are wack/Instead of tryna take out LL, you need to take your homeboys off the crack."
Project: A Retrospective

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Nas: Time is Illmatic Screening And Live Performance In Oakland

3. Nas, "Ether"

Year: 2001
Target: Jay Z, Roc-A-Fella Records, Dame Dash
Motive: Response to Jay Z's "Takeover"
Brutal Bars: "When these streets keep callin', heard it when I was asleep/That Gay Z and Cock-A-Fella Records wanted beef."
Project: Stillmatic

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Louisville v Kentucky

2. Jay Z, "Takeover"

Year: 2001
Target: Prodigy, Nas
Motive: Response to Prodigy's many mixtape disses and Nas' claim, in the song "Stillmatic," that Jay blew up only after using a Nas sample for the chorus of his single "Dead Presidents."
Brutal Bars: "So yeah, I sampled your voice, you was usin' it wrong/You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song."
Project: The Blueprint

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Snoop Dog And Tupac Shakur

1. 2pac featuring The Outlawz, "Hit 'Em Up"

Year: 1996
Target: The Notorious B.I.G., Bad Boy Records, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Lil Ceasse, Lil Kim and Junior M.A.F.I.A., Mobb Deep, Chino XL
Motive: 'Pac held Biggie and Puffy responsible for his being shot and robbed at Quad Studios in 1995.
Brutal Bars: "First off, fuck your bitch and the click you claim/Westside when we ride come equipped with game/You claim to be a player but I fucked your wife/We bust on Bad Boy's niggas fucked for life."
Project: Greatest Hits