Let’s get ready to rumble!
Last Thursday (Sept. 26), Shaquille O’Neal released a diss track on his Instagram page aimed at Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard. Apparently, the NBA Hall of Famer wasn’t feeling Dame’s boasts that he can rap better than Shaq during an interview on the Joe Budden Podcast.
On the song, Shaq spits that Dame is the worst player in the league and adds that he’s not on the same level as fellow NBA superstars Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook.
“You see this flow it got a little Hall of Fame on it/Dame shoot jumpers/Shaq still bang on it,” he raps. “MVP candidate you are not one/Platinum plaques on my wall go and get you some/Lyrically, I’m three-time Finals MVP/I can’t believe some clown is testing me.”
On the Joe Budden Podcast, Dame suggested that Shaq’s rap success was more due to the former NBA superstar’s game than his own lyrical skills.
“I think I rap better than Shaq,” he said. “I think he was viewed as Shaq. People [weren't] looking at him like he was a real rapper. They was like, ‘That’s Shaq rapping,’ so of course it was a big deal.”
Judging by his battle with Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley this summer, it's likely Dame will strike back. Yet, of course, this seems to all be in good fun. There’s no serious beef between Shaq and Dame.
Watch Damian Lillard talk sports on the Joe Budden Podcast below. At the 11-minute mark, Dame suggests that he's a better rapper than Shaq.
See 21 of Hip-Hop's Most Unfortunate Rap Beefs
Unfortunate Rap Beefs
It's been almost a year since Lil Wayne officially called out Birdman and Cash Money for delaying Tha Carter V, with lawsuits filed and threats, both real and idle, disrupting one of the most concrete relationships in hip-hop history. With that in mind, XXL looks through some of the most unfortunate hip-hop beefs, from Baby vs. Wayne to Diddy vs. Shyne to C-Murder vs. Master P to Gucci Mane vs. the world.
50 Cent and Young Buck
50 Cent and Young BuckYear: 2008-2014
What Happened: Young Buck was a key part of G-Unit's hip-hop takeover between 2003-2007. But after 50 helped Buck's tax issues with the IRS by lending him some cash, money got in between the two friends and 50 publicly kicked Buck out of the Unit on Hot 97 in April of 2008, citing his disloyalty and comparing him to former G-Unit member The Game. But things got even more personal and public when 50 released the audio of a taped phone call between the two during which Buck now-famously cried on the recording. The feud simmered on and off for years, largely because Fif refused to release Buck from his G-Unit contract, until the whole G-Unit crew—50, Buck, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo—reunited at Summer Jam in 2014, officially squashing the beef.
Bad Meets Evil
Eminem and Royce Da 5'9"Year: 2003-2008
What Happened: Friends since the 1990s, fellow Detroit MCs Eminem and Royce Da 5'9" had a famous falling out in 2003 that resulted in a slew of diss tracks and ill will between Royce and Em and D12. According to Royce, Em had asked him to contribute to his Anger Management mixtape; the bars he penned wound up interpreted as a dig at both Em and D12 at the time. Royce reached out to try and clear up the confusion, only to be shot down and told that Em wasn't speaking to him. "It's crazy how we are supposed to be cool, but they accuse me of something and do not even attempt to get to the bottom of it," Royce told DX in 2003. "But I turned my back on him, right?" Five years later, the two reconciled, resulting in the 2011 Bad Meets Evil album Hell: The Sequel, which went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Beanie Sigel and Jay Z
Beanie Sigel and Jay ZYear: 2009-2015
What Happened: Beanie Sigel was a cornerstone of Roc-A-Fella Records back when Jay Z was ascending to the top of the rap game, but the two fell out in 2009 after Beans slammed Hov on his diss track "I Go Off," saying that money had changed him and that Jay had forgotten where he'd come from and abandoned Beans and State Property. Jay refuted the allegations, insinuating that his old friend had been lazy after Jigga had opened the door to the music industry for him, and Beanie publicly apologized in 2011. But the beef still simmered—many took Jay's verse on Drake's 2013 cut "Pound Cake" as a dig at Beanie, among others—until earlier this year, when Jay brought Beanie on stage at his TIDAL B-Sides show in May to finally end the back and forth.
Killer Mike and Big Boi
Big Boi and Killer MikeYear: 2006-2008
What Happened: Big Boi's relationship with Killer Mike goes back decades; the two grew up in Atlanta, met at Morehouse College in the 1990s and collaborated on OutKast's Grammy Award-winning single, "The Whole World," in 2003. But by 2006, after Mike had signed with Big Boi's Purple Ribbon Records label, issues with distributor Sony and repeated pushbacks on his album caused a rift between Mike and Big. According to the OutKast MC, Killer Mike asked to leave the label and was seen pulling down Purple Ribbon banners around the city, leading to a confrontation where punches were thrown and Mike allegedly spit on Big Boi. The two got into a war of words that eventually cooled by 2008, with Mike saying his kids played a role in the reconciliation, and the two were back on positive terms by 2010.
Canibus and LL Cool J
Canibus and LL Cool JYear: 1997-2014
What Happened: Canibus was a big LL fan when the Queens OG reached out to the younger Philly rhymer to contribute to his track "4,3,2,1" in 1997. But a miscommunication over one of Can's lines in the song—"L, is that a mic on your arm?/Let me borrow that"—which LL interpreted as a diss became a sticking point, with LL asking Can to re-cut the lyric. When the track dropped, Canibus' line was removed and LL's verse had been re-recorded with a diss aimed at Canibus: "The symbol on my arm is off limits to challengers/You hold the rusty sword, I swing the Excalibur." The slight set off a string of diss tracks back and forth—Canibus' "Second Round K.O." and "Rip The Jacka" and LL's "Ripper Strikes Back" and "Back Where I Belong"—which went on for years, before the two publicly ended the long-running beef at the end of 2014.
Diddy and Shyne
Shyne and DiddyYear: 1999-present
Shyne and DiddyYear: 1999-present
What Happened: The infamous 1999 Club New York shooting involving Shyne, Diddy and J.Lo landed the young MC a nine-year prison bid that ended in 2009, leaving an understandably bitter taste in Shyne's mouth over the entire incident. Puff was acquitted in the incident and Shyne spoke negatively about his former Bad Boy boss over the years, at times labeling him a snitch and blaming him for throwing him under the bus. The two briefly reconciled in 2012, only for Shyne to diss Puff months later after the mogul allegedly reneged on his promise to help Shyne, a Belizean citizen, get a visa to return to the United States. Shyne is currently still barred from the States and the two have never made up.
Cam'ron and Jim Jones
Cam'ron and Jim JonesYear: 2007-2010
What Happened: With Dipset and leader Cam'ron on top of the hotly-contested New York rap scene, things began crumbling out of nowhere in 2007, with Miss Info reporting that Cam and Jim Jones hadn't spoken in over a year, with business issues at the root of everything. But the original trio, including Juelz Santana, which had grown up together uptown wouldn't be able to stay apart for long; though Cam would throw Santana and Jones under the bus in an interview in 2009, by 2010 Jimmy and Cam had sewn up their issues by the following year, with intermittent Dipset reunions following over the past half-decade.
DJ Mustard and YG
YG and DJ MustardYear: 2014
What Happened: Was it a publicity stunt? Was it a misunderstanding? Was it even real at all? Close collaborators YG and DJ Mustard had a brief falling out towards the end of 2014 over royalties and payment from YG's album My Krazy Life. The two threw shots at each other on Instagram, with YG claiming he was never compensated for Mustard's now-famous DJ drop "Mustard on the beat, ho," which samples the MC's voice, and the duo then appeared to plan to meet up to duke things out with fisticuffs. According to both, that's exactly what happened, and just a few days later they were back on good terms again.
Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame
Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka FlameYear: 2013-2015?
What Happened: Maybe the closest artist to Gucci Mane over the years has been his longtime protege Waka Flocka Flame; Gucci was managed by Waka's mom, gave Waka his rap name and lived with his fellow MC before signing him to 1017 Brick Squad Records. That's what made their public falling out so shocking and sad, as Gucci Mane publicly dropped Waka from his label in early 2013 for "disloyalty" (which Waka responded to by telling Guwop to "suck a dick"). Gucci claimed his Twitter was hacked, but the disses kept coming from both sides, resulting in Gucci filing a lawsuit against Waka and Waka's mother in November 2013. Waka appeared to back off on the personal attacks this year while Gucci has been behind bars, though he reiterated that the two would never do business together again. And in a series of tweets and Instagram posts, Waka has been advocating for Gucci's release from federal lockup. Is the beef over? It's unclear, but Waka isn't the only one patiently waiting for Gucci Mane to come home.
Ice Cube and N.W.A
Ice Cube and N.W.AYear: 1989-1994
What Happened: N.W.A's manager Jerry Heller was at the center of plenty of the feuds that erupted from the seminal group's implosion, with Ice Cube's beef as no exception. The young MC had written a large chunk, if not all, of both Eazy E and Dr. Dre's rhymes on Straight Outta Compton and left the group due to a money dispute involving compensation for his work that would later turn ugly. Lawsuits were filed and diss tracks, particularly Cube's "No Vaseline" and N.W.A's entire 100 Miles And Runnin' EP, flew as Cube became a hugely successful solo artist in his own right. Dr. Dre would leave N.W.A shortly afterward and the two reunited in 1994, with a truce made before Eazy's death in 1995.
Jim Jones and Max B
Jim Jones and Max BYear: 2006
What Happened: After serving an eight-year prison bid, Max B linked up with Jim Jones and his Byrd Gang crew in 2005 and got to work writing and releasing a prolific amount of songs and mixtapes alongside Jones and co. But an ongoing feud over compensation with the Dipset Capo spilled over into a public war of words before long and after Max's arrest in 2006 on a murder charge, Max was forced to sell some of his publishing back to Jimmy in order to get out on bail, leaving him with no legal way to profit off his work in the music industry. In 2010, a judge set Max free from his Byrd Gang obligations and the following year his full-length album, Vigilante Season, was released on Amalgam Digital. With Max currently locked up on a 75-year sentence, the bad blood still simmers.
Consequence and Kanye West
Consequence and Kanye WestYear: 2011-2015
What Happened: After years of being Kanye's right hand man and frequent collaborator, Consequence parted ways with GOOD Music in 2011 and didn't go quietly. On his M.O.D. 3 mixtape that year, Cons dropped the song "On My Own," which contained some jabs at Yeezy and spoke about being publicly snubbed by his longtime friend repeatedly. Cons' beef encompassed all of GOOD Music's roster as well, most notably Pusha T, and was spread over a handful of subsequent diss tracks to which Kanye never responded. Things got bad for a while, but the two patched things up this year and are reportedly working together on 'Ye's next album.
Lil Wayne and Birdman
Lil Wayne and BirdmanYear: 2014-present
What Happened: After almost 20 years of a father-son relationship, Lil Wayne famously took to Twitter in December 2014 to publicly call out Birdman and Cash Money for holding up the release of Tha Carter V, then sued the label for $51 million and his release from his longtime home. Birdman's association with Wayne adversary Young Thug certainly hasn't helped matters, either, particularly after Thug and Baby were named in an indictment in July accusing a man from Thug's camp of trying to kill Lil Wayne by shooting at his tour bus in Atlanta. With Wayne now associating himself with Jay Z's TIDAL, the breakup of one of the strongest relationships in hip-hop history doesn't seem like it will be ending any time soon.
C-Murder and Master P
Master P and C-MurderYear: 2014-present
What Happened: Brothers and fellow No Limit soldiers Master P and C-Murder haven't been together for years since C-Murder's extended legal drama landed him a life sentence in 2009, but there was no public beef until Boosie BadAzz emerged from prison in early 2014 with a new song with C, in which the locked up MC dissed his brother. “I used to love my own brother, but I don’t love him no mo’/Don’t want to hug him no mo’/'Cause there’s a limit fo’ sho’,” he rapped on "Came 2 Da Can." P released a statement shortly thereafter, both in support of his brother and dissing the track, but then in September C doubled down with a new diss track called "All I Wanted 2 Be Was A Soldier," calling out P for being a hypocrite, disloyal and accusing the No Limit leader of assassinating the incarcerated rapper’s character. An open letter followed later that month and the beef is still simmering.
Havoc and Prodigy
Havoc and ProdigyYear: 2012-2013
What Happened: Mobb Deep is hands down one of the greatest duos hip-hop has ever seen, so to see Prodigy and Havoc go at each other in public was uncomfortable for everybody. It all started out of nowhere in April 2012, when Havoc began tweeting a slew of negative allegations Prodigy's way, calling him a bitch and a pussy, accusing him of engaging in homosexual relations while in prison and threatening to "expose" the Queensbridge rapper. Havoc claimed that he had lost his phone and his Twitter was hacked, but copped to writing the tweets a few months later, following it up with a diss track aimed at P in August. The duo went on hiatus, but by the following February they had squashed their issues and have returned to making music together.
Cormega and Nas
Cormega and NasYear: 1996-2005
What Happened: In 1996, Nas had formed a new supergroup called The Firm, signed it to Dr. Dre's then-new Aftermath Entertainment and was planning to put out a group album alongside fellow members Foxy Brown, AZ and Cormega. But when the album surfaced, Cormega was gone, replaced by Nature as the fourth member of The Firm, reportedly at the urging of Nas' longtime manager Steve Stoute. A series of diss records from both sides followed over the next few years such as Nas' "Destroy & Rebuild" and Mega's "Realmatic." After beefing for close to a decade, the two childhood friends finally solved their differences in 2006 and have remained on good terms ever since.
Eazy E and Dr. Dre
Dr. Dre and Eazy EYear: 1991-1995
What Happened: The two made history with N.W.A, but things turned nasty quickly after Eazy brought notorious manager Jerry Heller into the fold. "Instead of taking care of everybody, [Heller] picked one nigga to take care of and that was Eazy," Dre said later. "And Eazy was like, 'I'm taken care of, so fuck it.'" After a protracted contract tangle, Dre would eventually leave Ruthless Records for Suge Knight and Death Row, after which some of hip-hop's most notorious diss tracks—like Dre's "Fuck Wit Dre Day" and Eazy's "Real Muthaphuckkin G's"—were released. Dre has said recently that the two were able to patch things up and settle their differences before Eazy's untimely death in 1995.
Raekwon and The RZA
Raekwon and The RZAYear: 2013-2014
What Happened: The brothers of the Wu-Tang Clan have always stuck together, despite the normal rifts and tiffs that pop up between artists who work so closely together. But when it came time to put together the crew's final album, 2014's A Better Tomorrow, that almost was no longer the case. Early barbs were tossed by the producer in late 2013, claiming that Rae, Ghostface and GZA weren't contributing their all to the project, which the Chef laughed off. But RZA doubled down in April 2014, saying that Rae hadn't been involved with ABT and wouldn't be appearing on the project, giving him a 30 day ultimatum to come together for the album and saying that Raekwon's demands would "cripple" the Wu-Tang Clan financially. Luckily, the following month the two called a truce and the full Wu project came out last November with all surviving members playing a part.
A$AP Rocky and SpaceGhostPurrp
A$AP Rocky and SpaceGhostPurrpYear: 2012-present
What Happened: When A$AP Rocky made his hip-hop breakthrough in 2011 with his widely-praised Live.Love.A$AP mixtape, much of the praise centered on his collaborative track "Pretty Flacko," produced by SpaceGhostPurrp. The two were close both as friends and as professionals, with Purrp's Raider Klan and Rocky's A$AP Mob enjoying a productive relationship. But things turned sour when a crew beef between A$AP Twelvyy and Matt Stoops spilled over onto Twitter, with the two groups then dissing each other and severing ties completely. Rocky's dissed Purrp both in interviews and on tracks and the two crews got into a fight in the parking lot outside a show in Miami in late 2012. Unsurprisingly, they never squashed the beef and those wavy collabs are now a thing of the past.
Gucci Mane and The World
Gucci Mane and EveryoneYear: 2013
Squashed?: Sort of
What Happened: It was the Twitter rant heard round the rap world. In September 2013, Gucci Mane's Twitter account suddenly started going ballistic, with the Atlanta MC tweeting various accusations and threats for three days straight at the likes of Waka Flocka Flame, Nicki Minaj, Rocko, French Montana, OJ Da Juiceman, Frenchie, Whoo Da Kid, Jeezy, T.I., Yo Gotti and Rick Ross, among many others, and announced the end of 1017 Brick Squad. The fallout was severe; Gucci claimed his Twitter was hacked by his manager, then took that claim back, and was dropped from Atlantic Records. A few days later he was arrested for the charges that are still keeping him behind bars, and he formally apologized on Sept. 22, 2013, blaming the situation on a long-running lean addiction.
The Game vs. Meek Mill
Once Game went off, the Instagram insults soon followed with both the West Coast rapper taking direct aim at Meek and the Philly MC doing the same right back. Game repeatedly called Meek "a snitch" while the latter poked fun at his time on Change of Heart. Apparently the two are beefing over a robbery involving Sean Kingston, in which he was jacked for about $300,000 worth of jewelry.
The shots are still flying on Instagram and both dropped diss tracks aimed at each other. Meek's "OOOUUU" remix and Game's “Pest Control.”