Nikki Minaj’s recent heated rap feud with ‘Lil Kim isn’t foreign to rap fans. At one time or another, the majority of rappers have had squabbles with their colleagues. The 2006 documentary, Beef: The Series, effectively highlighted many of the biggest rap feuds throughout history. So without further ado, here’s my list of the Best Rap Feuds of All Time on wax.
Roxanne Shante vs. UTFO
One of the earliest rap feuds starred teen Roxanne Shante against the group UTFO. One-by-one, Shante lyrically clowned each member — Kangol Kid, Doctor Ice, EMD and Mix Master Ice – in “Roxanne’s Revenge.” The crew responded with “Calling Her Crab,” but the irrefutable damage was already done.
My winner: Roxanne Shante
Tupac Shakur vs. The Notorious B.I.G.
This rap feud no doubt had the most impact on the music and the participants involved. While a musical genius, Tupac had some loose screws and just went ballistic on his ex-homie Biggie. “Who Shot Me? But you punks didn’t finish/Now you’re about to feel the wrath of a menace,” Pac fumed on “Hit Em Up.”
My winner: Tupac Shakur
MC Lyte vs. Antoinette
The Lyte had her hands full during her late ’80s rap feud with rival Antoinette. The hard-hitting Antoinette connected to Lyte’s chin early with diss records “I Got An Attitude” and “Hit ‘Em Wit This.” But the patient Lyte countered later with “Shut the Eff Up” and “Cha Cha Cha” to gain a split decision.
My winner: MC Lyte
Ice Cube vs. N.W.A.
Ice Cube’s a risk taker, and he gambled in his career when he departed pioneering rap group N.W.A. to fly solo. But his flight from his ex-crew, which included Eazy E and Dr. Dre, didn’t come without some humiliation. N.W.A. joked first on “100 Miles and Runnin’,” but Cube laughed best with “No Vaseline.”
My winner: Ice Cube
50 Cent vs. Ja Rule
This is probably the most lopsided rap feud on wax on my list. Ja Rule’s brief reign in rap was coming to an end anyways, but 50 Cent really expedited things due to their animosity. Rule tried to “Clap Back,” but by that time rap fans coast to coast were busy listening to 50 Cent’s classic debut Get Rich or Die Tryin’.
My winner: 50 Cent
KRS-One vs. MC Shan
Both rappers successfully repped their home turfs (The South Bronx and Queensbridge) in one of the most legendary rap feuds of all time. “MC Shan and Marley Marl is really only bluffin’,” KRS-One claimed in “The Bridge Is Over.” “You can come alone or bring all your boys,” Shan warned in “Kill That Noise.”
My winner: Draw
Nas vs. Jay Z
As lyrically gifted as Jay Z is, even he couldn’t take down a re-energized Nas during their rap feud. Once the sleeping giant awoke, Nas humbled Jay in “Ether” with jaw-dropping verses like “Were you abused as a child, scared to smile, they called you ugly?/Well life is hard, hug me, don’t reject me.”
My winner: Nas
L.L. Cool J vs. Kool Moe Dee
L.L. Cool J met his match in this rap feud. Claiming L.L. stole his rap style, Kool Moe Dee wasn’t fazed by his rival’s bravado and “I’m Bad” talk. Most likely L thought it was a wrap after he dropped his classic diss track “Jack The Ripper,” but Moe Dee surprisingly struck back hard with “Let’s Go,” clarifying their beef wasn’t over quite yet.
My winner: Draw
If you enjoyed reading my Best Rap Feuds of All Time, please check out:
My Top 5 Biggest Rappers of All Time
My Top 10 Female Rappers of All Time
My Top 10 Philadelphia Rappers of All Time
My Top 10 Hip-Hop Films of All Time
Sources for my Best Rap Feuds of All Time: