Since we’re still talking about rap beef, here are my 6 favorite rap diss tracks of all time

OPINION: Kendrick Lamar and Drake have everyone debating about rap beef and diss tracks, and to be honest, we all have our personal faves, and we may not agree on them. 

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Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

“Not Like Us” is the new summer anthem — especially for those of us who live in Los Angeles, and I shan’t be debated with about it. 

That said, rap beef is as personal to the rappers involved as it is to the fans who consume it. As fans, we all have our favorites, and we all choose sides. Who we choose or who we think “won” varies based on our personal preferences when it comes to rap. 

People who think it’s all about record sales and club bangers will tell you that Drake is the better rapper in this most recent battle, while people who take a more cerebral approach to rap — listening to rhyme schemes, wordplay, double entendres and the like — will say Kendrick came out on top. 

Unless things turn violent (and we never want them to turn violent), we as fans win when artists keep putting out hit after hit to keep up in a rap beef that is moving fast because the internet is actually short attention span theater. 

Back in the days before social media moved the needle, rap beefs progressed over months because it took a little longer to get in the booth, produce a hot 16 and then get it distributed and out on the streets so everyone could hear it. 

This is why most of my personal rap diss tracks come from back in the day. 

Music

I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but as I said earlier, we all have different tastes, and we all think differently about the music we consume, so I’m going to share my favorite rap diss tracks of all time, but I’m going to do so with a content warning. 

These are my favorites. They may not match up with yours, and the reason they are my favorites may not align with your faves. Some of your favorites – “Takeover” and “Ether,” for example – may not even make the list because although they were very hot songs, they weren’t my personal favorites by either artist. 

My all-time favorite rap diss track to this very day is Ice Cube’s “No Vaseline.”

You have to be of a certain age to remember when this one dropped. “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted” had already shown us that Ice Cube was dope without the group behind him. He had just done his thing playing Doughboy in “Boyz N the Hood” and impressed us all with his acting as well. 

Just when we thought he wouldn’t be able to top any of that, he dropped the album “Death Certificate,” and that album was so full of heat that I could not get enough of it. 

In “No Vaseline,” he basically beat every member of NWA up by himself, and it was and still is legendary hip-hop magic.

NWA, “Fuck tha Police” 

No, I will not explain further. 

DJ Quik, “Dollaz + Sen$e

DJ Quik ate MC Eiht up in this song. 

E-I-H-T

Now should I continue? 

Yeah, you left out the “G” cause the “G” ain’t in you. 

10/10 no notes. 

2Pac, “Hit ‘Em Up”

Rampant misogyny and all, when this song came out, it took the East Coast/West Coast beef to an entirely new level. 

How do you come at this man by telling him you slept with his wife? How do you have an entire video full of actors pretending to be the people you are talking about?

How diabolical was this song? 

Kool Moe Dee, “Let’s Go”

One of the most epic battles in hip-hop history was between LL Cool J and Kool Moe Dee. 

At this point, I don’t even think it matters who people say won because we got some excellent bars out of it. 

“Let’s Go” is one of my favorite diss tracks of all time because Kool Moe Dee is a masterful lyricist and wordsmith, and the way he played with that man’s name near the end is legendary.

Eazy-E, “Real Muthaphuckkin G’s

This one is a fave because Eazy put this out after Dre moved to Death Row and put out “The Chronic.”

In this song, Eazy lets everyone know that although Dre was no longer on his record label, he was still getting paid off of all Dre’s music, and honestly, that was legendary and gangster.

As I said earlier, this is my list of favorite diss tracks. Yours probably looks different, and that’s OK. 

At the end of the day, as long as we are getting good hip-hop to listen to, everyone wins. 


thegrio.com

Monique Judge is a storyteller, content creator and writer living in Los Angeles. She is a word nerd who is a fan of the Oxford comma, spends way too much time on Twitter, and has more graphic t-shirts than you. Follow her on Twitter @thejournalista or check her out at moniquejudge.com.

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