If you’re the type of person that enjoys a nice serving of rap beef every now and then, and in no way sees the diss battles as the publicity stunts they (usually) are, then you’ve enjoyed the back-and-forth between Pusha T and Cash Money artists lately. Pusha’s diss track to Drake, “Exodus 23:1,” provoked a pointed response from his sugar daddy Lil’ Wayne along with a diss track of his own, and now the rap community is preparing for some fresh summer beef in the coming weeks.
I guess I’ve been jaded by the inevitable presence of posturing and verbal assaults within the rap and hip-hop community, but I also keep in mind their general harmlessness and lack of actual substance. For every Big vs. Pac, rap gave us Suge vs. Vanilla Ice. Jay-Z vs. Nas…Ja Rule vs. Everybody.
These are a few of the rap beefs that are better off unrecognized:
Coolio vs. Weird Al Yankovic
In 1995, Coolio released the ominous and back-alley ghetto anthem “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Then in 1996, Weird Al Yankovic got a hold of the tune and released his parody version, “Amish Paradise.” Everyone laughed. Everyone except Coolio, that is, who claimed the parody “desecrated” his song and that he never gave his consent. Weird Al, who doesn’t have a legal obligation to secure permission for parodies (they’re covered under “fair use”) still wrote Coolio a sincere apology.
Coolio maintained a cold shoulder until the two embraced at an XM Satellite Radio booth at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show. I’m guessing by then, Coolio had forgotten there even was a “beef.” So did we, Coolio. So did we.
Eminem vs. Insane Clown Posse
Apparently this long-running rivalry started in 1997 when Eminem was still considered an unknown, which means no one really cared about him. He bluntly asked Joseph Bruce of ICP if they’d perform at his release party, a move Bruce didn’t appreciate without being previously consulted, and the bitterness found a beginning. In years since, we’ve seen radio disses and physical assaults from both sides, but only one of the artists has seen worldwide popularity and legitimate respect.
And it’s not the guys who perform in clown paint.
Lil’ Kim vs. Nicki Minaj
We haven’t cared about Kim since Biggie died and, well, we honestly never cared about Nicki Minaj. Not much to say here.
Perez Hilton vs. Noreaga
I almost couldn’t include this one because Perez Hilton isn’t a rapper, but the 2009 Twitter feud between these two had me on the floor laughing. Noreaga was arrested in Miami for fighting at a Fatburger, and Hilton took delight in blogging a string of names and ridicule directed at the rapper, calling him a “bitch,” “idiot” and “queen.”
Noreaga fired back and called Hilton “dirty mud butt.” Case closed.
MC Hammer vs. Jay-Z
As if the names involved don’t make this one-sided enough. Jay-Z referred to Hammer’s well-known and oft-mocked financial troubles in “So Appalled,” saying “Hammer went broke so you know I’m more focused/I lost 30 mil’ so I spent another 30/’Cause unlike Hammer, 30 million can’t hurt me’.” Hammer bucked up and tried to prove he could hang with the big dogs with his diss track/video “Run Better Run,” which fell to predictably deaf ears. After a month or so of attempted grabs for attention, Hammer slipped back into obscurity.
Stop, Hammertime. Just stop.