Competition has been an integral part of the origin of hip hop culture, and these 10 best rap battles of all time signify how that attribute has progressed throughout the art form's young life span. Get acquainted with these rap battles, and allow yourself to be educated on hip hop history.
- Jay-Z vs. Nas. The brewing animosity became scolding hot when Jay-Z went at Nas and Mobb Deep with the Kanye West-produced "Takeover." But many would arguing that Nas' response called "Ether" was not only an ego destroyer in the rap battle, but one of the most unforgettable "diss records" ever recorded.
- Boogie Down Productions vs. The Juice Crew. When the Bronx, NY-based BDP rapper KRS-ONE released "South Bronx," he ignited a rap battle with producer Marley Marl's Juice Crew: consisting of such members as Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, and MC Shan. Shan responsed with "Kill that Noise," but so did BDP with "The Bridge is Over," referring to the Juice Crew's primary residence: Queensbridge Projects in NYC.
- Biggie vs. 2Pac (West Coast vs. East Coast). The unfortunate results of this rap battle is that the media used it to fuel coastal tension between California and New York City hip hop artists, and it ended with both of these iconic rappers murdered. The West Coast vs. East Coast feud was something that Biggie and 2Pac appeared to not want to be a part of.
- Common vs. Westside Connection. Common may be known more for positive messages and his acting roles – but he is also a highly experienced battle rapper. When Ice Cube and Westside Connection members: Mack-10 and WC took offense to Common's depiction of gangster rap in his song "I Used to Love H.E.R.", they responded accordingly – as Common did with his brutally direct track "The Bitch In Yoo."
- Canibus vs. LL Cool J. When the then up-and-coming wordsmith Canibus was invited on a LL Cool J song called "4,3,2,1," certain lyrics were taken as subliminal disrespect by both parties. This lead to a rap battle fueled by Canibus' single called "Second Round Knockout" with Mike Tyson in it's music video, and LL's response, "The Ripper Strikes Back," insulting not only Canibus, but his mentor Wyclef, and Mike Tyson as well.
- 50 Cent vs. Ja Rule. Many in the music industry refer to this rap battle as the end of Ja Rule's reign on the Billboard charts. Ja Rule spent an entire album, "Blood in My Eye," firing back at 50 Cent in their rap battle, while 50 had song's such as "Hail Mary" disgracing his rival for mixing "R & B," influenced crooning with his thug image.
- Mobb Deep vs. Jay-Z. Mobb Deep members – Prodigy and Havoc – began provoking Jay-Z to respond to their battle raps. Jay-Z decided to take their rap battle beyond just lyrics, and incorporated a childhood picture of Prodigy dressed in ballet clothing on stage, in front of thousands of fans.
- Kool Moe Dee vs. LL Cool J. Apparently there was only room for one "Cool" in the hip hop industry when Moe Dee felt LL Cool J was copying his rhyme style and was too much of a beginner to be believing his own hype. He struck first at LL Cool J with "How Ya Like Me Now," which lead to a war of words with a then 17 year old Cool J returning the disrespect with "Jack the Ripper."
- Ice Cube vs. N.W.A. Ex-N.W.A. member Ice Cube became a target of his former group members with "diss records" from the remaining members: MC Ren, Dr. Dre, Eazy E and DJ Yella. But Ice Cube went at all four of them with a relentless record called "No Vaseline," featured on his "Death Certificate" album, that saught to discredit their gangster image.
- Eminem vs. Benzino. As co-owner of the The Source Magazine, Benzino used the magazine to make unfavorable remarks about Eminem, claiming that the caucasian MC was negatively exploiting the culture of Hip Hop. Eminem engaged in a rap battle with Benzino, hurling songs directed at him via mixtapes.
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