A classic war of words that stays “on wax,” as the rap gods once called it, is one of the oldest forms in the music industry of settling a dispute while also banking off the attention it gets from consumers.
It’s recently been reported that pop star Taylor Swift is gearing up to release a diss track of her own that features Drake and takes shots at Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Sound dated? The unreleased song was created around the time of Swift’s 2017 chart-topping album, reputation, which came following disparaging lyrics by way of Ye and seemingly nude depiction in the ironically infamous music video for his The Life Of Pablo single “Famous.”
With everything Kanye is going through right now, we’d suggest Swift not poke the attention-seeking beast. However, a bit of a rouse might be what’s needed when re-releasing old music for new profit — more power to you, Tay!
The situation got us thinking about the best and worst of times in diss song history. Some people have said things that almost feel too unforgivable, and others as we know have become so severe that it ended in real-life tragedy on both sides. The losses of 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. in 1996 and 1997, respectively, will forever be the prime example of when things went way too far. However, decades after the demise of both talented emcees, we still see many today beefing on the daily.
At its best, you get situations like peak-era VERZUZ battles, which feel more like an expression of healthy competition as opposed to someone’s life being at stake.
While we doubt things will go to blows between Taylor and Kanye — well, let’s hope not! — reminisce with us as we look back at a few close calls that were just as intimidating as they were entertaining.
Keep scrolling for our picks of the 10 most ruthless diss songs ever made, and let us know some of your own standout song wars:
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1. 2Pac – “Hit ‘Em Up”
Aimed at: The Notorious B.I.G. & Bad Boy Records
2. Nas – “Ether”
Aimed at: Jay-Z
3. BDP – “The Bridge Is Over”
Aimed at: Juice Crew, Marley Marl, MC Shan, Roxanne Shante and the entire borough of Queens
4. Ice Cube – “No Vaseline”
Aimed at: Remaining N.W.A. members Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, DJ Yella and manager Jerry Heller.
5. Remy Ma – “Shether”
Aimed at: Nicki Minaj
6. 50 Cent – “How To Rob”
Aimed at: Everyone
7. Cam’ron – “You Gotta Love It” (feat. Max B)
Aimed at: Jay-Z
8. Pusha T – “The Story of Adidon”
Aimed at: Drake
9. Jay-Z – “Takeover”
Aimed at: Nas
10. Eazy-E – “Real Muthaphuckkin G’s”
Aimed at: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Death Row Records as a label and establishment.