1. Mo’ Beef: J-Zone's Favorite Obscure Diss Tracks


    For rap O.G.s only!
    So generational rap wars are the new thing now, huh? Yawn. Common fans will call Drake soft. Drake fans will call Common old and a “hater.” Ice-T vs. Soulja Boy. KRS vs. Nelly. Lil Kim vs Nikki Minaj. What’s next, Sister Souljah vs. Kreyshawn? (That’d be a good one, though.) The whole purpose of dissing someone is to show them up in front of one audience.

    Speaking of which, I got into a discussion with some rap O.G.s about prime time vitriol rap shit that slipped through the cracks and missed Complex Magazine’s Top 50 (and just about every other list of this kind). This list is only for completists of the most venomous in feelings-hurting rap. Good luck finding most of these in physical form, but when it comes to selling wolf tickets, naming names of their time, and avoiding rapping in codes, they’re just as vicious and cruel as the noted greats.


    #8. “Death In the Arena” - Raheem (1992, Rap-A-Lot Records)

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    TARGETS: Monie Love, LL Cool J, 3rd Bass, Chuck D, Rakim, OG Style, Too $hort, KRS-One, Rob Base, MC Shan, Big Daddy Kane, Intelligent Hoodlum (Tragedy), Vanilla Ice, Janet Jackson, King Tee, Candyman.

    How the hell can one man have Intelligent Hoodlum, Janet Jackson, and Candyman on the same hit list? Theoretically, that can only happen if you get jumped in the Queensbridge projects while watching Good Times and eating a 5th Avenue bar. Well, another connection was all three artists were on A&M records, as was Houston rapper Raheem until he left the label to resurface on the local Rap-A-Lot imprint for his 1992 album, The Invincible . On an album that’s overlooked even by Rap-A-Lot collectors, this song is far more than an ethering of old label mates. Fans of standard, '90s happy-rap fare will note attacks on the defenseless Vanilla Ice, Monie Love, and Rob Base, but Raheem crosses the line to address the un-dissable Chuck D and Rakim. The reason? Rap ain’t 'posed to be positive, son, so knock it off.

    FIGHTIN' WORDS: “Monie in the middle, just shake your ass for the camera / Commercial and silly you need a brother to slam ya.”

    #7. “Outta Here” (featuring Tweedy's crew) - Tweedy Bird Loc (1994, Dangerous Records)

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    TARGETS: KRS-One, Ms. Melodie, Rap City, The East Coast, The Fresh Prince, Fat Joe, Vanilla Ice, 3rd Bass, Everlast, Ultramagnetic MCs, Poison Clan, Tim Dog, Luke, Queen Latifah, positive rap, white folks, oak trees, chandeliers, frogs, sunshine, Sno-Cones, life in general, etc.

    It didn’t take much to land on Tweedy Bird Loc’s bad side. (Tweedy’s verse comes in at the 2:37 mark.) If you were white, hi-yellow, Asian, Hispanic, from Miami, from the South Bronx, from Compton but not a part of the Bloods & Crips “Bangin on Wax” album, opposed to violence and/or gangsta rap, an amphibian, or down with or related to anyone who was any of the above, you just might be shot for no apparent reason. That leaves only Raymond Washington, Stanley “Tookie” Williams and Tweedy’s crew left to celebrate at one big loc’d out BBQ on Crenshaw and Slauson. A curmudgeonly, Crippin', Compton antagonist, Tweedy made two albums rife with dissing, misogyny, racism, and gleeful, random violence, before vanishing into a cloudy mist of curl activator and thin air (rumors of his return are circulating the interwebs). Although “Outta Here” is primarily a response to KRS-One’s track of the same name, it’s one of many diss tracks in Tweedy’s catalog venomously directed at any and everyone with no real sense of aim - and that’s why it’s so damn entertaining. Ah, the days when meeting the disser in person could mean meeting your life’s end. More Tweed in the feed; just continue to read.

    FIGHTIN' WORDS: “[KRS], I can see that you like them fat hoes / And like Toucan Sam, you got a big nose.”

    #6. “Little Hooker” - Willie D (1992, Rap-A-Lot Records)

    TARGET: Choice

    “Who the fuck is Choice?” Let me edumacate ya, bruh. She was Lil’ Kim before there was a Lil’ Kim; a slutty, shock value hood rat who rapped about how not one dick, but multiple dicks are what suffice in the bedroom. Well, when she recorded “Payback,” a Roxanne-esque attack on every woman-bashing male of her era, she unwisely included her label mates, The Geto Boys, as a gimmick. Bad choice, Choice (hear "Payback" in player below).

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    After this thrashing from Willie D, Choice had no choice but to choose another career.

    FIGHTIN' WORDS: “Transvestite/ You can’t fight/ Got your ass whooped in the club one night.”

    #5. “Going For the Throat” - Craig G (1991, Atlantic Records)

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    TARGET: MC Shan

    With all the current hoopla surrounding the differing MC Shan / Marley Marl / Masta Ace accounts re: “The Symphony,” this heartless, incestuous diss track lives on in obscurity. One of two MC Shan dis tracks on Craig G’s sophomore album, Now That’s More Like It , “Going For the Throat” is a far less acknowledged, but way more personal diss track than the known BDP anthems. I always thought Shan was dope, though.

    FIGHTIN' WORDS: “Point blank, Shan, you suck.”

    #4. “Pussy Ass Kid and Hoe Ass Play” - Luke (1992, Luke / Atlantic Records)

    TARGET: Kid-N-Play

    Complex did actually note this one, but it shocks me to see how little it’s recognized in the pantheon of the all-time greatest diss tracks, so I had to include it. At the height of the anti-dancing, anti-happy rap era, Luke calls on Poison Clan’s JT Money and New Orleans’ own Bustdown to thrash the House Party duo for talking shit. I usually side with whichever team has a fellow hi-yellow, but the Funhouse was put into foreclosure, then burnt to a crisp on this. To complete the three-part formula of ghetto hardness, humor, and skill is a rare feat - and the ‘house nigga vs. field nigga’ soliloquy from Mr. Luke at the end is worthy of infringement for Obama’s next go at the Republicans. I can see him addressing the masses on his campaign:

    “If all niggas in the world was real like me, y’all wouldn’t buy them fuck niggas’ shit no mo’.”

    This is also the greatest (and most direct) title for a diss song in the history of diss songs and Luke was without a doubt the 50 Cent of the early ‘90s when it came to calculated dissing (see his “Cowards in Compton” video).

    FIGHTIN' WORDS: “Both movies I boo 'em/ ‘Cause ya had hoes but wasn’t stickin’ pipe to 'em/ Thought they was fantastic, but through the whole fuckin’ movie Kid was gettin’ his ass kicked/ And ‘bout that other nigga, Play/ He need to get dissed ‘cause he a punk nigga anyway/ Be ‘round here kissin hoes, while I’m dissin’ hoes... and stabbin’ em with fishing poles.”

    #3. “Burning Bridges” - The U.B.C. (1990, EMI Records)

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    TARGETS: Audio Two, First Priority Records

    An obscure, albeit talented quintet from Hempstead, Long Island, The U.B.C released one slammin’ album ( 2 All Serious Thinkers ) in 1990 and then disappeared from the scene. Unaware of how to market rap but eager to jump on the bandwagon (ask the Jaz and Jay-Z), EMI records signed a number of intriguing rap acts and this was one of them. Apparently First Priority Records released this early U.B.C. 12" a few years prior to the album (on their Bumrush imprint) , but things didn’t work out and this song is equal parts loaded pistol and explanation why.

    While allegations of family nepotism and rappers claiming places they don’t live wouldn’t be anything to abhor in today’s rap climate, that behavior was grounds for a punking circa 1990. Events that only The U.B.C., Audio Two, and (label founder and Audio Two’s father) Nat Robinson would know about are rapped about in detail and peppered with fighting words. For rap nerds and the Kevin Beachams of the world, “Burning Bridges” is a largely unheard but equally barbarous diss track that you had to be a product of that era to appreciate.

    FIGHTIN' WORDS: “Cause [Milk Dee] is a jerk, [Gizmo] is a lunatic, undespicable, ass-kickable dick.”

    #2. “Big Mama” - Roxanne Shante (1992, Livin Large Records)

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    TARGETS: Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Monie Love, Yo-Yo, Salt-N-Pepa, Isis

    If you were rapping circa 1992 and didn’t possess a penis, you were getting hammered on this one. Written by Grand Daddy I.U., Shante’s “comeback” was comprised of low-blow after low-blow to all top females of the era. As a young intern at Power Play studios when this was recorded, I thought it was the most incredible shit I’d ever heard. I still think it’s an unheralded classic diss track, but refer to the first few words of the second sentence of this paragraph for a probable explanation of why hardly anybody else does.

    FIGHTIN' WORDS: “Now as for that West Coast slut [Yo-Yo], with fake ass hair, contacts and a padded butt/ Instead of stomping to the ‘90s, use your brain/ And stomp your ass down to Jack LaLanne/ You better hurry and hop on a diet plan/ And keep the pork chops out the frying pan.”

    #1. “I’m Calling You A Bitch” - Tweedy Bird Loc (1994, Dangerous Records)

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    TARGETS: Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Nefertitti

    Not everyone was down for U.N.I.T.Y. in the nine-fo. No. Tweed went after Queen Latifah completely unprovoked for... well... saying she’s “not a bitch or a ho” on her song to no man in particular. Some provocation. But the way Mr. Loc tells it, if the shoe fits, get a shoe horn and slide your foot in snugly. A hysterical interpolation of the Living Single theme song (a-la Tim Dog crooning “No More Lies” on “Fuck Compton”) takes away the head-scratching and makes it one of the most mean-spirited and ignorant (albeit funny) diss songs ever.

    MC Lyte and Nefertiti weren’t dissed, but rather called upon to receive “some dick” in an offer to “turn your ass back straight” from Tweed. Good to see that although his “dicc is prejuduced,” that does not include discrimination against females who can rap.

    FIGHTIN' WORDS: The entire first verse.

    Also considered:

    E-40’s “Record Haters,” Too $hort’s “Get in Where You Fit In,” Kurupt’s “Callin Out Names.”

    What'd I miss?

    J-Zone's book, Root for the Villain: Rap, Bullshit, and a Celebration of Failure, is available in soft cover and e-book formats now on amazon.com and directly from Zone himself at www.govillaingo.com

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  2. You might wanna peep...

    • http://bastardswordsman.tumblr.com/ Dart_Adams

      When I first heard Kid N' Play's "Next Question" off their "Face The Nation" LP I just knew they were gonna receive backlash for it. I didn't expect Luke to make a memorable diss track tho. Even "Cowards In Compton" made me say "Yooooo!". I always loved Mellow Man Ace's "Silly Rabbit" when he and Kid Frost were beefing over who was the true father of "Latin Hip Hop" and that battle they had 20 years ago when Kid Frost lost & kept the prizes. Even "Third Of The Trio" by the Beatnuts where Fashion (Al Tariq) disses Das EFX. Few even remember that one...


    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      Hahaha, Dart, where did you hear about the Kid Frost vs Ace battle? Knew they were trading barbs, but had no idea there was a battle and Frost took the prizes. That's like some Melle Mel shit. I was an Intoxicated Demons fan, so I knew all about that Das Efx dis. Even on "No Equal" they made remarks.

    • http://tytyindustries.com Tyrone Fuller

      this is great. i mean, greater than anything ever on the web. this is what rap is supposed to be. you are in the Zone, J Zone.

      j Zone is greater than Jay Z. Hawn Carter. as in Goldie and Jessica. you think you are Hova, ut really, you are a busted Chevy Nova.

    • egotrip

      File Under "Things That Need to Happen Not Now But Right Now": Tyrone Fuller vs. Ted Bawno rhyme battle.

    • http://rapisfunny.tumblr.com Nathan Smart

      I'm pretty sure Ski-Lo disses Paperboy in one of his tracks but it's not a full on diss track, unless it is and there you go.

    • tris76

      kids beefing.. "we getz busy" by Illegal. "sucka it ain't all about maturity" (chi ali diss) and the obvious kris kross diss.

      "linda tripp" by el-p insanely dissing sole.

      question: was el p's verse on "fire in which u burn" a diss to method man? "the iron lung is now rustable, your overated. as in smoking dust and signing contracts haven't been thoroughly debated" meth was known as iron lungs at the time.

    • oskamadison

      Two things: One, I remember the Shante joint. I used to cut up the acapella. I never gave her props for it though since IU wrote it. Can't call yourself dissin' someone on some Cyrano de Bergerac shit. Two, as much of a Tim Dog fan as a you are, how could you forget his boy Kool Keith: "Pluckin' Cards" off Ultra's "Funk Your Head Up' joint, one of the few highlights of that unworthy follow up to "Critical Beatdown'. that dude was firin' shots at everybody; LL, Moe Dee, the Native Tongues, you name it...

    • http://www.facebook.com/kevinbeacham21 Kevin Beacham

      Great article sir. Some of my favorite underground diss joints. I'm a huge Raheem fan, both items. I always thought he was NOT dissing Rakim and Chuck D, but giving them props from that line though. I took it he was saying we don't need rappers like 3rd Bass because we have "too many rappers like Chuck D & Rakim with lyrics that uplift and teach the children"...as in conscious lyrics from Black MCs and don't need that Pro Black talk from White MCs...that's how I took it.

      Speaking of Raheem, do you have the Raheem (from Atlanta) diss song to the Raheem the Invincible? That's pretty great, as he claims many things including A&M tried to pay him to change his name...ha.

      Chuck D has, rightfully, avoided being dissed more than anyone in Hip Hop probably. Rakim has endured a few. There's Awesome L from Chicago with Hellafied Talk and then there's the Kool Keith jabs on "Critical Beatdown".

      Oh yeah, as far as Diss songs by Raheem though on this same album "invincible" is a Royal Flush (Rap-A-Lot) diss and is RAW!

      Always love that "Going For The Throat" diss by Craig G. On the same album, "Ripped To Streads" is pretty ill too. MC Shan's response is pretty good too, though the title wouldn't suggest it, "Music They Can Dance To"

      "BIg Mama" is one of the all time best diss records PERIOD!

      I'm confident that I'm one of the biggest UBC fans in the world and "Burning Bridges" is a big part of the reason, not just because he's dissing, but just his style on this track is ridculous!!

      I have a list at home of under-appreciated diss songs, I need to re-reference for some other gems.

      Great post Mr Zone!!

    • Duane

      the 3 6 mafia diss on T-Rock on "let's start a riot" pretty vicious too

    • DermDZL

      You can't forget Twista's "Suicide" track where he single-handedly slaughtered Naughty By Nature, The Beatnuts, and Del The Funky Homosapien.

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      Kev, you have a good point. I kind of wondered if Raheem was dissing rappers who were trying to SOUND LIKE Rakim and Chuck (there were a million of em at the time). I couldn't really tell. I guess we'll never know. I thought he was dissing EPMD and Heavy D too, but then he said "I'm a brethren, but Rob Base gotta..." So I thought he was givin em props. I guess only Raheem knows! "The Invincible" was so ill! He went after OG Style on that one too. One of the best uses of the "Substitution" break ever. And ditto on E-Skispectacular Show of U.B.C - he was so versatile as an MC. He could nail the fast / squeeze words in style really well. That's such a balanced LP. Good lookin on the check in!

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      "Plucking Cards" was ill! Keith didn't name names, but cleverly alluded to shit ("3 feet and sinking.") I actually liked that whole Funk Your Head Up LP EXCEPT for the "Poppa Large" original, which sucked. The remix is gold, though.

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      Illegal went after anyone under the age of 18, haha. I never caught that Method Man thing, but I seriously doubt El-P would dis Wu. But that's only a guess.

    • http://tckonbroadway.podbean.com/ The God Bzar

      #8. I was ready to dismiss this and jump to the willie d, but damn this was hot! Glad I listened. He was serving up ether like it was going outta style. Great beat and flow.

      #7. Sounds like a snap session with the kids from the special ed class. This could have been an In Living Color skit.

      #6. I could see the Choice song bringing down the house at a live show. She really went in on Willy D. lol at her calling Short a nincompoop. I liked her song better.

      #5. Shan vs Marley is very weird indeed. Damn..this made me cringe. This song is like watching your friend get beat by a parent on open school night for cutting school with u. Crack is wack. Nice subliminal drums.

      #4. Great production. This is like Kid n play trying to survive in American Me. Those guys must still cross the street when they see Luke..

      #3. lol these are some sufferin-suckatash, dela, boyz 2 men ass rappers

      #2. Not a real scary track, but def pulling rank and letting those chicks know how she feels. lol at the ghostwriter.

      #1. wow. this is the equivalent of that video of the guy who beat up those two studs in Mcdonalds.

      impressive selections man.

      TCK Mobb.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kevinbeacham21 Kevin Beacham

      Well, I just made a connection to Raheem so I hopefully will be landing a interview sometime soon and rest assured dissecting "Death In The Arena" is on my questions list....

    • http://djmatthewafrica.com Matthew Africa

      Great selections. Ever hear T-Rock's DJ Paul diss, "My Little Arm"?


      Maybe the meanest, most ignorant diss record I've ever heard.

    • werd

      yo mf grimm- book of daniel? pretty mean diss of DOOM. last song of grimm's epic 60 song album, american hunger.

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      As someone who worked with Grimm and Doom, I've actually never heard "Book of Daniel." Gonna look that joint up.

    • HughPhug

      not a fan of Esoteric but Mercy Killing had some pretty funny diss's towards El-P and Vast Aire

      Book of Daniel is pretty merciless by Grimm, some of the MIC cats really kill it.

      Chestah P Hackenbush - The Bitches
      fucking love that song, check it out. record your foe's phone conversation and make him look like a complete dick

      Not a diss track but MC Hammer putting out a hit on 3rd Bass is one of my favorite hip hop stories

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      How did I never hear about Hammer putting that hit on 3rd Bass?! That's a classic rap story that deserves a chronicling!

    • ZenZ

      One of my favorite dis tracks is "Can't Fuck wit a N****" by DJ Quik dissin Everlast and House of Pain on the Menace II Society soundtrack.

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      Hahhaha, wow I forgot about that one. "What you runnin' fo' bitch? You fake Irish faggot. You got a big booty Everlast, lemme tag it...I hit you in yo ass, that's why you jump around." (PAUSE). Quik was adept when it came to dissin.

    • http://www.bloggerhouse.net Trav

      I always lIked Awesome Dre's "I Don't LIke You" when he's dissing Kool Moe Dee. In fact I think the throws shots at Moe Dee & LL through out the album and even the cover alludes to them.

      Great post, I was aware of all of them except the UBC one. It's been awhile I listened to that album, guess I'll have to go back and listen to it again.

    • http://www.bloggerhouse.net Trav

      I haven't read the Complex list yet, but I can't imagine they mentioned Rockwell Noel & Poet's "Beat You Down" or Butchy B's "Beatin' Down KRS", which if I remember right had some rather scathing disses toward Ms Melodie as well (one of those two songs did at least). Cool C's "Juice Crew Dis" was good for a few laughs as well.

    • http://govillaingo.com J-Zone

      Trav - I definitely remember the Poet disses. One of em called Ms. Melodie a "fat cow." I also have the Awesome Dre joint on cassette. Everyone was dissing LL and Moe Dee at that point.

    • http://fearofawackplanetblog.blogspot.com/ Mike Check

      Great article and a good selection of tracks.

      The attempted hit on 3rd Bass by MC Hammer has been well documented, by MC Serch! Read this old interview to hear the whole story plus other interesting stuff about Nas, O.C., Non Phixion etc.


    • Dee El

      Let's see... I never hear anyone talk about Kwame dissin Rakim. "You move a crowd, huh, I move and audience" I think it was on the "The Rhythm" You also had Just Ice on the " Back to the Old School" Throwing hella shots at RUN DMC or was it Melle Mel..Damn I can't remember. I wish I had it handy, but I'd have to dig through tons of vinyl...but I know he had some jabs in there.

    • Robotron2084

      LMAO Great stuff!

    • pope collision

      interestingly enough, Meth disses El-P in "Y'all Been Warned" 1st verse: http://youtu.be/hVDczC6_TtY
      you prolly right, he's likely responding to that "Iron Lung" line

    • pope collision

      ....OR he's talking cigars

    • David Bankroll Psyphy

      Dj Pooh and Kam's Ice Cube Diss "Whoop Whoop" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ipp7bkRSPcM . The beef was over Kam's disappointment with his record deal and his partners even stole Cube's chain after The Westside Connection project was viewed as a hidden diss towards Watts.

      and of course the original self-diss track "Fuck Little Bruce" by Sick Wid It Records O.G./E-40's Cousin Little Bruce. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sivv9Ny7uLQ

      He beefed with Mac Dre from 89-91. Released XXXtra Manish in 94, Then quit rapping in 95 to pursuing pimping for a few years due to tension with 40 water and B-Legit. Eventually returning to Rap in 2000 on Mac Dre's Thizz Nation.