Within the entertainment industry, hip-hop artists have become notorious for overly-inflated egos, which makes it really hard for everyone to get along. While there are some artists who prefer to keep their opinions to themselves, there are others who find it hard to keep their mouths shut.
Gone are the days when a rapper could express their displeasure with another through a quick line or diss track. Hip-hop beef has evolved into something much more personal and public at the same time. Derogatory words just don’t have the same punch anymore; rappers must shame their opponents through use of social media, or engage in sexual acts with their spouse. Things get downright ruthless!
Throughout the years there have been rappers who ended the careers of others through their skill and tact, making other artists in the game aware that they are not the ones to be trifled with. Here’s a list of the top rappers you’d do best not to disrespect.
Ludacris may come off as one of the more amicable hip-hop artists in the game, which is the reason why the Atlanta-raised rapper is frequently underestimated when it comes to exchanging verbal blows. While he’s never been one to gloat, Ludacris’ style and flow is widely considered to be one of the most influential in the industry, and he’s more than willing to remind the new school artists of this when they happen to forget.
9. The Game
This Cali-based rapper has managed to keep the West Coast alive the only way he knows how: name-dropping on nearly every track he’s managed to get his lyrics on.
There are very few rap artists in the industry who haven’t been shouted-out by The Game, whether in a positive or negative light. He is an artist who takes his craft extremely seriously, and will never think twice before airing out another’s personal business on record. Real hip-hop heads still get chills from the The Game’s “300 Bars”, wherein he spends nearly 18 minutes taking shots at G-Unit, a label he once considered his own.
Don’t get it confused — conscious rappers will still throw down on the mic when it’s time to battle, and they’ll probably school you on the internal struggles of the lower-class while they’re at it.
Before the movies and the positive messages in his verses, Common was well immersed in hip-hop’s hardcore sub-genre. He’s from South Side Chicago after all, and is highly adept at recognizing the fake versus the real. Old school hip-hop heads will remember the Chi-Town rapper trading blows with Ice Cube.
7. Kanye West
Remember that thing we discussed earlier about rappers and egos? Well, meet the man who outshines them all; the self-proclaimed most talented musician of our generation.
There’s no wondering why Kanye West would gather himself some enemies in the industry, however we can’t help but think that he only makes some of those outrageous statements to get some attention. At this point in his career, Kanye doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone, but this doesn’t stop him from constantly reminding people of his countless Grammies, hit records, clothing line, wife… etc.
If rap beefs were ever your thing, this rapper’s name has likely come up once or twice. While he’s managed to stay outside of hip-hop’s mainstream gaze, Canibus has probably had a rap feud with your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. The New York-based rapper has taken shots at LL Cool J, Wyclef Jean, and Eminem, and has somehow came out unscathed throughout it all. While he hasn’t successfully ended anyone’s career with a classic diss track, he’s managed to define himself not only as a rapper who backs down from no one, but as one of hip-hop’s most talented battle rap MC’s.
5. Tyler the Creator
The problem you run into when trying to diss this rapper is that he wholeheartedly pays little regard to his personal image. Say what you want about the Tyler’s gang of misfits, but they’ve successfully made it cool to be uncool in the hip-hop industry — and they’re proud of it. Tyler’s indifferent attitude is shown in his highly opinionated jabs at other entertainers, making him the kid in rap music who’s easy to hate. Tyler feeds off the controversy, giving him plenty of ammo to use in his own music.
Breaking out on the scene with an unmatched momentum has allowed this ex-television star to feel unstoppable — and with a track record like his, we can understand why he might feel that way.
Talent aside, Drake has been pitted at the butt of jokes for being too “soft” or “sensitive” for some time now. However, after last year’s debacle with Meek Mill, it’s safe to say that he’s quieted all the haters. Not only was the Toronto-based artist able to pull together a hit diss record in the span of a day, but through the use of social media and public appeal he was able to make his opponent a walking pariah overnight.
3. 50 Cent
This artist may have reached his peak many years ago, but that doesn’t mean he’s lost his cutthroat competitiveness when it comes to rap beefs.
At this point, 50 Cent may as well consider adding “ending the rap careers of others” as a part-time job, seeing as how he’s become the rapper infamous for it (ex. Ja Rule, Fat Joe). Fitty’s tendency to get carried away may often reflect badly on him as a person, however he has stated fairly early in his career that he never got into the rap game to make friends.
2. Kendrick Lamar
They don’t call this man the “God MC” for nothing Just when you thought the rap game was getting too watered down, Kendrick Lamar emerges just in time to remind you that there’s still artists out here that really do this. The Compton-based rapper has yet to be in any definitive beefs as of yet, and for good reason. Kendrick told the whole rap game how he felt back in 2014 with his prolific track “Control.” While there has been a number of responses to the challenge, there has yet to be any worthy contenders.
Hip-hop beef just hasn’t been the same since this artist redefined the genre.
This undisputed champion may have very well built his whole career on taking shots at anyone he didn’t believe was in his lane. I mean, we’re talking about the guy who’s written multiple diss tracks about his own mother.
At his peak, Eminem‘s lyrics were strong enough to take down a whole magazine company after they attempted to tarnish his image.
There’s simply one unspoken rule in the rap game. Don’t try and go at Eminem. Ever.