While a cat fight can be good for publicity and for building a hard image, it can also destroy a performer’s reputation if it goes too far. As a follow-up to our Part 1 of Hip Hop Cat Fights, here are the worst rivalries in hip hop, plus the scoop on how the explosive feuds began.
RIVALS: Jay-Z vs. Nas
CAUSE: 99 Problems, Including Bitches as One
This classic cat fight ended in 2005 after what seemed like a decade of fight tracks, sour interviews, and outright threats. Forget their feud, though. What’s really interesting about this man-fight is the resolution.
On the I Declare War tour, Nas and Jay-Z mended fences and gave a great performance for tired fans. People were relieved that, in the end, this feud did not mirror the East Coast versus West Coast feud of the 1990s.
RIVALS: Ciara vs. Tyra Banks
CAUSE: Embarrassing Interview Questions
While everyone enjoys a good dish during daytime talk shows, no one wants to be in the hot seat. Tyra Banks is infamous for making her guests feel at home right before slaughtering them for the amusement of viewers, and Ciara was just another victim.
In 2007, Banks asked Ciara on live TV if she was dating 50 Cent. Ciara deflected the question, clearly embarrassed by it, and Banks asked again . . . and again. The awkward queries led to a feud that continued behind the scenes for several years. Banks never apologized.
RIVALS: Eminem vs. Lil Wayne
CAUSE: Vying for #1 Spot
Lil Wayne easily grasped the #1 spot while Eminem was on his hiatus from rap. When Eminem reemerged with fresh mixes and hot disses, Lil Wayne had to feel the pressure, but he was gracious and even admitted earnestly that he wanted to collaborate with Eminem.
Eminem responded on various levels, admitting publicly that he had been planning a Lil Wayne diss track and then later releasing a complex hidden agenda diss track against Lil Wayne. He also slighted Lil Wayne on various occasions. How did Lil Wayne take it? He shot back with his own singles and let his displeasure seep out in interviews.
RIVALS: 50 Cent vs. P. Diddy & Jay-Z
CAUSE: Hate & Jealousy
50 Cent spends a lot of time hating other rappers for various reasons. In the case of P. Diddy and Jay-Z, 50 Cent’s hatred included a loathing of Puffy’s music, hating on Diddy’s and Jay-Z’s business methodology (specifically for “sucking artists dry”), and a dislike for their fashion sense. Here is one live radio interview with 50 Cent on the topic.
While Diddy responds occasionally to attacks, his net worth and business acumen speak for themselves. Yet, he did agree to meet with 50 Cent and Jay-Z over their feud off camera, and they resolved some of the conflict. However, the complex situation is still raging today.
RIVALS: Suge Knight vs. Akon
This feud is far from friendly. In fact, unlike the others, it has led to serious crimes and hip-hop shenanigans. Five of Suge Knight’s entourage regulars broke into the home of Akon’s posse pal, Detail. Detail was robbed of $170,000 in jewelry, received a death threat over his safe key, and had his stereo equipment jacked. All of this occurred because Suge Knight believes Detail and Akon owe him money.
The feud started a few years earlier when Akon’s team smashed Suge’s face at an NBA All Star’s weekend event in Arizona. Insiders reported that both events were related to the same debt, but no one is speaking up about the terms or conditions of the alleged debt.
RIVALS: Benzio vs. Eminem
CAUSE: Slights & 4 Mic Rating
Eminem was in Puerto Rico promoting 8 Mile in 2002. He slighted Benzio, who wanted to meet him, because Benzio had given his latest record only four of five mics in his magazine, The Source. Months of fighting ensued, during which Eminem called Benzio “Hasbenzio,” and Benzio shot back with the track “Pull Your Skirt Up” attacking Eminem. Of course, Eminem responded with four hateful songs, including “Nail in the Coffin.”
During the year-long cat fight, Eminem allegedly paid off stations to keep Benzio’s beef off the air, and Benzio called up stations (including Angie at Hot97) to yell at them for succumbing to Shady. In the summer of 2003, Benzio’s people delivered Eminem’s early, unreleased, racist mix tapes to the public. Benzio’s magazine The Source held a press conference on the matter to make sure it wasn’t covered up.
Benzio left The Source eventually, and he clearly lost the fight to Eminem. However, according to Benzio.net, he’s planning a 2012 comeback, which will include many attacks on Eminem.
Whether you like drama or not, listening to hip-hop exposes you to animosity and hate. While some of these feuds are mostly about hurt feelings and jealousy, others get quite serious before losing publicity. The next time you listen to your favorite rapper, listen for the hidden slights and outright jabs at other hip-hop legends.