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08.15.13

The 9 Greatest Rap Disses: Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, 2Pac & More

The rap world is going absolutely crazy for Kendrick Lamar’s diss verse on the Big Sean track “Control.” But how does it measure up against the best rap disses ever? From 2Pac to Jay Z, we rank the greatest. (Warning: Explicit Language)

Kendrick Lamar has the entire rap community on tilt.

Ever since the Big Sean rap song “Control” hit the Internet, hip-hop heads have taken to Twitter to gush over Kendrick’s vitriolic verse on the tune, in which the 26-year-old Compton native lays waste to a plethora of big-name rappers, including Drake, A$AP Rocky, and even Big Sean—on his own track. Russell Simmons called it “an instant classic.” Just Blaze said it “Bodied everyone’s entire year’s worth of raps.” And Ice T proclaimed that it “woke hip-hop the fuck up.”

But how does Kendrick’s brutal verse measure up against the greatest rap disses?

1. 2Pac – “Hit Em Up”

Target(s): Notorious B.I.G., Lil Kim, Puff Daddy, Bad Boy Family, Mobb Deep, Junior M.A.F.I.A.

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“First off: fuck your bitch and the clique you claim / Westside when we ride, come equipped with game / You claim to be a player but I fucked your wife / We bust on Bad Boys niggas fucked for Life.” 

2. Boogie Down Productions – “The Bridge Is Over”

Target(s): Queens, Marley Marl, Juice Crew, MC Shan

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“Manhattan keeps on making it, Brooklyn keeps on taking it / Bronx keeps creating it, and Queens keeps on faking it.”

3. Nas – “Ether”

Target(s): Jay Z

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“When these streets keep callin’, heard it when I was asleep / That this Gay-Z and Cockafella Records wanted beef / Started cockin’ up my weapon, slowly loadin’ up this ammo / To explode it on a camel and his soldiers / I can handle this for dolo / And his manuscript just sound stupid / When KRS already made an album called Blueprint / First Biggie’s your man / Then you got the nerve to say you’re better than Big / Dick suckin’ lips / Why don’t you let the late, great veteran live.”

4. Jay Z – “Takeover”

Target(s): Prodigy (of Mobb Deep), Nas

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“I don’t care if you Mobb Deep, I hold triggers to crews / You little fuck, I got money stacks bigger than you / When I was pushing weight, back in ’88 / You was a ballerina, I got the pictures, I seen ya / Then you dropped “Shook Ones,” switched your demeanor / Well, we don’t believe you, you need more people.”

5. Ice Cube – “No Vaseline”

Target(s): Dr. Dre, NWA, Jerry Heller, Ruthless Records

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“Ay yo Dre, stick to producing / Calling me Arnold, but you Benedict / Eazy-E saw your ass and went in quick / You got jealous when I got my own company / But I’m a man, and ain’t nobody humping me / Trying to sound like Amerikkka’s Most / You could yell all day, but you don’t come close / Cause you know I’m the one that flowed / Ya done run 100 miles, but you still got one to go / With the L-E-N-C-H-M-O-B, and y’all disgrace the C-P-T / Cause you’re getting fucked out your green by a White boy / With no Vaseline.”

6. Kendrick Lamar’s Verse – “Control”

Target(s): J Cole, Big KRIT, Wale, Pusha T, Meek Millz, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electron, Tyler the Creator, Mac Miller

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“I heard the barbershops spittin’ great debates all the time / ‘Bout who’s the best MC? Kendrick, Jigga, and Nas / Eminem, Andre 3000, the rest of y’all / New niggas just new niggas, don’t get involved / And I ain’t rockin’ no more designer shit / White T’s and Nike Cortez, this is red Corvettes anonymous / I’m usually homeboys with the same niggas I’m rhymin’ wit / But this is hip-hop and them niggas should know what time it is / And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big KRIT, Wale / Pusha T, Meek Millz, A$AP Rocky, Drake / Big Sean / Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller / I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you niggas / Tryna make sure your core fans never heart of you niggas / They don’t wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you niggas…”

7. 50 Cent – “Back Down”

Target(s): Ja Rule, Murder Inc. Roster

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“You’s a Pop Tart, sweetheart, you soft in the middle / I eat ya for breakfast, the watch was an exchange for your necklace / And your boss is a bitch, if he could he would / Sell his soul for cheap, trade his Knight to be Suge / You can buy cars but you can’t buy respect in the ‘hood / Maybe I’m so disrespectful cause to me you’re a mystery / I know niggas from ya hood, you have no history / Never poked nothin’, never popped nothin’, nigga stop frontin’ / Jay put you on, X made you hot / Now you run around like some big shot / Ha ha, pussy!”

8. Eminem – “Nail in the Coffin”

Target(s): Benzino/The Source

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“What you know about being bullied over half your life / Oh that’s right, you should know what that’s like, you’re half white / Vanilla Ice, spill the beans and rice / I’m eating you alive inside, Jesus Christ!”

9. Jay Z – “It’s Hot (Some Like It Hot)”

Target(s): 50 Cent

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“Go against Jigga, yo ass is dense / I’m about a dollar, what the fuck is 50 Cents?”