Nothing quite like a dope diss track. After all, it’s part of the foundation of Hip Hop; braggadocio, competition on the mic and flashing street credentials in the comp’s face. Plus you get some of the dopest lyrics possible out of these bombs.
Let’s look at some of the best diss tracks and why they’re the best.
Eazy E real mutha– Gs
Nothing like calling your comp frauds to get a diss track off the right way; especially in the arena of gangsta rap; after all, gangstas in Hip Hop try their best to seem like the real deal and we can often tell they are not. And we can see when they are; Eazy E was a true gangsta and so was his crew here, attacking Dre and Snoop after they dissed him.
Kool Moe Dee’s competitions with other MCs are legendary and possibly none more legendary than his beef with Cool J. Moe Dee didn’t appreciate the arrogant tone of the (at the time) arrogant rapper and made him take notice with a series of diss tracks. As far as I’m concerned Death Blow is one of the most vicious, under-rated and well-done of these tracks.
Jack the Ripper
Cool J had his own answers to the veteran MC. And he did well at putting together some dope tracks, like this one which is easily one of the best Hip Hop songs in terms of how it moves like a roller coaster, smashing right into LL’s comp. I even put this one above Mama Said Knock You Out. It’s Jack the Ripper.
How ya like me now
Then, of course, there was the original LL Cool J diss, the one with the album cover with Moe Dee’s jeep running over Cool J’s trademark hat. It was the hit that started the feud, basically.
Cube went after his old crew NWA. There was a whole drama behind the diss track; Cube leaving the group, having been cheated and underpaid by manager and group and setting off on his own, creating his own hits; after all, he was the lyrical genius behind the break-through group anyway, why not take all the profits? His answer to the whole crew was No Vaseline and, as usual, it was raw, vicious, gangsta.
What can I say? Dre is dope. His productions propelled NWA, himself, Snoop Dogg and Eminem. His West Coast funk, with that bass and that high end synthesizer set the trend in the 90s. And this diss track was even doper with the introduction of the iconic Snoop Dogg, both him and Dre on a mission.
Nail in the coffin
This song represents Eminem with all of his gigantic skill and vicious delivery embarrassingly annihilating a two-bit MC and publisher from a declining Hip Hop mag who decided to attack Em for no reason. There is something both comical and impressive about the whole thing. Em with his usual beastly lyrical skill going after this guy who doesn’t even compare musically or lyrically who represents a magazine that slowly but surely sold out.
I've been listening to Hip Hop music and exploring other aspects of the culture since the early 1980s, my teen years. I've seen it go through major changes. But there's a common spirit underlying this Movement. Hip Hop Ya Don't Stop!