No Rules In War
Rap battles are usually built on myths, the most vicious barbs tread closer to fiction than reality. Like Pac’s probably imaginary affair with Faith, for example. But once in a while on record beef can get particularly personal. Here are a couple such instances.
Kingpin Skinny Pimp & 211 – “Lil Arm Dance“
from Controversy (Underground, 2000)
T-Rock – “My Little Arm“
from The Myth Of Reality (Secret Service, 2003)
DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia was born with an atrophied right arm. This is one of those hip hop facts that most listeners are aware of, but still seems to shock someone every time it comes up in conversation. Paul has rarely, if ever, gone on record on the topic and, in fact, seems to go to some lengths to conceal it with braces and loose fitting, long sleeved outerwear and such. Really, you’d think he’d be more open about it. His success despite this disability is pretty damn impressive, especially given his history a party DJ. Dude must have been the Jim Abbott of the turntables. Obviously though, the tiny arm is something of an achilles heel to diss hungry rivals, specifically scorned one time Hypnotized Minds affiliates. Skinny Pimp even turned it into a dance.
Mac Dre f/ Coolio – “Cold Cold Capper (Little Bitch)“
At the height of the Hillside/Crestside Vallejo beef (which we will discuss at length one day), Mac Dre and E-40’s cousin Little Bruce were throwing some serious barbs at each other on the underground tip. On this eight minute freestyle Dre and Coolio (Da Unda Dogg, not the other one, of course) threaten to beat up on Bruce’s wheelchair bound mother and and clown him for being half Korean (making the somewhat geographically awry suggestion that his deadbeat father met his Korean mother in the Vietnamese war). “I’ll talk bad about everything you love,” indeed. Bruce couldn’t have taken it too personally though, as years later he would sign to Dre’s Thizz Ent. label.
Jay-Z “Super Ugly“
from Super Ugly 12″ (White Label, 2002)
The obvious choice in controversial diss records, Jay’s post-“Ether” second round self knock out mostly addressed Nas’ baby mother turned professional groupie Carmen Bryant, who Jay too had allegedly had relations with. Popular opinion was that Jay had went too far, with Jay’s own mom even calling into Hot 97 and lecturing him for taking it too far. He later apologized for the record. Which is stupid. The record is called “Super Ugly,” after all, it’s not like he didn’t realize he was crossing a line. But this is a rap battle. If you left condoms on your opponents baby seat then say something. All that you-know-what-about-you-know-who talk on “Takeover” was far too merciful, to be honest and it still stands as maybe the greatest diss records of all time. Jay won. Carmen aside, shit like “open beer bottles off the boys chipped tooth” tops all the cookie cutter homophobia of “Ether” on any day and Jay was still tearing him up on “Blueprint 2.” The outcome of the most significant rap battle of all time shouldn’t hinge on an ethical technicality.