Rap's Grade-A Beefs: 10 Memorable Smackdowns

Since the moment hip-hop emerged as a genre, MCs have been striving to one-up one another with ever-more-outrageous disses. Here, our subjective and highly unscientific guide to the best zingers of all time. Plus, read why rap beefs have all become catfights.

April 25, 2012

Roxanne Shanté (left) , "Roxanne's Revenge" (1984)

Target: UTFO (right)

Beef: When the all-male rap group UTFO—known for a track called "Roxanne, Roxanne," about a fictional girl who'd rejected each member's advances—canceled their appearance at an eagerly anticipated show, one of the promoters, legendary Queensbridge producer Marley Marl, enlisted 14-year-old Lolita Shanté Gooden to deliver a response from Roxanne's perspective. It sold 250,000 copies in NYC alone.

Dis: "You thought you was cute, yeah, you thought you was a prince/ You're walkin' down the block, holdin' your jock/ But everybody knows that you're all on my yacht/ I'm just the devastatin', always rockin', always have the niggas clockin'/ Everybody knows it's me, yeah, the R-O-X-A-N-N-E."

Credit: Getty Images
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