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.
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."