In your opinion, what was the best hip hop battle related quotable or statement ever made? I immediately thought about it a few weeks ago after viewing a video that’s probably one of the illest, (yeah I know I’m dating myself) hip hop moves in recent years. It was a stance and I mean that literally, taken by the only rapper who now has two songs in Billboards top 5. And what I’m referencing is just hip hop, which used to be bold, braggadocios, nut grabbing, chest thumping, declarations of “I’m nicer than you with this rap shit and no matter what, you can’t fuck with me!”
- Cornell Dews
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With that in mind, let me ask: Did TI stand on top of the Bowen Homes projects sign in Bankhead? Is that the same Bowen Homes that my man Shawty Lo canvassed asking people “is Tip from Bankhead?” Did he began the video sitting in a lawn chair in front of Bowen Homes? Man, I don’t know what yall thought, but when I saw the What’s Up, What’s Happening video, I said “Oh My God!” That was bold (check), braggadocios (check), I think he grabbed his nuts (no homo)check and thumped his chest. And he definitely made a declaration to Shawty Lo that he’s nicer than him with this rap shit, no matter what. To me, that was hip hop. Which led me to think about some other “hip hop” moves over the years. I’m going to present those moves and hip hop quotable’s that I thought were cool, in no particular order. I’d like for you to do the same and join me as we reminisce about acts that ethered some, motivated others and utterly destroyed careers.
KRS One once rapped that “Manhattan keeps on making it, Brooklyn keeps on taking it, Bronx keeps creating it and Queens keeps on faking it!” That was a dis to MC Shan and his DJ Marley Marl, but he included the whole borough. That was hip hop!
Kool Moe Dee said, “I’m just gonna splatter and shatter his pipe dream. Make him feel the wrath, beat him and laugh. Then when I finish ‘em, I’m gonna ask him who’s the best? And if he don’t say Moe Dee, I’ll take my whip and make him call himself Toby.” That was tough, he even referenced Roots. But did you hear the rebuttal.
Uncle L a.k.a. LL Cool J a.k.a. Jack The Ripper started the song by saying, “milky and I’m back. My ace in the hole was this brand new track.” Which meant that he bated Moe Dee, he toyed with him like a young Cassius Clay. L went on to say, “here’s what my game is, kill is what my aim. A washed up rapper needs a wash up. My name is Jack The Ripper, King Hercules. Back for the payback, I must say that, I heard your new jam, I don’t play that. It aint loud enough punk, it aint hitting. This year you tried, next year you quitting.” He even used the title of Kool Moe Dee’s dis song How Ya Like Me Now in his own dis when he said, “how ya like me now, I’m getting busier, I’m double platinum watching you get dizzier.” He continued it with, “don’t let me hear you say I aint debonair. I’m better than any emcee out there!” Shots fired. That was hip hop!
And we can’t mention Uncle L and the battle without talking about Can-I-Bus. Do you remember when he said, “Well lemme tell you something, you might got more cash than me, but you aint got the skills to eat a nigga’s ass like me. And if you really want to show off, we can get it on. Live in front of the camera’s on your own sitcom. I’ll let you kick a verse, fuck it, I’ll let you kick ‘em all. I’ll even wait for the studio audience to applaud. Now watch me rip the tat from your arm, kick you in the groin, stick you for your Vanguard award in front of your mom, your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd born. Make your wife get on the horn and call Minister Farakahn. So he could persuade me to squash it. I say naw he started it. He forgot what a hardcore artist is.” Woo Wee!
Then the discord was deaded when L said, “you don’t want to borrow that, you want to idolize. And you don’t want to make me mad, nigga you wanna socialize.” Hey, hands down, the J on the back, behind the Cool without the A-Y is one of the best whoever done it! He is Hip Hop!
One of my favorites was when Pac said, “Mobb Deep wonder why nigga blowed them out. Next time grown folks talking nigga close your mouth” Whew! I don’t know what the Mobb did to Pac directly, if anything, but whatever they did, they shouldn’t of done it.
Whether you was riding with the West Coast or the East Coast at the time, you must admit that when Snoop kicked over the World Trade Center in the New York, New York video that the DPG shot on site, was hip hop at it’s best! Now those real gun shots that were reportedly fired at their trailers on the video shoot while on location in New York wasn’t hip hop at all. Instead, that was some ignorant street shit that could have cost someone their life. Shit like that is actually the detriment of hip hop, unfortunately. But let me not digress.
50 Cent entered the game locked, cocked and loaded with his song How To Rob in which he adamantly said, “the only excuse for being broke is being in jail.” He dissed everybody in the game. You’d have to pick your own favorite lines. However, for me, two of the most memorable and entertaining quotes was when he said, “I’d rob ODB, but that’d be a waste of time. Probably have to clap him, run and toss the nine.” He also said, “tell Sticky gimme the cash before I empty three. I’ll beat your ass like that white boy on MTV.” That whole song, line for line, was hip hop!
“I’m about a dollar. What the fuck is 50 Cent?”
“Nigga, you aint live it, you witnessed it from your folks pad. You scribbled in your notepad and created your life.”
“So yeah, I sampled your voice, you was using it wrong. You made it a hot line. I made it a hot song.”
“How’s niggas dissing me? I made it possible for niggas to make history. How is this possible? Please explain this shit to me? How is this logical? Have we forgot our history? Lets open our bibles. It’s like the disciples dissing Jesus becoming his rivals. Shunning the one thing that they owe their life to. You let that man hype you to go against your idol. Knowing good and goddamn well this what I do! Think I’m in the office, I lost my grind? That’s how kids become orphans. You lost your mind?”
“The only time you went plat, my chain was around your neck and that’s an actual fact.”
For the love of hip hop, I would have paid anything to witness a young L in his prime versus Jay. But since that’s impossible, I had to “settle” for Jay versus Nas. Please understand that I used the term “settle” facetiously.
First of all, in the song Ether, Nas returned the favor to Jay by using his own words and slogan, “I Will Not Lose.” And he meant it!
“My child, I’ve watched you grow up to be famous and now I smile like a proud dad, watching his only son that made it. Were you abused as a child, scared to smile, they called you ugly? Well, life is harsh, hug me, don’t reject me. Or make records to disrespect me, blatant or indirectly. In ‘88 you was getting chased to your building. Calling my crib and I aint even give you my number. All I did was gave you a style for you to run with. Smiling in my face, glad to break bread with the God.” Though there were certainly some personal underlying issues to ignite the rival, the result was definitely hip hop at its finest.
There are countless others and I know that I just scratched the surface. So I’d like for you to help me finish writing this piece by including your favorites in the comment section below. As I stated earlier, lets reminisce about the true essence of this artistic form, our beloved hip hop. What were some of your favorite battle related hip hop quotable’s or actions?
Written by Cornell Dews