Who doesn’t like a good ol’ fashioned rap beef?
Since Kool Herc’s first party in the South Bronx one summer day in August of 1973, feuds between MCs and crews have come and gone throughout hip-hop’s history. there’s really no shortage of a lyrical sparring match you can revisit and reminisce on. Even today, there’s some bad blood between rappers that’s just won’t go away. as part of our EDITORIALS fmg will be giving you some perspective on our series THE ART OF RAP BEEFS. ENJOY!!!
Years: Early 2000s
50 Cent versus Ja Rule has become the benchmark for rap feuds, mainly because the countless disses and inevitable downfall of Ja Rule is a story that doesn’t have a real ending yet. The exact origins of why Fif and Ja started going at each other are murky, but most magazines and websites date it back to the late 1990s when a friend of 50’s robbed Ja of his jewelry. Ja reportedly told Irv Gotti, founder of Murder Inc., about the incident, who got Queens drug kingpin Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff involved. Supreme, using his intimidation, helped get Ja his stuff back.
There are other key incidents that fueled the fire behind this beef, too. In Ja Rule’s book, Unruly: The Highs And Lows Of Being A Man, he details an altercation between him and 50 in Atlanta, where things got heated between their crews after they exchanged some words. Allegedly, Ja hit 50 with a bat. Another worth mentioning was 50 getting beaten and stabbed by Murder Inc.’s Black Child in front of the Hit Factory in NYC. Although he eventually recovered, he was infamously shot nine times a little later outside of his grandmother’s house. Feds believed Supreme and associates of Murder Inc. were connected.
From the 2000s on, these two continued their feud in the streets through mixtape disses. Commercially, Ja Rule had an edge on 50 due to a string of Hot 100 hits (“Put It on Me,” “Livin’ It Up,” “Always on Time”), four Grammy nominations, and made songs with DMX and Jay Z — something that could have been a supergroup if it all fell into place. But it didn’t last long. Ja’s waning popularity was apparent when 50’s debut album, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ in 2003, sold 872,000 copies in the first week. Backed by Dr. Dre and Eminem, 50 clearly was the man running hip-hop at the time.
It’s been almost two decades, and Ja is still struggling to recapture his glory days. Even after Ja admitted his lost to 50, they still reignited their beef on social media in 2015 when fans were trying to compare Ja/50 to Drake/Meek. Recently, Ja poked fun at his fall from grace in a commercial that depicts him as an ex-rapper turned Uber driver. Livin’ it up?