If you’re searching for the best diss tracks of all time, this article is for you.
Diss tracks have been a large part of hip-hop from the very beginning but were largely popularized upon the West Coast-East Coast Hip Hop feud.
Hip-hop beef has become an important part of rap, and this list features only the best diss tracks and responses.
In this article, we delve into the defining moments between rappers and take a further look into the beef that has caused these fifteen diss tracks.
1. “Ether” by Nas
“Ether”, which is known as one of the best diss tracks of all time, was released by Nas on his 2001 studio album Stillmatic.
The song has been named the “wildest diss track in hip-hop history”, and is known as a classic.
Nas released “Ether” as a response to Jay-Z’s “Takeover”, which was released earlier the same year.
He said he aimed “to affect [Jay-Z] with my weapon and get to his soul”.
Throughout the track he claims him to be a copycat of rappers who came before him.
2. “Hit ‘Em Up” by 2Pac ft. the Outlawz
“Hit ‘Em Up” is a collaborative diss track, written by 2Pac and featuring the Outlawz.
The song primarily goes after East Coast rappers, focusing mainly on 2Pac’s rival the Notorious B.I.G.
The track has been named controversial after Tupac Shakur’s murder just three months after its release, and has been coined the song that began the East Coast-West Coast Hip Hop Rivalry.
3. “Nail In The Coffin” by Eminem
“Nail In The Coffin” was one of the four diss tracks released by Eminem during his feud with Benzino.
The song was part of his album Shady Times: Invasion, Pt. 1, a month and a half after Benzino’s disses in his track “Pull Your Skirt Up”.
Eminem refers to ending the beef with the rival rapper, while simultaneously ending his rap career.
4. “Drop a Gem On ‘Em” by Mobb Deep
“Drop a Gem On ‘Em” was Mobb Deep’s response to 2Pac’s “Hit ‘Em Up”, which included a threat to Mobb.
It was released only a few weeks before 2Pac’s death, and samples “Can’t Help But Love You” by The Whispers.
Its coincidental timing caused controversy over the shooting, and caused 2Pac to release a diss track in response to their first song “Survival of the Fittest”.
However, Mobb Deep claimed they had never heard of Tupac Shakur when they released it.
5. “How Ya Like Me Now” by Kool Moe Dee
Kool Moe Dee released “How Ya Like Me Now” in 1987 as the lead single on their album of the same name.
The song is a diss track to his long-time rival LL Cool J and became his first single ever to reach the charts in the United States.
The diss song reached number twenty-two on the United States R&B/Hip Hop chart, staying there for eighteen weeks, and also reached the charts in the United Kingdom.
It was subsequently ranked at number thirty-one on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.
6. “No Vaseline” by Ice Cube
“No Vaseline” is a diss track released by Ice Cube on his album Death Certificate in 1991.
It is aimed at his former group N.W.A., whom he left in 1989 due to issues with receiving royalties.
The diss song features insults and call-outs to Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, DJ Yella, and manager Jerry Heller specifically, with Ice Cube blaming the latter for causing the group’s decline.
7. “The Sauce (Benzino Diss)” by Eminem
“The Sauce” is another diss track that Eminem released to take out Ray Benzino, who he unsubtly calls out in the title of the song.
It is in response to Benzino’s claims that he was not being reviewed favorably by The Source magazine and was being targeted.
In the track, Eminem calls him and his magazine out for “pretentious attempts at rap music”, stating that he is “too old” and “will never measure up to the well-known artists of the time”.
8. “Takeover” by Jay-Z
Jay-Z recorded “Takeover” for his 2001 studio album The Blueprint, aiming it at Nas and Prodigy, a rapper from Mobb Deep.
The song was the first to publicly address the beef between Jay-Z and Nas but it also references other rappers.
The song interpolates many hits, including “Fame” by David Bowie, “Five to One” by the Doors, and “Sound of da Police” by KRS-One.
It ended up being featured as one of Pitchfork’s Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s, specifically at number fifty-one.
9. “Long Kiss Goodnight” by The Notorious B.I.G.
“Long Kiss Goodnight” is one of Biggie Smalls’ most controversial songs, being released as a diss track only sixteen days after 2Pac’s death.
Many see the track as the Notorious B.I.G.’s final response to the years of feuding between the two rappers.
Some see the song to be a product of the sad era of East Coast-West Coast Hip Hop feuding, and believe that it wasn’t a total diss to Tupac.
The controversy over the song still continues today, since it appeared as The Notorious B.I.G. dancing on his grave.
10. “Back Down” by 50 Cent
In “Back Down”, 50 Cent takes a break from his usual rap topics and focuses on dissing his fellow New York rapper Ja Rule, who he had been feuding with for years.
Ja is mentioned multiple times by name, so there is no query about who the diss track is to.
50 Cent stated his main problem with Ja Rule is the fact that he is too busy trying to portray himself as a tough gangster, rather than focusing on his rap career.
He tells him that “he is nothing compared to him”.
11. “The Bitch In Yoo” by Common
Common released “The Bitch In Yoo” in 1996 as a diss track in response to attacks and threats from the hip-hop supergroup Westside Connection, and its lead rapper Ice Cube.
In the diss track, he accuses Ice Cube of not releasing a “dope” album since his release of AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, and of taking some of his lyrics from “I Used to Love H.E.R.” out of context.
12. “Fuck wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)” by Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg
“Fuck wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)” is a collaborative diss track released in 1993 on Dr. Dre’s debut studio album The Chronic, featuring Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Doggy Dogg as he was formerly known.
The song largely targets Eazy-E, a former group mate of Dre.
He and Snoop claim that Eazy cheated on N.W.A.’s artists, and also diss other rappers including Luke Campbell, Tim Dog, and Ice Cube, who had dissed the pair before.
13. “Real Muthaphuckkin G’s” by Eazy-E
“Real Muthaphuckkin G’s”, also known as “Real Compton City G’s” in its radio edit, is a 1993 diss track by Eazy-E.
It features guest rappers Gangsta Dresta and B.G. Knocc Out and became one of Eazy’s most successful solo singles.
It is a diss track in retaliation to Dre and Snoop’s diss addressed to him, and in it Eazy and his guests mock the two, saying they’re “studio gangsta’s”.
He even mocks “Fuck wit Dre Day” should be titled “Eazy’s Pay Day”.
14. “Back to Back” by Drake
“Back to Back” is a diss track written by Drake in response to Meek Mill’s Twitter criticism.
The two have released several other diss tracks back and forth ever since.
The track saw commercial popularity, reaching number twenty-one on the United States Billboard Hot 100, and was even nominated for Best Rap Performance at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.
15. “Kick in the Door” by The Notorious B.I.G.
“Kick in the Door” was a diss track from The Notorious B.I.G.’s final album, Life After Death.
It was aimed at everybody, according to Biggie, but largely Nas, Jeru the Damaja, Raekwon, and Ghostface Killah.
Best Diss Tracks – Final Thoughts
The diss tracks in this list are some of the best of all time, featuring the biggest rappers in the West Coast-East Coast Hip Hop Feud.
From Eminem’s beef with Benzino, and Dr. Dre and Snoop’s hit on Eazy-E, we cover all of the biggest arguments of the last couple of decades.
We hope you enjoy checking out these brutal diss tracks!
You may also like: Hardest Rap Songs of All Time