Hip-hop is very competitive. You might not notice that about the culture these days due to the political correctness every rapper and rap fan seems to be necessitating on, but there was a time when being a man/woman and standing up for yourself, your words and your crew actually meant something. It wasn’t just pride like most people today would like to think; it was noble and it carried merit. It still means something to be thorough and genuine today, except these days the vast majority of general society (not just hip-hop) likes to act as if they got gall but ultimately…they’re just hollow warriors. That can make it tough to decipher what battles are worth fighting and which ones aren’t. So do as I do…fight em all. You’ll be surprised how many “tough” guys/gals ease up when you look em dead in the eye and let them see how serious you are about taking care of them and the unfortunate situation they’ve brought upon you.
With that being said (sorry for the rant but I needed to get that out there) there was a time in hip-hop when fans didn’t wonder if a rap beef would spill over into the real world; it was a matter of when. No other group of individuals know that better than some of NY’s finest; The LOX.
With careers spanning over twenty years, Jadakiss, Styles P and Sheek Louch have not only worked with a who’s who of rap legends…they’ve beefed with some of the all time greats as well. Case in point: see their battle on wax against two powerhouse crews in G-Unit and Roc-A-Fella.
This past winter the trio spoke to DJ Whoo Kid (who was and still is G-Unit’s DJ) on his Whoolywood Shuffle radio show about the severity of those beefs and whether they were ready to go to war for it.
With the Unit, the beef started when head honcho 50 Cent dropped his “Piggy Bank” track where he aimed some not-so-nice lyrics towards Jadakiss, whom he targeted for making the “New York” song with Ja Rule (50’s arch nemesis). Jada and the LOX knew from the get-go the bars weren’t personal so they retaliated as best they could, on wax, and never planned for it to escalate.
“I think the G-Unit/D-Block beef that was more of a rap thing you know what I’m saying,” said Styles P.
“I wasn’t looking to shoot 50, Banks, Yayo, nobody. I wasn’t even invested as far as violence-wise; like the Roc-A-Fella beef that could have went in a violent area but as far as G-Unit I never knew em good enough to you know, to get that deep [and] take it personal.”
As Styles alluded to, the beef with Roc-A-Fella (Beanie Sigel and State Property in particular) did get personal due to the lyrics thrown towards the LOX and cooler heads were needed in order to prevail.
“50…and Yayo and em was coming at us more like choppin’ like snappin’ on us you know what I mean ‘them niggas is bums get the fuck outta here’ like doing that shit,” said Sheek Louch.
“Beans and em were saying some SHIT lyrically because they were slick talkin’, them Philly niggas they be sayin’ some shit. So that’s where I’d be like ‘oh shit Styles get the guns! Where the fuck them niggas record at?’ like it was that kind of situation.”
Sheek would mention they had at one point in time cornered the Young Gunz (Neef Buck & Young Chris) as a means of intimidating them. The young ROC signees (at the time) didn’t back down according to Louch and ultimately, everyone left in one piece.
With these beefs having taken place over a decade ago, it’s important to note none of the aforementioned individuals are beefing anymore. The LOX collaborate fairly regularly with G-Unit these days, and the same can be said about the former ROC artists and the D-Block founders. Time really does heal all wounds it seems.
A lot of rap beefs appear to stem from spur of the moment impulses rather than a preexisting conflict. 50 Cent actually went on tour with the LOX early on in his career so obviously at some point they must have been okay with one another, and the LOX recently signed a deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation (Jay was one of the Roc-A-Fella bosses during the time of the beef).
Suffice to say, rappers of yesteryear would only let beefs escalate if it got personal because they had to protect themselves however possible. Nowadays, it seems the media propagates rap beefs and that could explain why most beefs during this modern era typically end before they even gain traction.
At the end of the day it’s all music and should provide some form of entertainment; but that seems to be lacking these days.
“Our beefs were so dope man you knew it was gonna be some ‘fuck that fuck you this and that’ some ill shit,” said Sheek. “You name whoever we got it on with, it was like some dope entertainment, it was some entertainment going on. These beefs right now is not the same man…I think the media is more turning them into beefs. Our shit was legitimate beefs, these joints right now is like…[makes a noise to indicate his disapproval]”
I hear you Louch.
Watch the full interview below where in addition to beef they discuss why they signed to Jay’s Roc Nation, what’s lacking with today’s rappers, the ridiculousness of rap contracts and more.