These days, when you talk great hip-hop battles, Jay-Z versus Nas is usually the first to come up, but hard-core fans can recall the unforgettable joust between Beanie Sigel and Jadakiss and how it shook up the rap world at the time.
With just a few weeks until he is scheduled to turn himself in for a two-year prison bid on federal tax charges, Sigel stopped by “RapFix Live” on Wednesday to promote his August 28 LP This Time, but the Broad Street Bully didn’t come alone. His buddies Neef Buck and Freeway also joined him on the “RapFix” couch, as well as onetime foe Jadakiss, with whom he plans to record a collabo album titled Kiss the Ring.
“It was a shock for me, it was startling for me,” ’Kiss said of the 2001 battle between him and Sigel, which many agree ended in a draw.
Neither of the MCs can recall exactly how the war of words started, but before either of the lyricists started to call each other out by name, things started off very subliminal. “My first car was a 430 AMG Benz and on his first single he said ’You got the 430, small wheels,’ ” ’Kiss remembered of the lyric from Beanie’s “Mack Bitch,” the first single from his 2001 album The Reason.
At the time, the Mercedes-Benz 430 was a popular model, but after Sigel dismissed the vehicle type ’Kiss wondered to himself if the then Roc-A-Fella rapper was throwing a shot. “He probably didn’t mean it for me, but I was like, ’I gotta get rid of this little car, jump into something bigger,’ ” Jada said, laughing with his patented squeal.
Beans assured his friend that he wasn’t aiming at him with that particular lyric and that he actually was a big fan of ’Kiss and his group the LOX. Sigel explained that he eventually decided to take aim at Jada after a quiet war was bubbling between the Yonkers, New York, MC and Beanie’s Roc-A-Fella camp. “Yeah, I was riding for my team,” Beans explained.
Whatever the case, the battle resulted in some amazing lyrical moments. Sigel put Jada in his scope on the Roc’s 2001 DJ Envy-hosted Empire Strikes Backmixtape when he spit, “F— the speculation, talk’s over/ N—a dig this, I’m about to son ’Kiss [Sunkist] like a soda.”
“N—as can’t stand you, Sigel/ Your flow is mine anyway so don’t bite the hand that feed you,” Jada snapped back on a 2001 mixtape freestyle.
Eventually the two rap titans buried the hatchet, but looking back on it, they can still appreciate the sport of it all. “We were overlooked, because that was major,” Beans said.
“I think it was therapeutic for hip-hop,” ’Kiss added.
What is your favorite rap line from the Beanie Sigel/Jadakiss rap battle? Sound off in the comments!