Jay-Z and Nas’ bitter war back in the era of “Ether” stands as one of the most storied hip-hop beefs, but the Queensbridge rapper certainly wasn’t the only one to trade barbs with the God MC. Despite collaborations on tracks like Hard Knock Life’s “Money, Cash, Hoes,” DMX was also at odds with Jay for some time back in the ’90s.
During X’s recent visit to “RapFix Live,” host Sway Calloway played a clip of Irv Gotti explaining what started the beef between DMX and the Brooklyn rapper, before asking him to explain it from his own point of view. “[DMX] had a problem with Jay, and it all stemmed from that battle that’s on film and backstage; you can see a piece of it,” Irv explained, referencing the infamous battle that took place in a Bronx, New York, pool hall. “X hated Jay because it was the one battle that he said it wasn’t absolutely sure in everyone’s mind that he won. He said Jay did a punk move because after [X] spit his rhyme, Jay said something quickly into the mic then broke out.”
Irv noted that Hov pulled a slick move, making his break while the crowd was still roaring for him. “Jay’s smart, ’cause he [knew], ’This dude [was] gonna rhyme all night, and each rhyme [was] gonna get more disrespectful,’ so he bounced. So Jay and X did not like each other — at all.”
After watching the footage, DMX, never one to mince words, corroborated Irv’s story. “Me and Jay had the battle issues,” he said matter-of-factly, going on to explain that it was nothing personal, just a part of the game. “When you’re playing another team, you’re not gonna like them, but that doesn’t mean that you want them dead or you mean any physical harm to them.
“It wasn’t that type of thing,” he continued. “I understood and embraced what rap is [or was]. I didn’t like him because we battled, and that’s all it was. I didn’t mean him any harm — I didn’t know him enough to not really like him, but I didn’t want to be his friend.”
X admitted that mutual parties tried to get them to resolve their issues, but at the time, he wasn’t having it. Eventually, he came around, but they’re still not buddies, by any means.
“It’s by going through that, that when we finally came around to being cordial, came around to being cool, that we earned each other’s friendship,” the Yonkers rapper said, also commenting on their current relationship.
“I don’t have a problem with him,” he said after a long pause, “but we ain’t high-fiving in the locker room or chest bumping.”
One fan on Twitter then posed the ultimate question: Would DMX and Jay-Z ever put their differences behind them long enough to collaborate?
“Anything’s possible,” was X’s response. “I won’t be the one to say ’no’ or stand on something ignorant like ’no I will never’ — that doesn’t make sense. I don’t see it happening, but anything’s possible.”