10 Best Diss Tracks In Hip Hop

The full force of hip hop's best unleashed.

Ice Cube
Revolution Studios

Diss tracks occur for all manor of reasons. Financial disputes, writing credits, a feigned or real slight, all can instigate a long running musical beef. The Beatles famously laid into each other post break up. Lennon and McCartney exchanged digs, on the tracks How Do You Sleep, and Too Many People. McCartney's was only a few lines, vaguely alluding to Lennon, but Lennon dedicated a whole song, laying into his former writing partner.

Although you can find diss tracks in every genre, they're never so inventive or as entertaining then in hip hop. The rhythmic flow of rap, intrinsically lends itself to creatively insulting wordplay. There's also the fact that hip hop seems to illicit endless feuds amongst its leading figures.

It's an uncomfortable reality that rap artist get into long running disagreements. Sometimes it's no more serious than a few tongue in cheek insults, other times it ends with real world consequences. Whatever the case, it has resulted in some of the most iconic raps ever to be laid down.

The creativity, flow and style of these tracks represent the pinnacle of the art form. You wont be surprised to see some of the most highly regarded rappers in the game on this list.

10. To Da Break Of Dawn - LL Cool J (1990)

Long before LL Cool J portrayed a streetwise detective on NCIS, he was one of the most highly respected hip hop artists of the '80s and early '90s.

But like many of his contemporaries, he wasn't without his haters. He notably had a long running feud with fellow New York rapper, Kool Moe Dee. Moe Dee accused LL of stealing his style and flow.

Moe Dee released How Ya Like Me Now in 1987. The title track was a straight attack against the up and coming LL. He berated the rapper numerous times for proclaiming himself the best. The album cover also made reference to Dee's intentions. He's depicted in front of a Jeep rolling over a red Kangol Hat, a signature piece of attire for LL.

This resulted in the two rappers duking it out on the mic for the next few years. Although the back and forth was hotly contested, LL Cool J's To Da Break Of Dawn is remembered as a highlight. Amongst the many verses thrown at his rival, LL included the line, "You couldn't bust a grape in a fruit fight", perhaps the cleanest but most enjoyable insult on this list.


Before engrossing myself in the written word, I spent several years in the TV and film industry. During this time I became proficient at picking things up, moving things and putting things down again.