Everyone knows that punk rock and hip-hop are musical and cultural cousins. And everyone knows that hip-hop is a competitive art form, where rappers continuously come up with new ways to one-up one another lyrically—giving the fans the pleasure of debating who won. So why doesn’t punk rock have its own musical battles?
The truth is, it does. Plenty of them. They just get overshadowed in a punk rock culture that tends to play out its rivalries, disputes and disses more often in fanzines, message boards and, now, on social media, than on record. But when punk rock does get competitive, when the spit start flying and the combat boots start kicking a little higher, it can make for some amazing music—especially when the best hardcore bands feel the need to put rivals and critics in their place.
And when they do, it looks awfully familiar to any student of rap beefs. Insults to bands’ masculinity. Insults to bands’ realness. And of course, threats of violence. Even some humor. It’s just a matter of time before they start giving their favorite rappers guest features. Here is Combat-Boot Beef: 20 Classic Punk and Hardcore Diss Songs. Twenty musical gauntlets-thrown that wouldn't seem out of place on any installment of the Street Wars mixtape series.
Written by Spencer Ackerman