Album: Relativity Urban Assault

Yes, the heart of the East/West beef was a real, street-rooted rivalry between Death Row and Bad Boy, but if we’re going to be honest about it outside of those camps most of the coastal jingoism was just a bunch of chip-on-their-shoulder having grown-ass men lost in their feelings. Case in point, Ice Cube who randomly and viciously lashed out at Chicago’s (?!?!) Common on “Westside Slaughterhouse” in response to Com’s heart-broken lament the year prior, on “I Used To Love h.e.r.” that he felt increasingly alienated from the culture as it embraced West Coast gangsterism. Come on Senor Sensitivo, it’s not like dude even said your name!

Anyhow, despite having made strides down the road of maturity Common was quick to take it back to the outh side, dropping the Pete Rock produced “Bitch In Yoo.” In one of the most concise and efficient diss records of all time—each line delivering new ether—Common systematically dismantles Cube’s hypocrisy, reminding him he was, “on the dick of the East for your first release,” and then telling him: “Don’t take my words out of ‘text/You went from gangsta to Islam to the dick of Das Efx.” By the track’s conclusion even casual fans knew Cube’s IMDb page was longer than his rap sheet, and that when push came to shove Common, for all of his thoughtfulness and sensitivity, was not the one to score points off. Bow down? —Noah Callahan-Bever