You Don’t Want It! 14 Beef And Answer Songs
When you have so much to say, and want it to be effective, you have to make sure that you get your point across with the most prominent punch. When you have the music medium to help you to express yourself, you can either answer back to someone, or just put all of your issues with them out on the table. In doing so, you can land on this list.
Now we know about some of the obvious candidates that came from the East Coast vs. West Coasts beefs, Jay Z vs. Nas, and the recent Kendrick vs. Drake. I’m going to try to surprise you with this list. Here are 14 songs that artists used to address someone who they were angry with, or wanted to answer to a previous song. Now, let’s get to it:
Charlamagne tha god/Lil’ Young Shorty vs. Nick Cannon
Let’s start this off with a little bit of fun. After Charlamagne named Nick Cannon “Donkey of the Day” when Nick released a less than favorable song to the commentator’s taste. In doing so, Nick Cannon released a diss song to Charlamagne, in which Charlamagne released this gem of “a few bars and a hook.” The two are cool now, especially after Nick got Charlamagne when Charlamagne was a guest on Cannon’s “Wildin’ Out.”
Who would have realized that the East Coast – West Coast still had somewhat of a beef? Well, apparently when Jay Z and Alicia Keys released “Empire State of Mind,” the West Coast wanted a song to represent their greatness as well. So here came Katy Perry, featuring Snoop Dogg to celebrate the fun and free nature of girls in the Golden State.
Mama Said Knock You Out
Beef isn’t just for the new school of entertainers. When LL Cool J first came out, rapper Kool Moe Dee began to attack the young rapper, and accuse him of taking his rap style. The two continued to go back and forth for a good minute, and then LL released the album “Mama Said Knock You Out,” and the single that was aimed at Mr. Moe Dee.
The Boy is Mine
Who knew that “The Boy is Mine” was an answer song? Apparently it was, to the Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney song “The Girl is Mine.” Who knew? Surely not I!
When Courtney Love referred to Gwen Stefani as a “cheerleader” in an interview with Seventeen magazine, Gwen didn’t take that lying down. With the help of the Neptunes, Gwen created a song that was not only addressing the insult, but became a number one hit as well.
When Michael Jackson dropped “Billie Jean,” the wildly popular song detailed the desperation of women living that groupie life, and a celebrity that was adamant that “the kid is not my son.”
Soon, Lydia Murdock decided to create an answer song as the fictional Billie Jean who addressed celebrity men who sleep with these women, their attempts to keep it private, and then lie about their involvement.
What’s Up, What’s Haapnin’
Though this feud has been long extinguished, I have to be honest, this is still one of my favorite beef songs.
After a back and forth between TI and Shawty Lo, where each party calls each other’s authenticity into question, T.I. fired back with this gem.
Wale has been known for addressing his mistrust in individuals, and no time was more poignant when he addressed his then beef with fellow rapper Kid Cudi on his song “Number Won.” On his acclaimed “More About Nothing” mixtape, the DC lyricist discussed what could be the culprit to their fallen friendship.
However, the two rappers settled their issues, and both continued to release great music since.
I know I wasn’t the only person extremely… shocked when Eamon dropped the ode to the end of a crappy relationship, “F**k It (I Don’t Want You Back).” Eamon’s song had to have some type of record for all the f-bombs dropped.
But, not to be outdone, female singer Frankee made an answer song (that is definitely NSFW) as if she was the spurned ex.
I once saw a comedian talk about the frustration men deal with when some women who take women empowerment songs or man-bashing songs and use them as a means to diss all men. Apparently that’s what Sporty Thievz were feeling when they penned this response to TLC’s highly popular song “No Scrubs.”
Bye Bye Bye
Getting into the limelight can be a treacherous road, and many boy bands in the 90s learned this the hard way. Lou Pearlman, who was also the manager for The Backstreet Boys, managed N*Sync’s career as well, along with their money. After a strenuous time of not getting paid what they felt they were owed, N*Sync cut ties with Lou Pearlman, and to celebrate they released the highly successful album “No Strings” with the debuting single “Bye Bye Bye,” addressing the end of their business relationship.
When Nickelback created the song “If Today was Your Last Day,” who knew that it would spawn the anthem to this generation’s lost? The fellow Canadian band wrote their song encouraging people to “live each moment like your last,” and to “leave tomorrow behind.” Drake, Lil Wayne, and Tyga added the acronym YOLO, and fools have never been the same since.
The East Coast/West Coast beef was ridiculous, but did bring a lot of entertaining music. After Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound released the song “New York, New York,” and the controversial video that featured them sitting and destroying New York buildings, it wasn’t shocking that NYC MCs were disgusted. Not to be outdone, Capone-N-Noreaga and Mobb Deep released their rebuttal.
Sweet Home Alabama
As a former Alabama girl (Mobile, baby!) this song was always a little bittersweet for me.
Neil Young wrote two wildly popular songs, “Southern Man,” and “Alabama” that addressed the racist nature in the state. Lynard Skynard then wrote “Sweet Home Alabama” to respond to Young’s lyrics (“Well I hope Neil Young will remember/ A Southern man don’t need him around anyhow”), but later addressed that the ambiguity of their song made it seem as though they were for slavery.
Whatever, I’m a Doobie Brothers fan now anyway. Hey, it keeps me running.
Leave any of your favorites or ones that I didn’t add in the comment section!