Music's 30 Fiercest Feuds and Beefs

From classic-rock squabbles to hip-hop diss tracks and social media wars, here are the ridiculous, rancorous conflicts that have held us rapt

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50 Cent vs. Ja Rule
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50 Cent and Ja Rule KMazur/WireImage19/30

50 Cent vs. Ja Rule

Few music feuds have clear-cut winners, but Ja Rule admits that he lost this clash of the Queens rappers. That's about all that the pair agrees on, as even the genesis of the beef remains the subject of debate. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson alleges that Ja inaccurately held him responsible for the theft of his jewelry and went to complain to Murder Inc. boss Irv Gotti. However, Ja Rule claims that the feud began after being confronted by a largely unknown – and jealous – Jackson while filming on their home turf.

The up-and-coming Jackson threw the first punch with his 1999 track "Life's on the Line," which mocked Ja's trademark "It's murdah!" cry on the chorus: "Scream murder, I don't believe you." The blows became physical a few months later when the pair crossed paths in an Atlanta hotel lobby. According to Ja Rule's memoir, Jackson took a swing at him with a Louisville Slugger – and missed. Enraged, Ja says he wrestled the bat away and began to beat him back. "Bam! I dropped the bat. I pulled the shirt over his head. I started catching him left, right, uppercut," he wrote. "We proceeded to whip his ass."

The violence increased in March 2000 when Jackson tangled with the Murder Inc. crew in the parking lot of New York City's Hit Factory studio, earning three stitches in the process. Ja was not personally involved but the rappers traded barbs on tracks like "Wacksta," "Clap Back," "Hail Mary" and "Things Gon' Change" – on which he rapped the lines, "I'll probably go to jail for sending 50 to hell."

But Ja Rule would find himself crippled when Murder Inc. was shut down due to a federal racketeering indictment. Then the law turned on Ja Rule personally. In 2011 he received a two-year prison sentence for charges related to gun possession and income tax evasion. Before serving his time, did his best to make nice with 50 Cent. "I'm cool. We ain't beefing no more," he said in an interview with the.LIFE Files. "We don't gotta go to war, but we're not friends either."

Meek Mill dug up the beef during his own feud with Drake in the summer of 2015. "This that Ja Rule shit and 50 Cent," he rapped on the diss track "Wanna Know." Ja Rule, aware that he was being used as a punch line, took offense. "Which one supposed to be Ja Rule???" he captioned an Instagram photo. "#Over30millionrecordsSOLD #IwriteallmyS–t."

Despite Ja Rule's assertion that the feud has "flatlined," the men can't resist the occasional social-media flame war. When his one-time nemesis was lambasted for his role in the Fyre Festival fiasco in April 2017, 50 Cent got the last laugh by sharing a photo of Donald Trump purportedly "appointing Ja Rule as the secretary of festivals."

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