Despite being a relatively young genre, musical rivalries, or 'beefs' between hip-hop artists date back to near the inception of the style, becoming a fundamental component of rap culture.
From the split of NWA, to the famous east coast versus west coast rivalry, to more modern examples such as Eminem's feud with Machine Gun Kelly, conflicts between artists have long received extensive coverage in the press, and have often led to real-world implications outside of the music.
One of the primary ways artists have signalled their disdain for their contemporaries is through the diss track, with rappers often using it as a way to publicly air their grievances in a musical manner.
The phenomenon of artists using their music isn't confined to, hip-hop either. Even some of the most famous artists in the history of popular music couldn't help themselves when it came to taking shots at each other through their music. Following the tumultuous breakup of the Beatles, John Lennon and Paul McCartney engaged in a public rivalry and each took aim at their former songwriting partner in songs such as "How Do You Sleep" and "Too Many People" cited as some of the earliest examples of diss tracks.
None were as vicious as rap's beefiest moments, though...