20 Reasons Why Atlanta is America’s Music Capital

We might have perfected the hip-hop beef

Music Beef
Illustration by Alex Fine

Atlanta is supposed to be the city too busy to hate. Still, our artists have found time to argue, hold grudges, and record “dis tracks”—songs meant to knock a nemesis down a notch. In short, we beef with the best of them. Here, a list of our most famous feuds, and their outcomes:

T.I. vs. Ludacris

Backstory: Tensions surfaced in 2004 when both rappers were asked to contribute verses to Young Buck’s “Stomp.” T.I. rapped, “Me getting beat down? That’s ludicrous.” Ludacris’s people allegedly took offense. After their two camps went back and forth over who deserved to say what on the track, some of T.I.’s verses were pulled, replaced by the Game’s.

Threat level: Low, except for reports that T.I. punched Luda’s manager, Chaka Zulu, in the face at a West Hollywood hotel.

Resolution: There are no real diss tracks here per se (just some deleted diss verses), but there were two make-up collaboration tracks: T.I.’s “On Top of the World” (featuring Ludacris) on 2008’s Paper Trail and Ludacris’s “Wish You Would” (featuring T.I.) that same year on Theater of the Mind.

T.I. vs. Shawty Lo

Backstory: In 2008, rapper Shawty Lo jabbed at T.I.—the self-proclaimed “King of Bankhead,” who some said went a little soft by starring in the 2006 film ATL—in a diss track called “Dunn Dunn” that said, “He said he from the west side? Well, goddamn, it must be two sides.” If the barb doesn’t feel all that sharp, well, you don’t know Bankhead.

Threat level: Medium. There was a scuffle between the two rappers’ camps at Atlanta’s 2008 Dirty Awards, where Shawty Lo was blasted in the face by a police officer’s pepper spray.

Resolution: The two publicly made up on stage at T.I.’s Club Crucial . . . on the west side.

Rick Ross vs. Jeezy

Backstory: This feud was over who had stronger ties to the Black Mafia Family, a massive cocaine enterprise shut down by the feds. Jeezy, who was close to its founder, had more BMF cred than Ross, a former prison guard. So when Ross released “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)” in 2010, Jeezy allegedly responded with a diss track, “Death B4 Dishonor,” BMF’s motto).

Threat level: Moderate, but only because BMF’s key players were behind bars at that point.

Resolution: T.I. helped smooth things over by bringing Ross and Jeezy together on Ross’s 2014 song, “War Ready.”

Jeezy vs. Gucci Mane

Backstory: Not proud of this tragic beef, but it’s the most famous. The rappers joined on a 2005 hit, “Icy,” and argued over credit. Jeezy’s “Stay Strapped” put Gucci on guard and offered a $40K bounty for his trademark diamond chain. Gucci responded with “Round 1.” Later, Gucci was jumped and fatally shot an attacker, who happened to be associated with Jeezy.

Threat level: Deadly

Resolution: Gucci rode the resulting notoriety to massive fame. That wasn’t lost on Jeezy; in late 2009, the two feuding rappers announced they would collaborate. In an appearance on DJ Drama’s radio show, Jeezy officially ended his beef with Gucci, who called in to say it was time to make up—for the sake of the fans and their city.

Postscript: By 2010, members of the rappers’ crews had resumed fighting. In 2011, Gucci said he didn’t think he could work with Jeezy again. In 2012, they traded insults, threats, and more diss tracks. And the beef lived on.