Hate Is The New Love: Notorious B.I.G vs Jeru The Damaja

Having been AWOL (great AZ album btw) for the past week or so, what better way than to mark my return with a commonly overlooked beef between two of Brooklyn’s finest MCs.

Firstly, if you’re unfamiliar with the works of Jeru The Damaja then ensure you check my throwback before proceeding here.

Jeru, the self-titled ‘prophet’ and guardian of hip-hop, on his DJ Premier-produced One Day took shots at the commercial state of hip-hop; specifically targeting Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy (and Death Row CEO Suge Knight), Jeru accused the label of providing a catalyst for the divergence of his beloved industry. Using Jeru’s trademark personification he raps:

“We have Hip Hop hostage with guns to his throat
Do the right thing and we might let him go
But if you call the police that’s all she wrote
You know what the motive is it’s all about dough
And in case ya think we bullshittin’ here’s the photo.”

He continues:

“If I recall correctly I last saw hip-hop down at Bad Boy,
We’ll see if Puff knows whassup,
Cuz he’s the one gettin’ him drunk and fuckin’ his mind up”

Biggie, being the loyal type he was, took offence to Jeru’s track and spoke out on his Premo-produced joint Kick In The Door. Addressing Premo, Biggie raps:

“Yo son, I’m suprised you run with ‘em, I think they got cum in ‘em, ’cause they nothing but dicks”

The track was primarily intended for Rae and Ghost (a whole ‘nother beef which is a feature in itself), but in true Biggie fashion contained subliminals for both Jeru and, surprisingly, Nas.

Things soured further when the beat for 10 Crack Commandments, a track used to promote Jeru on Hot 97, then appeared on Biggie’s Ready To Die. Finally, Premo’s involvement with Biggie may have increased the tensions between the two, after Jeru’s sophomore both him and Premo opting to go their separate ways.

It appears however that things weren’t always so difficult between BIG and Jeru. The Prophet claims that him and BIG used to hang together on the corner and that he was there when Biggie recorded his first joint (In a similar revelation, Jeru also claims he was there when Nas recorded Illmatic).

Unfortunately, true confirmation of this was lost after Big’s passing. For now all we have to savour what went on between the two is what they left on wax. Interpret them how you will:

Jeru The Damaja – One Day (Bad Boy Diss)

Notorious B.I.G. – Kick In The Door (Jeru The Damaja, Nas & Wu Tang Diss)

Beef Winner: Tie. Jeru sacrificed remaining a household name by endeavoring to stick to his roots, whereas B.I.G will be remembered forever, in part due to his commercial success.

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1 comment to Hate Is The New Love: Notorious B.I.G vs Jeru The Damaja

  • vik

    big was not dissin jeru on kick in the door.

    secondly ten crack commandments did not appear on ready to die!

    what are you thinking bro?!

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