DR. DRE & EAZY-E
Who could ever forget the legendary rap group N.W.A and how they paved the way for hip-hop and gangsta rap back in the early '90s? The group was founded back in 1987 by Eazy-E with the members including: Arabian Prince (who left the group early on), Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, DJ Yella and MC Ren.
The group reached mainstream success with the debut of their album Straight Outta Compton. Although the group consisted of five members and their songs were mainly written by MC Ren and Ice Cube, Eazy-E was the front man of the group who's voice was mainly heard on most of the records. It has been reported that Eazy-E's popularity and ego led to the ultimate split of the group. As the group continued to dominate the rap scene, they sought after new management from Jerry Heller who also co-founded Ruthless Records with Eazy-E. When Heller took over, Dre bagan to notice that Eazy-E was the only one truly benefiting from the group's success. Dre was angered by this since he produced the majority of the group's songs, and felt entitled to just as much money as Eazy-E was getting. Dre asked to be released from the group and label, but Eazy-E denied his request. The two began making diss tracks such as "Dre's Day" and "Real Muthaf****n G's" about one another. Dr. Dre got Suge Knight to look into Eazy-E's finances, who later threatened Eazy-E's family (namely his mother). So Suge sent a message to Eazy-E with his mother's information (including her address) which led to Eazy-E releasing Dr. Dre. The dismissal of Dr. Dre officially ended N.W.A, and the long term friendship the two once shared. Shortly before Eazy-E's passing, the two were able to reconcile.
DIDDY & ANDRE HARRELL
Before he was a a multi-millionaire and business mogul, Diddy started out doing odd jobs such as cleaning bathrooms before he landed an intern position at Uptown Records in 1989. Uptown Records was founded by Andre Harrell in 1986, and was responsible for introducing the world to talented artists such as Heavy D. & The Boyz, Soul for Real and Monifah to name a few.
As Uptown grew, Diddy's career also rose when he became the Talent Director at Uptown Records. Within this new role, Diddy was responsible for developing acts like Jodeci and Mary J. Blige, as well as other artists. In fact a lot of Uptown's success at that time could be attributed to Diddy and all of the work he put in. Due to Diddy's growing popularity and success, tension began to brew between Harrell and Diddy. Harrell ultimately fired Diddy due to the growing competition at the label. Shortly after getting fired from Uptown, Diddy founded Bad Boy Records in 1993, and has been one of the top names in the music industry ever since. Presently, the two have reconciled.
50 CENT & GAME
Originally signed to Dr. Dre's label Aftermath Entertainment, Game was then set to work with 50 Cent and his label G-Unit Records. At first the two had a mentor/protege relationship right until the release of Game's debut album The Documentary. 50 felt that his project The Massacre had been put on the back burner in order to promote Game's album. 50 did not take kindly to this due to the fact that he was the mentor, and thought that he should come first.
From there tension arose between the two. Consequently 50 announced on New York's Hot 97 radio station that Game was released from G-Unit. The Game tried to enter the station which led to a member of his entourage getting shot. From then on until this very day the two have never reconciled. During the past decade of this feud, the two have made many diss tracks towards each other. Game has proposed for a G-Unit reunion in recent times, but that event is highly unlikely, something which 50 has iterated as well.
Back in 2007, Dipset leaders Cam'ron and Jim Jones had a major fall out that lasted about three years. The tension started from when Cam'ron and fellow rapper 50 Cent had an ongoing feud that year. Later On, Jim Jones and Juelz Santana were spotted on stage with 50 Cent during Hot 97's Summer Jam concert. As leader of the The Diplomats, and the reason that Jones and Santana were put on in the first place, Cam silently pulled the plug on the group and continued to pursue his solo career. Jones claims that Cam'ron and himself were not speaking before the 50 Cent issue due to selfishness within the Dipset crew. It has been speculated that Cam'ron was jealous of Jones' solo success, since Cam'ron was the front runner of the group.
As of 2010, the two and other members of The Diplomats have since reconciled, and put on a reunion show in NYC back in 2013. The release of a reunion album however is still unknown.
JAY Z & DAME DASH
Lastly, you can't talk about rap in the new millennium without referencing the legendary era of Roc-A-Fella Records. Roc-A-Fella was most prominent in hip-hop during the years of 2000-2004 with the success of hip-hop acts by the likes of Kanye West, Jay Z (of course), The Diplomats, State Property, Memphis Bleek and many more.
Founded by Dame Dash, Kareem 'Biggs' Burke and Jay-Z in 1995, the label saw its first sign of success with the latter's release of his debut album, Reasonable Doubt. From then on the label continued to grow and prosper within the industry. It seemed as though Dame Dash and Jay were unstoppable in the game, and their bond was tighter than ever, or so we thought. The split of Roc-A-Fella records circa '04/'05 had the entire industry in schock, seeing as though the label had the top spot in the game. Reports state that tension was brewing between Dash and Jay Z due to Dash's "media-whore" tendencies, and Jay Z's inaccessibility to his artists and label. It has also been reported that the tension increased when Dash signed Cam'ron and his Dipset crew to the label without Jay Z's support. When Hova reported that The Black Album would be his final project, Dash tried to revamp the label by signing various acts such as ODB (aka Dirt McGirt) and M.O.P. However Jay-Z sold his portion of the label to Def Jam Records, and in turn became the CEO and President of Def Jam regaining complete control over his former label. These series of events ultimately led to the split of the label, and a split in the friendship and partnership between Jay-Z and Dash. Recently the two have reunited, but one can doubt that things will ever be the same between the two.
HotNewHipHop takes a look at five different hip-hop power struggles, and who eventually came out on top.
Ego, popularity, jealousy and worldwide success are some of the key factors that have led many hip-hop moguls to end business relationships, and ultimately friendships, in order to maintain power over their own careers and/or the promising careers of their counterparts.
We're all aware of some of these hip-hop leaders/tycoons that have fallen out with one another, but many are unsure as to what the underlining issues of these fall outs actually are. The following list goes on to discuss 5 of hip-hop's most memorable power struggles, their background and whether or not these issues have worked themselves out presently. Of course, there have been many various beefs within the game on a rap level, but these are note-worthy as they concern heavyweights who were politickin'.
Check out some of the following historic fall outs such as Jay-Z and Dame Dash and Andre Harrell and Diddy. This list goes to show you that with power, comes responsibility - the responsibility to protect both yourself and your brand, possibly at the cost of friendship.