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10 of the best female rap diss tracks of all time

When these women jump on the mic, you'd better run for cover.
Written by Tracy Kawalik
7 min readPublished on
Whether it’s Lil Kim and Foxy Brown in a studio shoot-out, Remy Ma ripping into Nicki Minaj or Azealia Banks taking on Iggy Azalea, Russell Crowe and the rest of the world, female rappers aren’t shy of taking shots on the mic.
Below, we run through three decades of hip-hop feuding, taking in early ‘80s MCs like Roxanne Shanté and MC Lyte to modern day lyricists like Young MA and Cardi B. Below you can check out 10 of the hardest female diss tracks of all time – or listen to the 20 track Spotify playlist below.

1. Roxanne Shanté vs Everyone

Key track: Roxanne Shanté – Big Mama (1992)
Queens rapper Roxanne Shanté invented the rap beef. Aged just 15, little Shanté penned and recorded the original diss track Roxanne’s Revenge in a single take, inspired by the track Roxanne, Roxanne by hip-hop trio U.T.F.O. U.T.F.O shot back with an answer record, kicking off the infamous “Roxanne Wars”, with diss tracks flying in all directions. Shanté went on to blast everyone, including Run DMC, LL Cool J and KRS-One.And the track Big Mama proved she wasn't about to let fellow female female rappers MC Lyte, Latifah, Monie Love and Salt-N-Pepa off the hook.
The knockout line: “First up is Latifah/You roll up, and I’mma smoke that ass like reefer/Cause you ain't never in life been a star to me/Sold the fuck out trying to go R&B/Now that shit is shady/You say ladies first, well I'm the first lady and all y'all hoes are phoney…”

2. Salt-N-Pepa vs Roxanne Shanté

Key track: Salt-N-Pepa – Somebody’s Gettin On My Nerves (1993)
Not to be messed with, too-hot-to-handle rap trio Salt-N-Pepa fired back at Shanté quick, dedicating the first two verses of Somebody’s Getting’ On My Nerves from their million dollar masterpiece to her. It found them honing the skills displayed on Showstopper, their breakout revenge hit from 1985 aimed at Doug E Fresh.
The knockout line: “So you can talk until your big, suckin’ lips pop/The next time you try to play me, you might catch a fist to the nose, ho!”

3. MC Lyte vs Roxanne Shanté

Key track: MC Lyte – Steady Fucking (1993)
Brooklyn’s MC Lyte hit back at Shanté with a diss track that’s pure fire, firing out insults verse upon verse. Later she’d become the first solo female rapper to release an album, 1988’s Lyte As A Rock. But here, her flexing of lyrical prowess cemented her as one of the hardest rappers to battle on the scene.
The knockout line: “So what's up, Big Bahama Mama?/You know where to find me/You could never climb me/So why do you persist/To be placed upon my fuckin hit list/You a low-down dirty loser/Next time I see you, I'mma hit you with my Land Cruiser…”
4. Queen Latifah vs Roxanne Shanté and Foxy Brown
Key tracks: Queen Latifah – Name Callin’ Part 1 & 2 (1993)
Queen Latifah swiped back at Shanté on Name Callin’, a track released on the soundtrack to 1996 film Set It Off, which found Latifah starring the role of bank robber Cleopatra "Cleo" Sims. Name Callin' also took a barely veiled hit at Foxy Brown, and Foxy came back with a rather feeble reply on MC Lyte's 10% Dis, prompting Latifah to pull off the gloves and go straight for the jugular. Name Callin’ Part 2 shut down Foxy’s claims that Latifah made an unwanted advance towards her back in 1996.
The knockout line: “I’m not trippin, I heard you rippin/But I’m into breaking bitches/And sendin’ em back to their first career-strippin’”

5. MC Lyte vs Antoinette

Key track: MC Lyte – Shut the Eff Up (Hoe!) (1989)
Vexed by the idea that around-the-way-girl Antoinette’s first single I Got An Attitude sounded a little too much like Top Billin' by her labelmates Audio Two, MC Lyte put out her hugely epic 10% Dis, igniting one of the genre’s most epic rhyme showdowns. Antoniette blasted back with Lights Out, Party’s Over; then Lyte responded with the razor-sharp Shut the Eff Up (Hoe!) – which, apparently, Antoinette did, because it ended there.
The knockout line: “In 10% I popped your head in a microwave/I’m into blenders now, so you better behave.”

6. Lil Kim vs Foxy Brown

Key track: Lil Kim – Notorious K.I.M
It’s hard to believe Lil' Kim and Foxy were once friends, appeared side by side on the cover of The Source, and even nearly recorded an album together. Following a war of words over various tracks throughout the late ‘90s, here things really got personal. Following Lil Kim’s lacerating Notorious K.I.M, Foxy unleashed a vicious audio assault on Capone-N-Norega’s Bang Bang, making reference to Lil Kim’s affair with the recently slain Biggie Smalls: “Let the n—a rest in peace, and hop off his dick, bitch do you.” The feud continued to escalate – days later, 20 shots were fired at New York’s Hot 97 radio station, and it ended with Lil Kim doing jail time.
The knockout line: “You and Diddy, y’all kill me with that subliminal shit bitch/Why’s you frontin’ and kickin’ that street shit?/Please, impress me, go back to that freak shit/While your broke-ass was guzzlin’ nuts and shit/I was choppin’ the weights, leak and OZs and shit.”

7. Jacki-O vs Foxy Brown

Key track: T-K-O
Quick to pounce and never one to learn her lesson, Foxy stepped right back in the ring – this time up against Jacki-O at a Miami studio, when a recording session turned into an outright brawl. In her middle finger of a track TKO, she recounts the action – and in case the message wasn’t clear enough, even threatens Foxy in Haitian Creole.
The knockout line: “In your interviews, go ahead and tell them how linoleum tasted…”

8. Young MA vs “the haters”

Key track: Body Bag
Puerto Rican, Brooklyn rapper Young MA is fearless and ferociously skilled rapper at the top of her game. On Body Bag, she hushes the haters and shreds the idea that hip-hop might be a man’s world, spelling out in line by humiliating line everything just how much she’s capable of.
The knockout line: “ Them haters mad because I came out the damn blue/And murdered everything and everybody in the damn room/Them haters like 'God damn I can't stand you'/But I just smile back and count money 'til my hands blue…”

9. Lady Leshurr vs unknown

Key tracks: Queens Speech 1-5
Despite being once offered £250,000 to write a diss track about Nicki, the beef business is something London rapper Lady Leshurr isn’t buying into. But Leshurr is the queen of quick-witted rhymes, and it would be wrong to overlook her series of five hilariously playground-taunt freestyles.
The knockout line: “I can't believe it, I can't believe the cheek/Some girls wake up and don't even brush their teeth/That's a dead ting, that's a bad breath ting/How could you talk my name and you ain't even brushed your teeth…”

10. Nicki Minaj vs Remy Ma

Key track: Shether
Nas’ monumental Ether is one of the greatest male diss tracks of all time, and Remy Ma’s devastating version Shether is its female partner in crime, the Bonnie to its Clyde. It was aimed at Nicki Minaj, with whom Remy had conducted a prolific, seven-year beef. Nicki tried to top it with a stack of comeback disses, complete with glossy features from Drake and Jason Derulo, but ultimately failed to come close. This seven-minute verbal thrashing stands as one of the most ferocious diss tracks ever recorded.
The knockout line: "And to be the Queen of Rap, you gotta actually rap/The whole industry know that your shit is a wrap/No, to be the Queen of Rap, you can’t have a ghostwriter”
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