Instagram; Getty Images
Instagram; Getty Images
Like so many who've sung, rapped and crooned before him, Safaree Samuels decided to lick his breakup wounds in the form of diss tracks.
Following up the failed-relationship lament "Love the Most," the rapper rants in "Lifeline" about ex Nicki Minaj and her current beau, Meek Mill: "This his n----r bent outta shape with a gorilla face/ My bars on The Pinkprint no one will ever match/ My dick print, little n----r, you can never match."
The ease these days with which artists can seemingly get in the studio (or their garage, living room or any place with some recording equipment), cut a track and get that message out there online makes it feel as though we're being treated to a diss a day. Which we are. But the gloves coming off in song form is hardly a fresh phenomenon. Though it used to take a little more planning to get music to the masses, expressing anger and angst through song lyrics is a decades-old tradition. (If not centuries-old. We haven't parsed through all those operas yet.)
So in honor of Safaree Samuels' latest smear, here are the top 11 epic song lyric disses:
11.Taylor Swift, "Bad Blood":
She has never officially admitted that the 1989 hit is a direct jab at Katy Perry. But it's about some alleged backstabber of a female friend, and Taylor isn't one to pull punches in a song, even if she doesn't come right out and name names. And what with Katy last week flying the flag for Team Nicki in the Twitter feud/misunderstanding that Nicki Minaj and Taylor are now laughing about, we're expecting a sequel.
Christopher Polk/Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
10. Mariah Carey's "Obsessed" & Eminem's "The Warning"
Who hasn't Marshall Mathers gone after, including Marshall Mathers? It's almost a sign of relevancy, a badge of honor, to be dissed by Enimem. If you're relevant, Eminem is more relevant, and don't you forget it. (Memo to Christina Aguilera, Moby, Iggy Azalea and Lana Del Rey, et al.) And if Eminem says you dated, then You. Dated. Because otherwise he's going to come after you and your husband, lyrical guns blazing, as he did with Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon when their feud escalated in 2009.
Mariah's video for "Obsessed" featured her in a goatee and hoodie playing a lovesick would-be suitor and then Eminem sought out to set his version of the record straight:
He rapped: "Wow Mariah I didnt expect you to go balls out / bitch shut the f--k up before I put all them phone calls out / you made at my house while you were wildin out / before Nick when you's was on my dick I'll give you something to smile about / how many times did you fly to my house / still trying to count you better shut your lying mouth if you dont want Nick finding out."
Who hasn't Marshall Mathers gone after, including Marshall Mathers? It's almost a sign of relevancy, a badge of honor, to be dissed by Enimem. But if you're relevant, Eminem is more relevant.
Noam Galai/Getty Images
9. Fleetwood Mac, "Silver Springs"
You'll never get away from the sound of a woman that loves you—especially if she's standing right there on the same stage, night after night. Stevie Nicks readily admitted that she wrote the haunting song about ex-lover but band-mate-to-this-day Lindsey Buckingham, their tumultuous relationship having crumbled into animosity and resentment by 1977. Originally intended to be included on the classic album Rumors, the fact-based tune was a B-side for another great Fleetwood Mac breakup hit, "You Can Go Your Own Way." Man, we weren't there for the 1970s, but we still miss 'em.
8. Lauryn Hill, "Lost Ones":
So many reasons to love The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, one of the greatest gone-solo albums of pretty much all time. Little did we know at the time that, aside from the beauty, it was informative too! In case you were ever wondering why the Fugees disbanded... "It's funny how money change a situation / Miscommunication leads to complication / My emancipation don't fit your equation."
7. Bright Eyes: "When the President Talks to God":
It was 2005, we were at war and Conor Oberst was pissed. As so many else did, he placed the blame for everything being so effed up squarely on the commander in chief at the time, President George W. Bush, only Oberst got to do it on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and went viral. This scathing critique of government and the leaders who enlist others to fight their battles chills to this day. Wonder why.
David Becker/Getty Images, Michael Bezjian/WireImage
6. Drake, "6PM In New York":
Tyga had told Vibe, "I don't like Drake as a person. He's just fake to me." Drake kept quiet, not even firing back on Twitter. Instead, he saved it all, old-school, for If You're Reading This It's Too Late. Though if you're listening, it's also too late.
Drizzy rapped: "I heard a little homie talking reckless in Vibe / That's quite a platform you chose, you should've kept it inside / Oh, you tried / It's so childish calling my name on the world stage / You need to act your age and not your girl's age."
Real enough for you, Tyga?
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5. Taylor Swift, "Dear John":
While most of the pop princess' inspired-by-a-true-story songs make do without first names, this eye-opener off of 2010's Speak Now was notable for parading around in full view as a takedown of ex-boyfriend John Mayer.
"Dear John, I see it all now that you're gone / Don't you think I was too young to be messed with / The girl in the dress, cried the whole way home, I should've known," the then 21-year-old artist scrawled in her diary and then sang for the world to hear. Let's just say, even if this wasn't somehow about Mayer, then she killed two birds with one stone by slapping that title on a tune about some other jerk.
4. Justin Timberlake, "Cry Me a River":
It was really the fans' turn to cry when he and Britney Spears split up in 2002, but JT made it clear in his still-fierce-to-this-day hit, which came out later that year, that the breakup was not his doing. All is good for each artist now, personally and professionally, but to this day, when you hear the thunder crashing and the choir chanting, you're reminded that something called Britney and Kevin: Chaotic happened.
3. Alannis Morissette: "You Oughta Know":
Legend had it that none other than Dave "Uncle Joey" Coulier inspired his fellow Canadian to write the most epic breakup anthem of the 1990s. The list of possible cads also grew to include Matt LeBlanc, but then list-makers ran out of Canadian actors who played guys named Joey.
So ingrained in the zeitgeist was the secret, however, that it even became a plot point on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, when Alanis confided in Larry and then he traded the secret to win favor with Paul Reiser's wife, whom he had neglected to share intel with when he got word of a possible terrorist plot against L.A. (That never came to fruition, obvs.) Because spilling the beans on whom "You Oughta Know" was about was a fair trade.
Wireimage; Jane Caine/ZUMA Press
2. Tupac Shakur, "Hit Em Up":
"First off: f--k your bitch and the clique you claim / Westside when we ride, come equipped with game / You claim to be a player but I f--ked your wife / We bust on Bad Boys n---as f--ked for Life."
Scary to this day 'cause people were actually getting killed over beefs. Such a silly word, beefs. While this pointed track also took aim at Lil' Kim, Sean "Diddy" Combs (aka Puff Daddy at the time), Bad Boy Family, Mobb Deep and Junior M.A.F.I.A., the No. 1 target whenever West Coast rappers talked trash about the East Coast was always Notorious B.I.G. Tupac was killed Sept. 7, 1996, in Las Vegas, and Biggie was gunned down March 9, 1997, in L.A.
1. Carly Simon: "You're So Vain"
The grandmommy of all diss tracks, written by the woman who blazed the trail for Taylor Swift. The mystery of whom Simon was seeing clouds in her coffee over became the stuff of 1970s rock legend. The egomaniac in question was ultimately whittled down to Warren Beatty or Mick Jagger, but then Simon, nearly 40 years after unleashing the intrigue, revealed that the object of her ire was...
Talk about filling in a blank space in pop culture trivia!
Live long and feud, songwriters.