Remember when diss records used to mean something? It’s been a while, so we wouldn’t blame anyone if they don’t. For better or probably worse, the days of black-eye-inducing, direct insults have been replaced with audible side eyes and undercover slights. Yet, rap beef wasn’t always so passive aggressive. In fact, 22 years ago today, Dr. Dre released one of the harshest Hip-Hop songs of all time in “F*ck Wit Dre Day.”
With his buzzing protege Snoop Doggy Dogg by his side, the West Coast’s most popular duo since Magic and Kareem named names and Eazy-E was their main target. Dre handled most of the heavy-lifting disses on his former N.W.A counterpart, while Snoop tackled lower level priorities like Tim Dogg and Uncle Luke from 2 Live Crew. Both rappers sent indirect shots at West Coast gangsta rap. So Snoop made sure to breezily assault their manhood and laid down one of his career’s best performances.
Then Dre decimated the Ruthless Records star atop a collage of George Clinton samples. His sequencing and layering sound like a stampede of elephants chasing a turtle. Slow motion and mean as hell. His lyrics are not only scathing, they’re more abrasive than most radio singles in any time period. He called out Eazy for everything from being gay to stealing his money – which was the main reason Dre left N.W.A.
Snoop’s ferocious jabs hit just as hard. He used the second and third verses to put verbal dicks between Luke’s front teeth. Let’s not forget he basically ended Tim Dog’s career and let kids know they can’t say “F*ck Compton” and expect to keep it moving.
Keep in mind that Snoop and Dre stood as two of the biggest rappers on Earth. They went in to the absolute fullest without any fear of repercussions. “F*ck Wit Dre Day” marked a moment when the West kicked everyone’s ass and even did their own in.
Can you imagine anyone in hip hop having the sack to pull this off now? In 2015, most rappers won’t disrespectfully name drop one another. So viewers know it’s personal when they hear darts aimed at Eazy-E as his doppleganger holds a “Will Rap 4 Food” sign.
Granted, we’re living in different times since beef took Tupac and Biggie from us. Nevertheless, “Dre Day” signifies what a true diss record looks and sounds like. No hesitation. No media-fueled follow-ups. Just bare knuckles brawling on the mic, which in this case, warranted an equally tough rebuttal from Eazy in “Real Mothaf**king G’z.”
In a world that lives and dies by other people’s opinions, forget the NSFW warnings and blast “Dre Day” as loud as possible. Whether you’re at work or stopped at a red light, you better believe everyone around should feel the record’s energy. Snoop and Dre’s masterpiece, at the core, works as a hype-fueled party jam. It’s one that never stops evoking a head nod and snarled lip, upon each and every spin, over two decades later.
These new “diss records?” Most meet their fate as forgotten rap loosies.