“Now tell me who the wanksta is
Dog, I saved you on Clue and this the thanks I get?
That verse was suspect, Game, ass just a little
Why you think we hid your wack ass in the middle?”
Joe Budden’s beef with G-Unit in the mid-2000s – in particular The Game – proved to one of the last of its kind showcasing the style of Hip-Hop producing true-to-life battle records. Battle records with actual names and void of subliminal shots.
The song reference in question was “Cross Country Connection.” If not mistaken, it was the record that served as the springboard for what became an all-out back-and-forth lyrical slugfest between Budden and Game.
Joe’s extended version of “Game Over” – strategically borrowing The D.O.C.’s “It’s Funky Enough” – was perhaps the most venomous installment. Despite prodding from Budden, 50 never found himself lyrically involved in the dispute. And given how Fif and Game’s relationship ultimately panned out, throwing his then-understudy up against a proven lyricist and more-than-willing battle rapper in Budden could have part of the G-Unit head honcho’s plan to job Game from jump street.
“Not real never heard a sound like that
He’s a b***h, probably sleep in a gown and nightcap
Got a big chrome friend that I tuck ‘long with me
And I brung that since you like suckin’ on 50’s…”
The Joe Budden seen now is a completely 180 from the Mouse who became an underground cult hero a decade ago. Long before Twitter-inspired cookouts and Love & Hip-Hop, Budden was the psychotic, occasional suicidal, introspective and battle rapping super lyricist that famously once saw him go toe-to-toe with Jay Z on a makeshift “Pump It Up” freestyle where he more than hold his own.
The belief remains to this day later Budden even out-paced his more popular, wealthier counterpart.
So, in a buffet of ways, Game was overwhelmed from the start. “Game Over” employed many of the same tactics a la wit, machismo and aggression another diss from Budden, “Big Shot,” happened to (the record on which Budden revealed Game was once a contestant on an episode Change Of Heart). For as eager as Jayceon was to earn his keep in not only G-Unit, but the era of early-Internet rap, not much from their momentary spat ever did well in convincing he was capable of exchanging in multiple rounds against – in Budden’s own words – “a dude who can fill an iPod with just freestyles.”
Their beef was short lived, as Game turned his venom on G-Unit immediately following his departure from the group. And over the years, Game vs. Budden has since been largely passed over. I thank them for not liking each other however. Without Game’s “200 Bars” and this as well a handful of other Joey diss tracks, yours truly would have never gotten an A in my freshman oral communications class. My final project was “A History Of Hip-Hop Beefs.”
I probably would’ve gotten an A+, too, given the chance to actually play “Game Over” in class. There’s something majestic about explaining what “You only known for Five Heartbeat hooks and getting popped at” means. Plus, “Hit ‘Em Up” might have gotten me kicked out of school.