Eminem is well-known not just for his rhyme skills and catchy, chart-topping hits, but also for the string of high-profile rap beefs that established him as one of rap’s fiercest competitors. However, not all his rhyme bouts made headlines. One of his lesser known battles involved LA underground rap veteran Evidence of Dilated Peoples, which earned the underground rapper a ton of respect from hardcore hip-hop heads. The Venice veteran joined Talib Kweli on his Uproxx podcast People’s Party With Talib Kweli to share the story and its impact on his career.
“The whole thing was a huge mistake,” Evidence admits. “That’s the funniest part of my beef with Eminem.” He reveals that the main reason he wound up on Eminem’s bad side was his collaboration with fellow underdog rapper Everlast on the Dilated Peoples track “Ear Drums Pop (Remix).” Despite the thinly veiled references to Eminem’s alter ego Slim Shady and the Hailey Jade, Eminem’s daughter, Ev says a studio full of respected rappers missed the darts, writing them off as just more slick punchlines on a track full of them. However, Ev was quickly sucked in by the whirlwind of Slim’s anger:
“I guess he felt like, because maybe we had met and been cool, that I singlehandedly allowed Everlast to diss him. That wasn’t the case. It was just something he did. Everlast knows he did that — he didn’t warn any of us. And so [Em] went back at me personally because of it. Getting dissed by Eminem in the prime of his career — it was not cool at all.”
He says the exposure resulted in even baristas asking him whether or not he’d respond, but he got a lot of respect for stepping up to the biggest dog in the yard at the time. While Eminem did diss him back, Evidence and Proof were able to work things out over the phone, and eventually things did quiet down. Evidence can say he stood up to “Godzilla,” while Em returned his focus to Everlast, trading a few more lyrical blows before letting the beef peter out.
People’s Party is a weekly interview show hosted by hip-hop legend Talib Kweli. The show features big-name guests exploring hip-hop, culture, and politics. Watch more by subscribing to Uproxx Video on Youtube and listen on Apple Music.