Beef (Films)

Beef” was released in August 2003 and was directed by Peter Spirer.  The film was produced by Denis Hennelly, Casey Suchan and Peter Spirer and narrated by Ving Rhames.  The films are based on Hip hop feuds from the early 80’s to modern times.

Everybody that loves Hip Hop, loves a good diss track.  Sometimes we don’t know exactly how the feud starts, so this film dives deep into the origins of some of the greatest feuds in Hip Hop history.

Beef” explains the battles between Kool Moe Dee and Busy Bee, MC Shan and KRS-One, and N.W.A vs Ice Cube.  The spend a good time with Ice Cube since he had beef with N.W.A, Common, Cypress Hill and the New York radio station that would not play west coast artists on their stations. They also spend some time with the Jay Z and Nas feud and of course the Biggie vs 2pac beef that lead to both of their deaths.  The funniest part of the documentary was the interviews between 50 Cent and Murder Inc.  Black Child and Cadillac Tah talk about how they stabbed 50 Cent at the Hit Factory and some of the stories being told by both parties sound exaggerated but still believable.  The movie is great and will have you either reminiscing about the old school or learning a thing or two about how the diss tracks came to fruition.

Beef II” was released in 2004 and to me it’s my favorite of all the “Beef “series.  They give us the story of the feud that Erick Sermon had with Parrish Smith and how it escalated to the point that armed men tied up everyone in Parrish’s house including his mother.  Erick Sermon was rumored to have paid the robbers $5000 to scare Parrish and his family.  The other crazy story was the feud between Cypress Hill and Ice Cube and the Westside Connection to the point that it almost escalated to a race war between Latinos and Blacks.  Being that I lived in Los Angeles at the time, I had heard what was going on in the streets and hoped that a Brown vs Black war would never come to fruition and thankfully it didn’t.  Kam (Ice Cube’s cousin) also got involved when he fought Cube at a red light and took his west side dub chain.

They created a total of 4 movies and all were pretty interesting but the first 2 movies were the best of the series.  Whether you want to know how the Canibus vs LL Cool J beef started or how ludicrous the KRS-One vs Nelly feud started and ended, you are either being schooled or you are reliving how great MC’s fought and battled without using a gun or getting killed.  Once we lost Pac and Big, we knew we had taken it too far. The battles between MC’s like Kool Moe Dee and LL Cool J are 30 years old but feels like it was just yesterday we had heard tracks like “Jack the Ripper” and “Death Blow“.  Those were the days!

-Al E.



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