The year 2009 hosted quite a few beefs between rappers, with Beanie Sigel airing Jay-Z out, Canibus reengaging Eminem and Joe Budden incurring the wrath of a couple of Wu-Tang Clan rhymesayers over comments about Method Man. While these triggered discussion among music fans, the biggest feud of the past year belonged to Rick Ross and 50 Cent.
The war between the two rappers kicked off 2009 when Ross fired the first shot with the song Mafia Music. The tune, which leaked on to the Internet in late January, included a number of disparaging remarks aimed at 50 Cent, criticizing the G-Unit leader about his relationship with his childs mother, and the controversy surrounding the fire destruction of his Fort Dix, Long Island mansion.
50 Cent responded in kind with "Officer Ricky (Go Head, Try Me)," after which Ross expressed his disappointment in 50s diss the next day on Shade 45. As a result, the Miami-based entertainer gave his rival 24 hours to come up with something better to engage him with.
Not only did 50 return Ross fire, the rapper officially took the gloves off with his video Warning Shot.
"Rick Ross, I'ma f**k your life up for fun," said 50 Cent, who consistently highlighted Ross past as a correctional officers with a series of humorous cartoon shorts titled "Officer Ricky."Ross former occupation continued to supply material for 50, who interviewed Tia Kemp, the estranged mother of one of Ross children in February. In the video, Kemp claimed Ross hardcore image was fake while confirming his stint as a correctional officer.
Despite the beef (or because of it), Ross enjoyed the successful release of his third studio album, Deeper Than Rap. The project, which included the John Legend-assisted hit single, Magnificent, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with 158,000 copies sold in its first week.
Ross continued to go at 50 Cent on the album by staging a mock funeral for the New York-based rap star in the video for the song "In Cold Blood." 50 Cent remained undaunted as he created another video series of shorts titled "Pimpin Curly."
Throughout the year, the pair would engage in a continuous war of words via song ("Kiss My Pinky Ring, Curly," "Push 'Em Over The Edge" from Ross; "I'll Be The Shooter" from 50 Cent and G-Unit, "I'll be the Shooter," "A Psychic Told Me" from 50 Cent," and Gay-Unit Workouts from Ross).
50's G-Unit brethren, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo, also got involved in the conflict with anti-Ross songs of their own, "Officer Down" and "Somebody Snitched," respectively. Ross' Triple Cs crew would not be spared from 50's wrath as the rapper taunted the group by calling them "Triple Cheese."
As the beef progressed, things continued to get personal with the mentioning and appearance of those closest to Ross and 50 Cent. Ross' friend, DJ Khaled, was thrown into the dispute when G-Unit members filmed a video for "A Psychic Told Me" that showed the disc spinner's mother dozing off at work.
Ross took a stand soon after the video hit the Internet as he posted images of 50 Cents son Marquis with a monkey head on the Net. Media and fan backlash over allusions to violence in 50 Cent's video would ultimately result in the rapper expressing regret for what was done.
Despite this, 50 Cent would continue to use Kemp to taunt Ross as she, her son, DeAndre, and Ross' son, William Roberts Jr., appeared alongside him and boxer Floyd Mayweather in a series of pictures at Mayweather's Las Vegas mansion in November. According to 50, the pictures and accompanying video were justified once Ross crossed the line with the pictures Ross posted of the Queens native's son.
When youre competing as an artist, theres boundaries that I wouldnt cross myself personally, until the other artist crosses those boundaries, 50 Cent told Vibe. It was a point where Rick had took my sons picture, he cut a picture of my son out and put him on top of a monkey. At that point, the parameters changed. Nothings off limits at the point.
Nevertheless, 50 defended his time with Ross' family by saying he was simply showing them a good time while blaming Ross for not communicating better with Tia and his family. Prior to that, Ross released a remix to the 50 Cent Ne-Yo hit "Baby By Me," included more than a few lines directed at his nemesis and his G-unit crew. Kemp's relationship with 50 extended into a business alliance with the release of Kemp's tell-all book, Tia's Diary: Deeper Than Rap through G-Unit Books.
Although Ross garnered a number one debut with Deeper Than Rap, the same could not be said for 50 Cent, who had his lowest opening week with 160,000 copies sold of his latest album, Before I Self Destruct. The figure was a far cry from debut week numbers of the rapper's previous releases as Before I Self Destruct debuted at number five, according to Billboard.
Ross took advantage of his rival's misfortune by proclaiming victory in his beef with 50 Cent at a concert for DJ Khaled's birthday in November.
So we celebrating my n***a birthday, but were also celebrating the demise of a p***y. R.I.P. to the donkey, we buried him, Ross said. It feel good, n***a. Dont look surprised, you knew we was gonna do it. Theres only one record that can describe the feeling. Although both men took an active stance against each other, 2010 looks to be interesting as far as whether or not the beef between Rick Ross and 50 Cent will thrive or fade away. Ross is currently at work on his forthcoming album, Teflon Don, while 50 pursues more acting and music related ventures.
No matter who prevails, the one thing is certain. Ross and 50 will follow 2009's lead and make their happenings one to watch, hear and talk about.