When looking at the pointless, welterweight rap beefs of 2012 — Common vs. Drake, Rick Ross vs. Kreayshawn, Azealia Banks vs. T.I. — it’s hard not to get at least a little nostalgic seeing Beanie Sigel and Jadakiss on camera today. The two heavyweights had a fiery, on-wax back-and-forth in the early 2000s, exchanging vicious barbs on freestyles and mixtapes. But that was then. With the beef long gone cold and Beanie preparing to serve a two-year sentence for tax evasion, Jada dropped in during Beanie’s recent interview with MTV’s RapFix Live to reminisce about their epic head-to-head.
"There were wars and riots in jails about that battle between me and him," Beans told host Sway Calloway. "There’s arguments to this day over who won that battle."
Despite the inherently epic nature of two of rap’s coldest and most street-credible rappers going at it — and despite the stinging insults the two lobbed at each other — both Jada and Beans both insist today that it was never personal. Jada was rolling with the Ruff Ryders, and Beans with Roc-A-Fella, and the two crews were already battling it out on the charts for rap supremacy. Beans recalls that there was already tension between the crews bubbling just beneath the surface.
"I was riding for my team," he said. "I’m a rapper; I read between the lines. I was hearing a couple of the shots that someone on my team was throwing out, and I heard a couple come back, and I'm like, 'Yo, you aint gonna respond?' So, as a team player, you gotta go out. Like, 'If you ain’t gonna fight him, I got him.'"
Jadakiss felt the same way. "These teams is lacking dudes like that right now," he added. "That’s what a team is supposed to be about."
But Beans wasn’t just taking one for his team — he says the beef also helped him prove his own skills. "At that time dude was a vet," he said. "It took a lot of cahunas to do that. I looked at that like, if I step to the plate and take this challenge, I could win, lose or draw, 'cause I don't think nobody to this day can tie [Jadakiss’] laces. That’s like the little man fighting the bully on the block. He know he gon' get pulverized, but if he get that one good punch in and black that man’s eye, that go a long way. I looked at it like that could either make me or break me. [The LOX] were the best that ever did it."
And it seems Jada was benefiting form the beef as well. Beans recalled what happened when the two finally met face to face, right when the beef was threatening to boil over. "I was listening to the music, like, 'It might go down. This might get a little crazy,'" he said, laughing. "When we met we both looked at each other and kind of smiled. I was like, 'What you wanna do? He was like, 'Let’s keep it going. Let’s get this money.'"
But no matter the motivation, or the results, the two former foes don’t have regrets.
"I think it was therapeutic for hip hop," Jadakiss said.
"You only good as your opposition," Beans added. "Steel sharpens steel. It was a good thing. I bow out gracefully. I take the split decision."
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