People often forget that hip-hoppers are humans, too. They breathe, sleep, eat, and salivate at the sight of buttermilk donuts just like us. And, every now and then, they'll geek over other rappers, just like us.
It would have been so much easier to compile a list of rappers dissing other rappers, but when have you known "taking the easy route" to be one of Rocks Off's shortcomings?
Album: Street's Disciple (2004)
When J. Cole first started to draw comparisons to Nas, he threw a hissy fit and shot down the comparison. Understandable. Cole is signed to Jigga's label. Plus, he doesn't want to be pigeonholed as a Nas clone. When Nas drew comparisons to the greatest lyricist of all time, Rakim, he went home and wrote a "thank you" note in the form of this geeky audiobiography.
9. Jadakiss, "Letter to B.I.G."
Album: The Last Kiss (2009)
Cuban Link once wrote a letter to Big Pun in song form, but it was more like an opportunity to air out some dirty laundry than a tribute. What makes Jada's "Letter to B.I.G." so special is that it sounds heartfelt and genuine, a few boastful lines notwithstanding. In the vein of Nas' "One Love," Kiss updates the New York icon on his family's well-being, while Biggie's ex-wifey sings the hook. "Tiana so pretty. CJ turned into Lil' Biggie, just a lil' lighter but so witty," Jada rhymes, adding this tidbit "On your Born Day, we get the highest."
8. J.Cole, "Bun B for President"
Album: Unknown (2010)
A cursory glance at this list should confirm that only a handful of artists get their just dues while they're still walking the earth. J. Cole has no problem giving his idols roses while they can still smell 'em. He already paid tribute to Nas on "Villematic." He shouts out Hov on his mixtapes. And on "Bun B for President," Cole tips his hat to the elder statesman of Southern hip-hop, while spitting lyrics nasty enough to make Pimp C smile: "I potty train niggas, yeah, it's that teach you how to shit."