For this installment of the Forgotten Beefs series, we bring in the heavy weights. Way back in the late 80’s and early 90’s the diss war between Compton rappers, Dj Quik and Mc Eiht was so epic that only 2Pac & Biggie could rival it in terms of it’s seemingly serious nature. But how did the longest running beef in hip hop history start? and how did it end?
The origins of the Mc Eiht Dj Quik beef comes down to a line in a track called “Real Doe,” taken from Quik’s mix tape, “The Red Tape“, that he put out in the late 80’s.
DJ Quik was a ‘Tree Top Piru’ Blood and Mc Eiht was associated with the 159th St, Tragniew Park, Compton-Crips. It was this ambiguous line from Quik and his decision to call his mix tape “The Red Tape” that was interpreted by C.M.W’s Mc Eiht and N.W.A’s Eazy E, (also a Crip affiliate) as shots fired. Interestingly it was Eazy E who offered Quik a one-million dollar advance in 1990 when he was experiencing problems with his contract at Profile records. But Profile began to send ‘cease and desist’ letters to prevent any potential deal from taking pl;ace with Ruthless records. Eazy and Quik did eventually go on to collaborate on the Penthouse Players Clique project in 92.
The retaliation came by way of CMW’s Debut album “It’s A Compton Thang”, but unlike Quik’s fairly subtle and possibly even unintentional dig at CMW, there was no mistaking who Mc Eiht and Tha Chill were referring to in the track “Duck Sick,” even though no actual name was mentioned.
Eiht and CMW struck again the following year in 1991 with their ‘Straight Check N’ Em album’. This was also the album that introduced Eiht’s long running ‘Def Wish’ series to the world. The first Def Wish took a line from the original ‘Duck Sick’ track but this time Eiht added the “Quik” reference to the end.
What I find strange is that when asked about the beef in past interviews Mc Eiht claims that
“I don’t know how it started for him but on my end it started when I had my second album out. I had a song called “Def Wish”. On the song I had the phrase that say “Biting me quick, will mean you get the duck sick quick”. I never knew nothing about no DJ Quik, but there was an actual DJ Quik. He was a Blood affiliate and I was a Crip affiliate and we were both from Compton. My DJ Mike-T who was a Blood got a copy of the tape. He played it for me. This was after the Def Wish song was already out. Naturally people were going to take that tape and my song and combine the two. People were like” Oh he dissed you on a street tape and you turned around and dissed him on the record”. It all got blown way out. Then he made a comment on his next record and I made a comment on my next record. It went crazy for awhile. I did a video about him.”
For unknown reasons Quik failed to respond to Eiht on his 91 debut ‘Quik Is The Name’ It would be another year before Quik would finally address Eiht on his ‘1992 album, ‘Way 2 Fonky’. He disses Eiht and Bronx Emcee Tim Dog on the title track and then comes at Eiht again on the albums outro ‘Tha Last Word’.
Mc Eiht came back hard that same year with C.M.W’s greatest album to date music to driveby‘Music To Drive By‘ which saw
Surprisingly it would take Quik another 2 years to deliver a response as he was tied up working on his third album and experiencing more label turbulence.
Up until that point all the diss tracks felt more entertaining than anything serious but Def Wish III took it to another level. In fact Eiht was in the zone for the entire ‘We Come strapped’ album. Everything that he spit and the way he delivered each verse made you feel like he really meant what he was saying. He was the complete personification on wax of his character ‘A Wax” in Menace II Society. You have to understand that at this point Quik was at rock bottom. His record contract was in pieces and a large section of his core audience wasn’t buying his records, especially Crip members. Eiht’s records and music video campaign’s had such a damaging effect that even shows had to be cancelled.
I remember thinking that even if Quik did come back he was unlikely to make an impact. I would soon be eating my words. As Eiht kept applying the pressure Quik kept a low profile in the lab working on his album and also some other projects for Death Row records. He started working with Suge Knight again. Their relationship dates back to 1988, when he was signed to Suge’s short lived independent label Funky Enough Records. Then in mid October 1994, Death Row put out ‘Murder Was The Case‘, a short Movie Staring Snoop Dogg and directed by Dr Dre. The soundtrack to the movie contained Dj Quik’s epic Mc Eiht diss track ‘Dollaz + Sense’ which was the antidote for the Def Wish series and the ultimate death blow to secure overall victory.
Most rap fans, (even the die-hard Mc Eiht fans) are in agreement that Quik was the overall victor just off that one track alone, but what made the record sting
Dollaz + Sense was a taster of what was in store on Quik’s next album ‘Safe & Sound’ which he released the following year In February 1995, and also contained a new diss track “Let You Havit,” as well as the infamous ‘Dollaz N Sense’. Things seemed to stay quiet for some time after that until Mc Eiht made a return in April 1996 with ‘Death Threatz’, a new album that contained the final installment in the Def Wish series. Eiht should probably have left it as a trilogy. Def Wish IV was a hard track but after over half a decade of feuding the beef had clearly ran it’s course.
The diss records stopped coming around 1997 but the grudge continued on till around 2002. That’s when Eiht and Quik seemed to stop publicly cussing each other. Then eventually it was Snoop, Daz and them that acted as diplomats in bringing the historic beef to a close.
who won the beef war? Eiht or Quik? leave a comment