1. Jay Z vs. Nas
In the wake of the Notorious B.I.G.’s absence, New York could only have one king to take his place. Subliminal jabs finally boiled over — with some fault owed to Memphis Bleek’s “Got My Mind Right” — as Jay Z and Nas engaged in one of hip-hop most infamous war of words towards the end of 2001. Although the main target on “The Takeover” was Mobb Deep’s Prodigy, history remembers the song for going at Queens’s most cherished emcee. Nas’s reply “Ether” led to a debate that still can be found raging on today, despite the two having worked out their differences.