Sunday, February 12, 2017

Story Time: Big Pun & Terror Squad vs. Jay Z & Roc-A-Fella

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"As the rap history books tell it, this all started during an otherwise blurry evening at New York City's late '90s hotspot Club Carbon (now Terminal 5). Reports remain fuzzy but, as the story goes, Fat Joe and Big Pun's Terror Squad clashed with Jay Z's Roc-A-Fella Records at the club. At the time, both crews reigned supreme, both in rap and the streets. As far as what led to the altercation, most of the details out there are speculation. There are reports of a bottle being thrown and striking someone from the Terror Squad camp, while others claim a gun and knife were pulled on one of the Roc-A-Fella associates.

In a 2013 interview, former Terror Squad member Cuban Link, who was one of the few present that night, confirmed the clash between the camps, but revealing that it was Memphis Bleek, not Jay Z, who was with the Roc team at the club.
Link said, "People got it twisted with that. It was two altercations with Jay Z. That one—the club—was a whole different thing. Jay Z wasn't even there ... That time it was Bleek. Bleek rocked somebody [from Terror Squad] with a bottle... Ni—as came back to the VIP bleeding and then after that, [we] got it popping. Ni—as started chasing the whole Roc-A-Fella."
After that night, several subliminal and overt diss tracks were thrown back and forth by both camps, including one in particular by Sauce Money, which appeared on a DJ Whoo Kid-hosted mixtape. In an interview conducted years later, Whoo Kid revealed that Big Pun, and a few gun-toting friends, pressed him about putting out the record: "What I've learned is Big Pun was the real gangster out of the whole Terror Squad shit." Whoo Kid added, "There's a reason why their name was Terror Squad. Pun really went out there and did the shit… After they met me, Pun ran up in Roc-A-Fella's offices and did his thing."
Years after Pun's passing, the back-and-forth ensued between Joe and Hov—on the court and on wax. In 2003, the two went head-to-head on the court at Rucker Park, one of the most legendary street basketball courts in the Big Apple, with their respective basketball teams, S. Carter vs. Terror Squad, in what would become one of the most infamous tournaments in EBC history. Joe's team claimed victory over Jay's due to a blackout that forced the game date to be pushed back.
Hov, who had players like LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal, and John "Franchise" Strickland (the man responsible for the "Eat your breakfast" line from Jay's "Public Service Announcement") set to play, couldn't make it on the rescheduled date, thus leaving him to forfeit, and prompting Joe to reveal in a documentary about the said-tournament: "You know me and Jay Z, we infamous for taking shots at each other. We infamous for taking little jabs at each other."
Joe would further comment on the moment for his own song "Lean Back," closing out the last verse with: "My ni—as didn't have to play to win the championship, come on!" A year later, Jay would slyly throw a subliminal back on Kanye West's "Diamonds (Remix)," replying with, "The pressure's on, but guess who ain't gon' 'Crack'/ pardon me, I had to laugh at it."

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