Exploring the beef between Murder Inc and G-Unit
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Old School Archives

Exploring the beef between Murder Inc and G-Unit

Since hip-hop’s inception, crews have been an integral part of the culture. Collectives are considered an effective way of lifting your peers and emcee friends in the hope that if one member of the ensemble is successful, the rest will be (by affiliation) afforded the same opportunities. Crews are not necessarily always a group of friends. Sometimes, they are a cohort of like-minded artists who have a similar sound or message they wish to send. Often they are musicians who a single artist recruited to create a brand. However, irrespective of how the crew came into existence, sometimes they become an extremely formidable force. Still, on the contrary, they can also be highly precarious entities. G-Unit was most definitely the former.

Each era of hip-hop produces its own crews. The 1980s saw groups such as Public Enemy and N.W.A. dominate the genre. The ’90s had fans locked into the Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest. However, the 2000s saw a large-scale influx of collectives enter the mainstream. Whether it was the Terror Squad, The Diplomats, The LOX, Flipmode or D12, this era saw a copious amount of artists banding together. However, two incredibly dominant forces were operating in New York, G-Unit and Murder Inc.

The ensembles co-existed for quite an extended period. The collectives were vastly different concerning music style. However, what began as a misunderstanding between two dominant rappers bubbled over and became a war of crews. Regarding feuds, they are usually accompanied by regional differences. Still, one thing that was so different about G-Unit versus Murder Inc, in particular, is that both crews had their origins in the same borough of the same city. Queens, New York.

Led by 50 Cent and Ja Rule, respectively. G-Unit and Murder Inc were two collectives gunning for the same crown. Following the dissipation of Bad Boy’s Junior M.A.F.I.A collective, it was time for a new group to run New York, and by the turn of the millennium, it was fair game. Ja Rule (real name Jeffrey Atkins) and 50 Cent (born Curtis Jackson) developed a mutual hatred for each other due to their varying recollections of the night Atkins was almost killed in Queens. However, the bad blood began to spill out, and before long, the rappers were calling on their comrades to get involved.

According to publications that reported on the incident at the time, in 1999, Atkins was robbed at gunpoint in Queens. Quick to hurl accusations, the musicians insisted the robbery was undertaken by an affiliate of 50 Cent. According to Atkins, Jackson had ordered his associates to mug and pistol-whip him. Following the robbery, the two MCs had a heated run-in, during which Ja Rule began berating members of G-Unit outside of a nightclub. Following this, things went haywire.

Atkins told fans he merely exchanged words with 50 Cent. However, within months of their exchange, Jackson was stabbed by an unknown perpetrator. Following these two extreme events, their respective crews would also enter the fray, and stray shots began to get fired. As G-Unit was signed to Shady Records, Atkins thought he would throw a few jabs at Eminem. Deciding to call out Mathers’ family on ‘Loose Change’, Ja Rule proclaimed, “Em, you claim your mother’s a crackhead/ And Kim is a known slut/ So what’s Hailie gonna be when she grows up?”

The two went back and forth for years. However, Ja Rule’s career suffered for it as, concerning sheer sales, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Eminem, and other G-Unit members were destroying him well into the mid-2000s.

You can watch 50 Cent’s diss aimed at Ja Rule in the video below.