MC Shan rehashes the details of his short-lived feud with LL Cool J.
While most Hip Hop fans know the story behind "The Bridge Wars" between MC Shan and KRS-One's Boogie Down Productions, the feud between Shan and LL Cool J may be one of that era of Hip Hop's lesser known beefs. Now, in a recent interview with Unkut's Robbie Ettelson for Complex, MC Shan rehashes his beef with LL.
According to Shan, his diss track aimed at LL "Beat Biter" came about after LL stole Marley Marl's production from Shan's song "Marley Scratch" for his own song "Rock the Bells." Although LL never ended up responding, Shan recalled an incident in which he snapped a copy of "Rock the Bells" as a sign of disrespect.
"How 'Beat Biter' came about, it was because LL had took the beat to 'Marley Scratch.' If you was to play 'Rock The Bells' and 'Marley Scratch' side-by-side? That was the 'Marley Scratch' beat pattern. In those days we had a lot of pride in being an artist. Be original, don’t copy, and if you said something that was close to mine it was like, 'You a biter and I’ma diss you!' When he took my beat, that was a total violation of Hip Hop ethics. We would say, 'Don’t bite a rhyme,' but I took it to another level. 'Don’t take my beat or we’ll have a problem!'"
Shan continued, "He never responded. There’s a DVD out called Beef and they tell the story of all the LL battles that he ever had, and they briefly show me but they never mentioned me. It’s like they just tried to look over the fact that Shan went at LL. As far as me and LL having shows together, we used to tour together, that’s how he got my 'Marley Scratch' beat. We had one show where we were supposed to battle—it was in Syracuse—and I did that 'Beat Biter.' Marley was cutting the record up, back and forth. I went over to the turntable and I snatched LL’s record off and I snapped the record! I still had the microphone in my hand, and when I snapped the record the sound resonated through the speakers, the crowd went crazy and LL never got on stage that night! They tried to turn his limo over, just for that. True story."