The Bridge Wars – Boogie Down Productions Vs The Juice Crew 

One of the 1st major beefs in Hip Hop history was the famous Bridge Wars : BDP Vs Juice Crew. People say that this rivalry began with a misunderstanding, but it was more complicated than that. It all started when young artists Scott Larock and Krs-One  submitted a demo tape of their beginnings to Mr. Magic (who was affiliated with the Juice Crew). The duo was then dissed by the famed DJ. Meanwhile, MC Shan had released a single titled “The Bridge” in late 1985, stating where his crew started rapping: Queensbridge. 

The lyrics that actually sparked the debate were: 

-You love to hear the story, again and again  

-Of how it all got started way back when 

-The monument is right in your face 

-Sit and listen for a while to the name of the place 

The Bridge

KRS took advantage of this situation to get back at Mr. Magic by releasing “South Bronx” with his newly formed group Boogie Down Productions in early `86. The song gave praises to Hip Hop’s birthplace, The South Bronx, and was first premiered at a concert where MC Shan had just performed the song “The Bridge”.

The diss track directly attacked MC Shan with these lyrics: 

-Party people in the place to be KRS-ONE attacks 

-Ya got dropped off MCA cause the rhymes you wrote was wack

-So you think that Hip hop had its start out in the Queensbridge

-If you popped that junk up in the Bronx you might not live 

The South Bronx

Then history was made, when it all escalated to another level of competitiveness in 1987. 

Here is a chronological list of the records (by respective /affiliated or non affiliated members) that can be considered part of “The Bridge Wars”

MC Shan – “The Bridge Wars” 

Boogie Down Productions – “South Bronx” 

MC Shan – “Kill That Noise” 

Boogie Down Productions – “The Bridge Is Over” 

Craig G – “Duck Alert” 

Roxanne Shanté – “Have a Nice Day” (ghostwritten by Big Daddy Kane) 

Rockwell Noel & The Poet – “Beat You down” and “Taking U Out” 

Boogie Down Productions – “Still No.1 (Numero Uno Mix)” 

MC Mitchski & M.B. – “Brooklyn Blew Up the Bridge (South Bronx Helped Us Out) MC Shan – “Juice Crew Law” 

Cool C – “Juice Crew Diss” 

MC Butchy B – “Go Magic” and “Beat Down KRS” 

Boogie Down Productions – “Black Man in Effect” Queensbridge Records – “Bridge Wars” 

The Legacy

The rivalry was never forgotten and was often remembered through the 90s. Many Hip Hop artists in the 90s referenced the feud through their rhymes as an important event in rap history. In the mid 90s, Mc Shan and KRS-ONE made an unexpected appearance in a Sprite drink commercial. They acknowledged the importance of their feud in history by exchanging battle rhymes inside a boxing ring. It was a definitive moment for me when I first saw that commercial. 

In 2001, MC Shan took one last shot at KRS-One on the QB’s finest compilation (a showcase of Queensbridge Hip hop artists) with these comments: 

-Hip Hop was set out in the dark 

-The Bridge was never over, we left our mark 

In 1999, KRS contributed a verse to the track “Symphony 2000” (a remake of the 1988 Marley Marl classic “Symphony”). 

Marley Marl and KRS-One officially ended the feud in 2007 with their collaborative album Hip-Hop Lives. The album featured 2 tracks explaining the end of the rivalry. “The Victory” (produced by DJ Premier), which sees KRS and Blaq Poet (formally P.O.E.T.) on the same track for the first time. The other song entitled “Rising” in which KRS recounts the whole story of the rivalry through his own perspective and concludes the track by acknowledging his indebtedness to Shan and Marley. 

Even Nas made an ode to the past of Hip Hop on his song titled “Back When” (from his 2012 album Life is Good), when he revisited “The Bridge” by sampling it for his hook. 

I can still remember that time when Hip Hop was all about friendly competition. I really miss those days… Way Back When… 

Shin Kuro Gaijin 

(Reference and excerpts taken from Wikipedia)

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