During an appearance on the Drink Champs podcast, N.O.R.E. spoke to X about participating in the popular Instagram Live phenomenon. When questioned about a potential opponent, the Ruff Ryders veteran had a simple answer.
“Jay,” he said.
A stunned N.O.R.E. was taken aback by DMX and sought clarification.
“Are we saying JAY-Z?” the Drink Champs co-host asked.
“Yeah, who you think?” DMX responded.
N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN could barely contain their excitement as they realized their guest wasn’t joking about calling out Hov.
“That would be battle number three,” X noted, referencing previous occasions where the two rappers went bar-for-bar.
The rivalry between JAY-Z and DMX dates back to the ’90s when the famed MCs battled on at least two occasions. Their first clash became an almost mythical moment in Hip Hop with fuzzy memories of the event and little documentation about what went down.
In 2011, HipHopDX spoke to some of the people in attendance to shed light on what really went down.
“[One side is] gonna say DMX won, then [the other is] gonna say JAY-Z won,” Ski Beatz said. “In my opinion, to me, JAY-Z just had a little more finesse because of his style. But DMX was incredibly dope. He could not take that away from DMX. [DMX] was a fuckin’ star.”
Sauce Money added, “It was pandemonium. It was crazy, just crazy. It was almost like going to Vegas and watching the Mayweather-Paquiao fight.”
Years later, Hov and X traded bars once again on the Hard Knock Life Tour in 1999. Unlike their past face-off, Hip Hop fans got to see footage of this rhyming session in the 2000 documentary Backstage.
In 2016, DMX spoke to Drink Champsabout his battles with Jay. During the conversation, he declared won each showdown.
“I never lost a battle!” he said. “I never lost a battle! Never! Never! I’m a battle rapper.”
Swizz and Timbaland have been able to pull off some impressive matchups for Verzuz, staging battles such as RZA vs. DJ Premier and Babyface vs. Teddy Riley, and they are reportedly in talks with Diddy and Dre for a battle. Could the two possibly convince Hov to step in the ring again with DMX?
If they can, it’s clear X is more than willing to go another around with the Roc Nation boss.