How a Cypress Hill & Chubb Rock Beef Created "Insane in the Brain"

There are a few names that instantly come to mind when you think of Hip-Hop beefs: Biggie, 2Pac, Nas, JAY-Z, LL COOL J, N.W.A., and Ice Cube. However, a little known beef between Chubb Rock and Cypress Hill resulted in the creation of one of the most well-known songs in Hip-Hop history: "Insane in the Brain."


On Chubb Rock's 1992 album, I Gotta Get Mine Yo!, he released the decidedly not aggressive sounding, "Yabadabadoo."

Nestled in the second verse, he raps, "He's buzzing, cummin at cha. And you know we had to watcha, time for some lyrics."

While this could have easily been perceived as a slight against any MC, members of Cypress Hill saw it as a direct shot at them because it was delivered in B-Real's cadence, and it also mirrored his patterns from "How I Could Just Kill a Man."

"The song itself is about rival rappers who had dissed us," Sen Dog recalled. "Chubb Rock did a whole song dissing B-Real, so I told B-Real, 'Cook his ass real good,' which he did."

As for the title, Sen Dog explains, "Insane in the Brain derives from gang talk in LA.

"Back then, the Crips and the Bloods – who I ran with – were at war," he said. You could have a shootout with the police or anyone. So if you walked up to somebody and said, 'I’m crazy insane, got no brain,' you’d better be ready to prove that shit. That lingo was reserved for the hardest homies."

The Chubb Rock diss wasn't something the group necessarily anticipated either. In fact, B-Real admits that he was — and still is — a fan.

"Being insulted by someone you got down with, that was like a fucking stab right in the heart," B-Real said. "We had done shows with Chubb Rock."

As you look deeper into the back and forth, it actually becomes clear. Chubb Rock identified himself as "The Flamboyant One." Thus, B-Real's opening salvo on "Insane in the Brain" makes that much more sense: "To the one on the flamboyant tip/I'll just toss that ham in the frying pan." 

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