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When we think back to the East Coast-West Coast rivalry, it’s typically images of 2Pac and his Death Row crews throwing non-stop shots at Biggie, while the Brooklyn rapper stayed low-key.

Save for a few slick lines here and there, like on that twins line on Jay-Z’s “Brooklyn’s Finest”, Big kept his feelings off the record. For the most part anyway. On Busta Rhymes’ debut album, The Coming, which was released at the height of the coastal rivalry in 1996, there was originally a track called “The Ugliest” which featured Big firing shots at his friend-turned-rival, over a J Dilla beat.

Diamonds on my neck, chrome drop-top
Chillin' on the scene, smokin' pounds of green
Ooh-wee, you see, the ugliest
Money-hungriest, Brooklyn Loch-Ness
Nine millimeter cock test, wan fi' test?
And the winner is, not that thinner kid
Bandanas, tattoos, my fist never bruise
Land still cruise, Frank White paid his dues
Ask who's the raw, bet they say "Poppa, very"
Look forward to me like commissary
All of a sudden, now everybody Big Willie
Done did it, come with it, get your head splitted
Or get your neck slitted, admit it, you overdid it
Your shit it just ain't got that loud
Gold tooth shine like "ta-dow"
Biggie Smalls the illest and how, frays raise your eyebrow
By now you figure, he talkin 'bout that nigga
But your weak-ass assumptions, lead lead to dumpin'
IV to pumpin', you're feeling something
Catch my drift or catch my four-fifth lift
At least six inches, above project fences
Turn meat to minces, jumps turn to flinches
When I rain I drenches, cleared your park benches
Missed you by pinches, your talk is senseless
Actor needs chiropractor, for cracked jaw
Yes I rocked, your chatterbox
Dangerous you're not, I gets down
Twist your body round and round, upside down

In a recent interview with The Ringer, Busta Rhymes revealed that he planned to also have Nas and Method Man on the track as well, which would have been an interesting collaboration because the former was also going through his own thing with Big.

“Me, Method Man, and Nas was in the session, and nobody wanted to lay their verses until Biggie came in the session,” Busta told The Ringer. “When Biggie did eventually come—because Nas and Meth showed up for two sessions and Biggie didn’t—Nas and Meth didn’t come back.”

Busta ultimately decided to leave the track off the album because he felt there was already too much tension in the air and he didn’t want to add more fuel to the fire. Puffy would later put Big’s original from “The Ugliest” onto “Dangerous MC’s” featured on the posthumous album, Born Again.

Busta Rhymes: I didn’t feel like that was smart at the time. They were having such a serious back-and-forth. As a friend, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t doing nothing to add to that. I was friends with both of them, but I was closer to B.I.G.

Enter the Dungeon Dragon: Busta Rhymes’s Classic Debut, 25 Years Later
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