Over the holiday season, a good-old-fashioned tiraera broke out between chart-topping reggaetoneros Jhay Cortez and Rauw Alejandro, after Cortez took shots against Alejandro on the remix of newcomer Ankhal’s viral hit, “Si Pepe.” In his verse, two minutes and ten seconds in, Cortez threw jabs at Rauw, comparing his dance moves to that of a cockroach and mentioning sleeping with his “Spanish girlfriend” (Rauw is currently dating Spanish artist Rosalía).
While the two artists’ drama preceded Ankhal’s remix, things quickly escalated following the verse, leading to a handful of tweets and diss records between the two.
In light of the recent drama and subsequent rap battles, we’ve compiled five of música urbana’s most memorable feuds, chismes and tiraeras over the years. From J Balvin’s hot dogs to Anuel AA’s “untouchable” diss record, grab your mugs, because the tea is hot.
Residente vs. J Balvin
Although it wasn’t a proper tiraera, there were still plenty of insults, punchlines, and most importantly: hot dogs. In his latest feud, Residente took aim at J Balvin after the Colombian pop-reggaetón artist called for a boycott of the Latin Grammys on Twitter, in response to what he perceived as lack of urban representation. Residente, a 27-time Latin Grammy winner, responded, comparing Balvin’s music to a “hot dog cart” following in his legacy of food analogies (in 2017, he compared commercial reggaetón music to a ham and cheese sandwich).
What followed was a reality tv-worthy back and forth between the artists, Balvin at one point posting a tongue-in-cheek photo of himself behind a hot dog cart and later releasing hot dog-themed merch. While the drama between the pair seemingly surrounded the Latin Grammys, it was far more nuanced, with ties to the two artists’ contrasting approach to Latin American politics.
Best One-Liner: “It’s as if a hot dog cart got offended because he couldn’t earn a Michelin star.” –Residente
Daddy Yankee vs. Nicky Jam
It was arguably the most heart-wrenching reggaetón feud. Former Los Cangris collaborators, Nicky Jam and Daddy Yankee went from being practically brothers to bitter foes in 2004, caused in part by Nicky’s lengthy battle with drug addiction. Shortly before the success of Yankee’s breakout hit “Gasolina,” the rapper fired shots at Nicky in his song “Santifica Tus Escapularios.” Immediately after, Nicky came back with his own tiraera, over Fat Joe’s “Lean Back” instrumental.
“That wasn’t a good choice, because he came with [2004 Billboard Hot 100 smash] ‘Gasolina,’” he told Billboard in 2015. “[I] looked stupid. He went his way, I went my way — and obviously my way didn’t go very well.” Luckily, the two reconciled in 2014, after Nicky moved to Colombia for some serious self-work. In 2020, the two released “Muévelo,” their first collaborative track in over two decades, which went on to top the Latin Airplay chart.
Best One-Liner: “Tu te pegas a los cantantes cuando están pegados” –Nicky Jam
Cosculluela vs. Anuel AA
Like Residente, Anuel AA is not shy when it comes to a public feud. Of his tiraeras, the most memorable involves reggaetón veteran, Cosculluela. In 2017, all seemed well between the pair, Coscu even featuring Anuel on his track “23” and meeting with the formerly incarcerated rapper upon his release to a halfway house.
While it’s unclear exactly how things turned sour, the internet has its theories: In 2018, Coscu’s ex-wife Gina Moreno posted a photo with Anuel, the pair throwing up a middle finger and Moreno declaring Anuel as the godfather of her child. Moreno and Coscu had a nasty split, which fans say could be what ignited the feud. What followed was a number of insults via Instagram stories from both rappers.
For Anuel, the feud backfired. After releasing his tiraera, “Intocable,” which featured a number of homophobic lines, and directly insulted Puerto Rican model “La Taina” who is HIV-positive and a survivor of Hurricane Maria, the rapper was met with outrage. His comeback show at El Coliseo was cancelled, leading Anuel to ask for forgiveness just one day following the release of “Intocable.” But the backlash wasn’t enough for Cosculluela: A week later, he released the hard-hitting “Categoría COS,” effectively bringing the tiraera to its end.
Things didn’t turn out too bad for Anuel though: The rapper is now back in the good graces of the Puerto Rican public, even purchasing Puerto Rico’s Capitanes de Arecibo basketball team.
Best One-Liner: “Se peina pa’ alante, parece un yorki/ Se peina pa’ atrás y la frente es la capota ‘e un Volky” –Cosculluela
Residente vs. Tempo
What makes this tiraera memorable to us is that it all began at Billboard‘s 2017 Latin Music Week. In conversation with Latin VP Leila Cobo, Residente criticized the top charting Latin songs, stating that the records sound “identical.” He went on to add that the homogenous sound erases the richness of Latin American music.
Fellow Puerto Rican rapper Tempo took offense to Residente’s statements, releasing his tiraera, “Calle Sin Salida,” referencing Calle 13 in its title and playing Residente’s comments in the intro to the song. Throughout the four-minute-and-forty-five-second track, Tempo brings into question Residente’s authenticity, which didn’t sit well with the “Atrevete-Te-Te” rapper. Shortly after, Residente came back with “Mis Disculpas,” an eight-minute tiraera, discounting Tempo’s insults.
While it could’ve ended there, Tempo came back for a second round, releasing “El Bruto” the following month. The back-and-forth came to an end when Residente killed two birds with one stone with “La Cátedra,” which the Calle 13 rapper says broke the world record for longest rap song. On the track he took a few shots at Tempo but focused his lyrics on Latin American politics, in true Residente fashion.
Best One-Liner: “Tirándole a un rapero que no sabe lo que es seis por ocho y que se llama Tempo” –Residente
Tego Calderón vs. Lito y Polanco
While we’ve had our fair share of feuds and tiraeras via Instagram, Twitter and streaming platforms, we can’t forget the OGs of reggaetón and Spanish rap. In 2003, Tego Calderón had a few choice words for former collaborators Lito y Polanco on his deep cut “No Me La Explota,” alongside fellow Puerto Rican rapper Eddie Dee. “A pal of pigs want to profit from mine/ But they don’t work, that’s why his world is cold,” Calderón rapped, in reference to the duo’s album Mundo Frío, which translates to “cold world.”
Soon after, Lito came back with “Quítate La Máscara,” firing round after round of shots at the “Pa’ Que Retozen” rapper. While the comeback was impressive, Calderón shut things down with “Guasa Guasa,” a tiraera that transcended a mere battle and became a genre classic. After a few more rounds of back-and-forths, the battle is arguably the longest tiraera, with the two acts proving their rap genius through each diss track.
Best One-Liner: “Están soñando conmigo, mamando conmigo, copiando mi estilo, reciclando to’ lo que yo digo” –Tego Calderón