This is the best known recent beef that Eminem has had. While the dispute didn't erupt in a significant way until 2003, its roots date back to 2000, when Eminem's critically-acclaimed sophomore album The Marshall Mathers LP only received a 2/5 mic (the equivalent of 2/5 stars) rating from The Source, the leading hip-hop magazine at the time. While several subscribers protested the rating and it was eventually changed to 4/5 mics, Eminem clearly took offense, and included the lines "... 5 mics in The Source, ain't holdin' my f*ckin' breath/But I'll suffocate for the respect 'fore I collect the f*ckin' check" in "Say What You Say," a track from The Eminem Show.
In 2003, Benzino, a rapper who had secretly co-owned The Source for some time, released a diss single titled "Pull Your Skirt Up" against Eminem. The track attacked Eminem's "street cred" (although Eminem has never claimed to be "... reppin' the streets," a line Benzino includes in the song) and accused him of being a tool of the music industry. In the same year, The Source attempted to tarnish Eminem's image by digging up an old tape from his time as a young rapper in Detroit where he insulted black women and used the word "nigger."
Eminem was quick to respond with two underground diss tracks, "Nail in the Coffin" and "The Sauce," in which he attacked the credibility of The Source and claimed that Benzino was only attacking him to get his album The Benzino Project publicity. Though Benzino would later respond with more diss tracks, it is generally accepted in the hip-hop community that Eminem won the feud, as Benzino is not considered a very skillful artist after having poor sales from all of the albums he had released in the past(This would indicate some kind of pay for play access to the Source magazine as generally speaking when a recording artist has a flop he is relieved of his contractual obligations, but in Benzino's case with every flop he was given another recording contract with another major label, very peculiar in the business).
As a result of the beef, Shady/Aftermath ads were pulled from
the magazine. XXL, which had featured negative coverage of Shady/Aftermath
artists since Eminem included the lines "Okay, let me give
you motherf*ckers some help/Here -- DOUBLE-X-L! DOUBLE-X-L!/Now
your magazine shouldn't have so much trouble to sell/Ah f*ck it,
I'll even buy a couple myself" on "Marshall Mathers," stepped
in to fill the void, accepting Shady/Aftermath ads and doing a
180 in its coverage of its artists. Currently, XXL leads The Source
in circulation, and Benzino's actions are generally perceived to
have severely tarnished the image and credibility of the magazine.
Eminem - The Sauce
"No more Source for street cred, them days
is dead Ray's got AK's to Dave Mays' head Every issue there's an
eight page Made Men spread". Appeared on The Invasion 1 mixtape
from Green Lantern.
Benzino - Pull Your Skirt Up
"Let me start from the beginning,
you ain't reppin the streets You from the outskirts of Detroit,
where the bitches meet".
Eminem - Nail In The Coffin
"What you know about bein bullied
over half your life? Oh that's right, you know what that's like,
your half white". Appeared on The Invasion 2 mixtape from
DJ Green Lantern.
Benzino - Die Another Day
"Cause if Pac was
livin', he would shoot this bitch alive But I'm a do it for him,
if the hood must survive".
Eminem - Invasion 3 Freestyle
"he might find
someone dumb enough who might ride, but aint nobody over here buying
two white guys disguised as pro-black there's no slack ".
Eminem - Bully
"Smokes a bag of his weed
and starts imagining things, and he just can't see that he's manically
Appears on the Straight From The Lab EP.