In the year 1997, when rap had lost the ‘King of New York’, Biggie Smalls, the crown was vacant, and both Jay- Z and his rival at the time, Nas, were in line to take it.
For a fairly lengthy period of time (until 2006, when Nas joined Def Jam Records which was headed by Jay- Z), the pair engaged in a lyrical battle with disses a plenty and Jay- Z kicked off this infamous rap beef at the 2001 Summerjam Festival with his freestyle, ‘The Takeover’. Coming out with lines such as, “You’s the fag model for Karl Kani, Esco ads, went from nasty Nas to Esco’s trash”, to, “Nigga, switch up your flow, your shit is garbage”. Jay- Z came at Nas hard and shook the rap world, however, Jay- Z would grow to regret this move with Nas’ comeback creating one of Jay- Z’s biggest ever problems. Nas came flying back with the ‘stillmatic’ freestyle which boasted class lines including, “Remove the fake king of New York, You show off, I count dough off when you sample my voice, I rule you”, to, “you master fabricated stories of streets and sound slick, Have you surrounded, You and the faggots you down with, While they riding Nas, trying to boost their careers, Corny as Cormega, all you Hip- Hop queers”. Nas showed Jay- Z up and was beckoning one hell of a comeback from Jay to regain his credibility.
While Jay- Z’s takeover is considered to be one of the most important tracks to be released during the fued, many argue that it was Nas’, ‘Ether’, which really stole the show. ‘Ether’ was released on the 2001 Stillmatic album and roasted Jay- Z from every angle. Nas opened the track with, “Fuck Jay- Z!” and ended the intro with the line, “You been on my dick nigga, you love my style, nigga, Fuck Jay- Z!”. Nas also fired stand out lines at Jay- Z, such as, “This Gay- Z and Cock- A – Fella wanted beef”, and, “You got the nerve to say, That you better than B.I.G, dick sucking lips, Why don’t you let the late, great veteran live.”
Despite the pair uniting in 2006 and going on to do collaborations with one another, for the best part of his career, Jay- Z started a fued which would become a big problem in terms of his credibility, because as HTF believes, and we’re sure many of you will agree, Nas owned his ass.