Ten years after the release of his platinum-selling Stillmatic album, rap veteran Nas now reflects on the LP’s hard-hitting Jay-Z diss track, “Ether.”
In addition to getting asked his reaction to popularizing the song’s title, Nas also states that he does not bring up the track with Young Hov.
“That’s what hip-hop has always been. We have our own. It’s a culture thing. It’s a community thing, but it’s also a young people thing, and it’s also, it’s just the way. It’s the way things are. That’s how it’s always been in hip-hop,” Nas said. “[Do me and Jay talk about 'Ether?'] Not really. I mean, I think right now anybody who’s made it from the ’80s era, the ’90s, got into hip-hop and still stickin’ around and still here, still feelin’ great about life… I think that’s enough. I think anybody today, any peer of mine is just appreciative of the life that we’ve made for ourselves. We didn’t know anything. We didn’t know that this was gonna be the outcome, that we’d be around at this time doing what we’re doin’. I think everybody’s just on that page.” (XXL Mag)
In September, The LOX’s Jadakiss compared Jay’s “Takeover” to Nas’ “Ether” response.
“I didn’t really like the “Takeover” beat. But the words–you know what the words are! It’s like the Declaration of Independence on the battle tip. What he’s saying is crazy. I like the ‘laaaaayyyyymmmmme’ part. It was heavy, but Nas’ “Ether” sits on the mantle when it comes to battle songs. From the production, to the way he formatted it, to what he was saying–he touched everything. It was an A-Plus grade.” (VIBE)
Rap veteran Rah Digga recently told SOHH Nas’ “Ether” is one of his biggest records to date.
“Supernatural was also a big battle rap artist back in the day. I was up on him. It’s really just a little bit of everybody. I really liked a lot of the rap battles that took place in hip-hop. You also have Jay-Z and Nas. Although I don’t know if I would technically call that a rap battle, I like when there’s competition. It just brings something out of people that you don’t get in typical songs. “Ether” is one of the best songs that Nas ever made. It just brought out a whole other animal [in Nas].” (SOHH Guest Star)
Over the summer, “Ether” producer Ron Browz said Jay had an opportunity to snag the beat.
“It was just one of them beats that I let everybody hear,” Browz explained in an interview. “Whoever came to the house, I was like, ‘Yo hear this.’ One of Jay’s A&R’s actually came to the house to hear that beat too. He said he was gonna give it to Jay, but I guess it never got in his hands. I went through a travel agent to get to Nas, and it got in Nas’ hands. I guess it got to him at the perfect time. Nas was like, ‘Come to the studio and hear what I did’.” (This Is 50)
Check out Nas’ “Ether” below: