Brooklyn rapper Papoose recently offered his opinion on who ultimately won the early 2000’s rap battle between Nas/Jay-Z, admitting “Ether” delivered a knockout punch to Young Hov.
Naming their battle as one of hip-hop’s greatest, Pap said Nas was the unanimous winner.
“To keep it real with you, there was a lot of great battles, but I’ve got to say, I can’t even say great battle but just to see somebody get annihilated? I’ve got to say Jay-Z and Nas,” Pap said in an interview when asked to name his favorite rap battle. “That was decapitation, man. … It’s not rocket science what happened. That’s one of the great battles, there’s other ones too though, in hip-hop history. I can go on and on, but that’s one that stands out. … It wasn’t an age thing but a lot of people were sleeping. Like, ‘It’s over! Jay-Z killed him!’ I was like, ‘Aight, watch.’ I knew it was coming, man.” (Hot 93.7)
Just last month, Nas revealed if he ever mentions “Ether” around Jay since they have since squashed the beef and collaborated on various songs together.
“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)
Check out Papoose’s interview below: