A decade after Nas‘ controversial “Ether” record single-handedly took a severe jab to ex-nemesis Jay-Z, producer Ron Browz reflects on crafting the rap mogul’s iconic hit.
According to Browz, his phone blew up following the release of “Ether.”
“Nas had that record at the summer time. And he held it for so long. I was like, “He ain’t gon use it.” So I forgot about it, but then Nas called me that winter, like that December. And he was like, “Yo, I need you to come to the studio and listen to what I did to your beat. I get to the studio and he’s just chilling, he was real calm about it. He wasn’t amped. He told the engineer to play the record and my mouth dropped. Nas knew the effect it was gonna have. I didn’t know the effect it was gonna have. And I’m like, “Wow, people gon hate me for this. I’ll never get to work with Jay as a producer. Is Jay gonna feel a way? All them ran into my mind. I got so many phone calls. Work started coming in for me, so it ended up being a positive thing.” (XXL Mag)
He also believes producing “Ether” severed any opportunity to work for Jay.
“You know what, you hear so much then you start to believe it. Maybe he does feel some type of way. I’m gonna say he feels some type of way. I never worked with him. I worked with the greatest. Lil’ Kim, Foxy, Nas, Fat Joe, 50 Cent, Jadakiss. I worked with a lot of the top artists. I never got a chance to work with Jay and I’m nice so I don’t get it.” (XXL Mag)
Rap veteran Rah Digga recently told SOHH Nas’ hard-hitting record is one of his biggest tracks 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, 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 “Ether” below: