West Coast rapper Schoolboy Q recently discussed his love for music mogul Nas and why despite his admiration for the emcee, fellow artist Jay Z won their notorious early 2000’s hip-hop battle.
While Schoolboy believes Jay Z is a rap version of NBA icons like LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, he said Hov used some unfair tactics in the now-infamous feud.
“Honestly, I think Jay Z won,” Schoolboy said when asked for his opinion in the battle. “Everybody say Nas won but honestly I think Nas won. Nas is my favorite rapper but Jay Z was pretty scandalous. Jay Z didn’t let it go. When Nas was kind of letting it go, Jay Z didn’t let it go. He was still throwing a jab out there and add people to his roster. Nas was going simply at Jay. It was like one time he mentioned somebody else, Jay was bringing his homies, [getting them] involved, his brother, everybody, just going at him. Jay felt some type of way after ‘Ether.’ … Jay’s the best rapper and they don’t want to believe, even though Nas is my favorite, Jay’s like LeBron, Jordan, Kobe. People just want to say [he’s never lost] or hate or people just want to hate on Kobe.” (VLAD TV)
Comparing both diss tracks, The LOX’s Jadakiss said Nas ultimately had a better anthem in 2011.
“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 previously told SOHH Nas’ “Ether” was 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)
“Ether” producer Ron Browz previously 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)
When asked about the “Takeover” and “Ether” comparisons in the past, Jay said he felt his record outdid Nas’ response.
It’s been nine years and the great debate over Jay-Z vs. Nas still isn’t over. Earlier today (November 15), Hov appeared on Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds’ podcast, “Juan Epstein,” and during the interview, the Brooklyn legend said, despite popular opinion, that his 2001 diss record towards God’s Son, “The Takeover” is better than Nasir’s response track, “Ether.” “I think in the history when we look back, and I don’t mean no disrespect to Nas, I think when we look back it’s not even close,” he shared, adding, “I just think it was a better record.” (XXL Mag)
Check out the Schoolboy Q interview: