Too much time didn’t go by before Nas returned with his own response, whch was the ferocious track “Ether” off his album Stillmatic. If diss tracks were solely based around production, the beat for “Ether” unquestionably crushed “Takeover” in my opinion. But it wasn’t, and Nas was aware of that, which is why he decided to do everything in his lyrical power to eradicate the career of Jay on the song. However, one of the most powerful parts on “Ether” didn’t come from one of Nas’ verses, but through a slowed sample of Tupac saying “Fuck Jay-Z.” The line was taken from Tupac’s track “Fuck Friendz.” That instantly got my attention when I heard it. From there, Nas dropped some ill bars on the song about Jay-Z and his Roc-A-Fella roster. After hearing it, I was once again overwhelmed, but I was also impressed by the way Nas made interesting points about Jay’s relationship with the Notorious B.I.G., claims of being a prosperous street hustler, and the origin of Roc-A-Fella’s moniker, among a few other topics that I won’t bore you with.
All in all, I think both “Takeover” and “Ether” boasted some of the best verses ever delivered on diss records, and Jay and Nas’ feud will go down in history as one of the most entertaining occurrences in hip-hop. To me, Jay’s diss was a little bit more witty, but it was delivered in an effortless style. On the other hand, it seemed like Nas was determined to not only assasinate Jay’s character, but do it in a fashion that also educated listeners. Overall, “Takeover” was a lightweight diss compared to Nas’ “Ether.” Jay, however, did double back and flame Nas’ a$$ on “Super Ugly,” but that’s another story.
Check out both records below and come to your own conclusion on who won the battle.