100 BARS MAGAZINE 004 Dec/Jan 2013-2014 - Page 113

battle rap rewind song “Got Ur Self A...”.“Ether” was the most concerted critique of Jay-Z. Just days after Stillmatic’s release, Jay-Z put out “Supa Ugly” which Hot 97 radio host Angie Martinez premiered on December 11, 2001, a freestyle over “Got Ur Self A...” and Dr. Dre’s song “Bad Intentions.” The radio station issued a poll asking listeners which rapper made the better diss song; Nas won with 58% while Jay-Z got 42% of the votes. The song contained claims that Jay-Z and basketball player Allen Iverson had both slept with Carmen Bradley, the mother of Nas’ daughter Destiny, while they were still together. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Jay-Z claimed that mentioning his relationship with Bradley was fair game when Nas implied Jay-Z was gay in “Ether”. The feud continued to simmer, and rumors of a live pay-per-view freestyle battle began to circulate but never came to fruition. After Hot 97 would not let Nas lynch Jay-Z’s effigy at 2002 Summer Jam, Nas appeared on Hot 97’s rival, Power 105, and attacked both the music industry’s control over hip hop and the rappers who he saw as submitting to it. This included Jay-Z, his label, Cam’ron, Nelly and N.O.R.E: “Y’all brothers gotta start rapping about something that’s real. This brought Cam’ron into the Jay-Z/ Nas feud; Cam’ron controversially made disparaging remarks about Nas’ mother. This caused Nas to retaliate against Cam’ron on the track “Zone Out” on his 2002 album, God’s Son. Nas said “You got a house in Virginia, the only way you sicker than us, gettin’ bagged with a .22 now you a ridiculous fuck,” commenting on the rumor that Cam’ron was infected with HIV (House In Virginia). Despite “Ether” beating out “Supa Ugly” in a Hot 97-sponsored radio phone-in poll, Jay-Z and Nas continued to feud, including Jay-Z criticizing Nas for his apparent hypocrisy on his The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse album’s title track. On “Blueprint 2”, Jay-Z begins his diss against Nas in the second verse by attacking his street credibility. Jay-Z also says that while he himself is more successful, he is more generous than Nas with his money. Jay goes on to mock Nas’ spiritual persona from Stillmatic after accusing Nas of using both his appearance and convoluted lyrics in an attempt to appear more intelligent than he is. In the lines immediately after, he also accuses Nas of being contradictory for putting out commercial/ materialistic-oriented tracks and then denouncing materialism and misogyny on other songs. Jay-Z also says, “My momma can’t save you this time / Niggas is history” referencing the public apology his mother made him make after “Supa Ugly” was released. Meanwhile, on his track “Last Real Nigga Alive” from his album God’s Son, Nas compared himself to Tony Montana, and Jay-Z to Manolo respectively from the film Scarface (Montana and Manolo were partners, but towards the end of the film, Montana kills Manolo in a fit of rage), The track details how Jay-Z forced Nas into battling him by attacking him while he was raising his daughter, and caring for his dying mother. After 2002, though, both artists essentially discontinued the feud. The rivalry was put to a formal end in 2006, when Nas signed with Def Jam, of which Jay-Z was still President at the time. Nas and Jay-Z toured, recorded and appeared on television and radio together throughout 2006; the artists collaborated on Nas’ Def Jam debut, Hip Hop Is Dead, on the song “Black Republican”; Nas returned the favor by appearing on Jay-Z’s 2007 album, American Gangster on the song “Success.” 104