“Takeover” by Jay-Z
Jay-Z in “Takeover”, claims to be taking over the rap industry, together with his Rocafella family. The chorus sees him mention all the artists on his label and how they are running the whole rap industry.
In the first and second verses, Jigga issues a verbal attack on Mobb Deep, and its member Prodigy claiming that he is too strong to be battled. He brags about how he is richer and more successful than Mobb Deep, citing how one of his albums sold over 500,000 copies in its first week as compared to that of Prodigy selling the same number over a year.
The rapper continues to boast about how he is unbeatable in the rap game, while moving on to diss rapper Nas in the third verse. Jay-Z suggests that although Nas started his career earlier and had success, his career has started to fade and no longer holds value. The rapper compares himself to Nas, while insinuating that he is wealthier, more successful and better considering the gap between their careers and the number of albums they have produced. Though he admits that Nas was once influential, the rapper enthrones himself as a rap king and dismisses all other rappers.
Writing: JAY-Z in collaboration with Kanye West
Production: Kanye West
Album: Jay-Z’s bestselling “The Blueprint” album
Release: September of 2001
The Beef between Jay-Z and Nas
Carmen Bryan. It’s a name most of us never heard of. Yet according to her own account, she may have been behind the biggest turn-of-the-century beef in rap music, that being Nas versus fellow NYC rapper Jay-Z.
Yes, as the official account goes Nas and Jay-Z’s feud actually began when Nas failed to appear at a scheduled studio session circa 1996 to record a song that was to be featured on Jay-Z’s album. This led to Jay-Z famously sampling Nas on “Dead Presidents II” (1996), apparently without Nasty’s permission. This started a feud between the rappers which more or less lasted an entire decade. Jay and Nas took a plethora of lyrical jabs at each other throughout, with the former being aided by his trusty sidekick, Memphis Bleek.
This beef brought the world “Ether” (2001), which some would say is not only one of the best diss tracks in history but also the best song Nas dropped during the 21st century. But shortly thereafter things got “super ugly” when Jigga released a counter-diss alleging, in graphic detail, that he slept with Nas’s baby mother, one Carmen Bryan. Furthermore the lyrics clearly insinuate that he did so while she was concurrently dating Nas.
So at the end of the day, even though dudes may never say it, it is possible this entire situation of allies turned enemies was actually centered around Carmen. For one has to presume that there was more to the genesis of this long-standing beef than just a missed studio session.