Nas Goes After Jay-Z In ‘Ether’ Response – Today in Hip-Hop
On this day, Dec. 18, in hip-hop history...
2001: One of hip-hop's greatest rap feuds ever, Nas vs. Jay-Z goes down in history. After Jay released "Takeover," a diss track off his sixth studio album, The Blueprint, aimed at both Nas and Prodigy of Mobb Deep, the world waited for a response from the God's Son. He would later release "Ether," a response toward Hov, which is featured on Nas' fifth studio album, Stillmatic.
Stillmatic, released in the wake of a series of commercially successful, yet critically panned LPs, finally saw Nas find some common ground between record sales and acclaim, with "Ether" as a standout cut.
The epic diss track was monstrous, turning the hip-hop world upside down at the time. Nas would say to The New York Times that he chose to name the song "Ether," because he wanted to burn Hov's spirit. ''I was told a long time ago, ghosts and spirits don't like the fumes from ether, and I just wanted to affect him with my weapon and get to his soul,'' Nas said. The song attacked every component of Hov's personality during those days. Everything from questioning his street cred to his love life, to being called a commercial selling out, Nas' claims pulled no punches whatsoever.
Nas' "Ether" continues to be mentioned by rappers as one of the top diss records and one of the most influential of all time in hip-hop. It has been referenced and sampled by artists since it was released back in December 2001. Even the word "ether" itself entered into hip-hop's vocabulary, becoming a slang expression synonymous with ruthlessness shortly after the song's release.
See Hip-Hop Fans Name The Most Disrespectful Diss Track of All Time