B-Real & Evidence Say Jay Z May Have Surpassed Nas

Evidence talks Jay Z versus Nas, calls B-Real his hero during The Smoke Box interview.

The much-discussed Jay Z versus Nas debate was one of several topics West Coast wordsmiths B-Real and Evidence tackled during the latest episode of The Smoke Box.

While discussing the matter, Evidence declared that Nas is an artist with God-given talent, a talent he says he didn’t see in Jay Z during his early years. Despite commenting on Nas’ God-given talent as an emcee, Evidence did credit Jay Z for surpassing Nas at a certain point in their careers.

"To me, Nas is one of the most gifted rappers of all time,” he said. “From God though. Not from what he made of it. My man Planet Asia is the same way. They just got that shit on the mic. For me, I look at early Jay Z work and I don't see that God-given thing. [B-Real: He had to work on it] And God-damn-did-he. And look what he turned it into…I think Jay Z surpassed Nas at a certain point. It’s debatable, but at least it’s debatable... Maybe Nas is sharper than Jay Z right now. Maybe because Nas is on some b-boy shit. But Jay Z [may be] so powerful. It’s a debate.”

Prior to speaking on Nas’ talents, Evidence explained that despite lacking some of his own God-given talent as an artist, he was able to hone in on his techniques as a musician.

"For me, I got so lucky because I wasn't the God-gifted...I think there were things I did that were inclinations that you could be good at this, but I didn't have that immediate thing, so to hang out with all these people, I surrounded myself with all the best creative people I could find, it's what helped me get better,” Evidence said.

The Dilated Peoples emcee even gave credit to B-Real, who he referred to as a “hero,” for helping him at the start of his music career.

"You still are my hero," Evidence said to B-Real. "I wasn't really doing good at the beginning and you were really cool with me. You don't realize how much that helped me. You could have fucked me up a little bit. But instead, you found positive ways to say things to me. Like, I got to meet LL Cool J through QD3, I played him one of my first demos. Instead of him dissing me, he kinda sang along with the chorus. You don't know how much that did for me. I keep that in mind when somebody's playing me something. I just try to find a lot of good in stuff."

Video of B-Real’s interview with Evidence can be found below.

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80 Comments

  • insanemacbeth

    "STREETS IS WATCHING" alone shows...that JAY-Z could really spit! :-/

  • Son

    This may be the dumbest opinion shared by a rap group that 90% of the world never cared about - ever. It hurts my heart that Planet Asia even admits to know these irrelevant bums.

  • Anonymous

    "Their last albums tell the story. Life is Good - a grown man hip hop album with Nas moving with the times. MCHG - a stale passionless album with Jay talking the same stuff he has on 12 of his albums." ^ great assessment jhurst14 had a good comment too...end of the day you can love them both or choose sides, but the perception of them within society is blatant Jay-business is studied Nas-lyrics are studied

  • Anonymous

    Nobodyin the hood listen to evidence.. Be real lets breal nobodys been listening to u since the 90's so why would i give a fucc about what u wanna be muthafuccaz think eat a dick up ...then hick up.

  • ahnonnimus

    Between Nas and Jigga...Jay got business skillz over Nas; but Nas got lyrical and rap skills over Jay by 1000 miles.

    • Son

      Jay-Z is not a businessman. He is a product endorser. He couldn't read a balance sheet if he life depended on it. I swear to God, you kids today. smh. Y'all really think JAY-Z is an equal at business meetings? haha. He doesn't write checks. He cashes checks, just like the guy who drives trucks at UPS. They are just bigger. But he is not a true businessman by any stretch of the imagination. They get tired of him, they will just stop calculating the right amount to allocate for his taxes, and workers compensation for staff and he'll be broke or in jail overnight. My sides are hurting.

  • SomeLuck

    Nas will always be the greatest. If you don't have Nas in your catalog of music, you should be shot! To be a King of the shit, you have to be doing it along time. The only rapper in today's time that I can put in his class is Jay. I can't take away Jay's run! Jay and Nas run is incredible, but if you take away all of this material shit and businesses adventure and popularity contest and go with just that pen and paper who would you go with lyrically. My answer is Nas. Nas writing and rhyming skills are far superior than jay's. Rap is about that pen and that paper! Nas written stories that are simply amazing because I lived through some of the same shit! Rapping is just rapping with skillful word play but when you can write a story that is proven in your environment that is a another level. Every rap dude dead or live wanted be like Nas, stole from Nas, wanted to battle Nas, throw hate against Nas, and the dude is still standing and making relevant music this very day. I don't know what rap fans want over a 20 year span of rap music. No one else have survived! He stands alone and that is why I will say Nas is the best. The 2pacs and the Biggies and the Jay Zs proven that to me. When you are the best someone will always try to take it away from you. Please remember Nas never went at these heavyweights, they went after Nas. I lived it! It is and was proven! Nas is the best but I won't knock Jay either! Dude catalog is deep like no other buy when I listen to Nas's flow on any wack beat or good beat his shit hit the heart. Nasir all day and "F" this lame as article.

    • HA

      Illmatic > Reasonable Doubt = 1994 Life is Good > Magna Carta Holy Grail = 2012/2013 Pen game still the same for Esco.

    • MC > RAPPER

      Jay is a great businessman but his mission has never been to change the world through his music by touching upon the harsh reality of ghetto stricken poverty. He's a good rapper but Nas is an MC, he's a true lyricist. An MC reps the community to influence change.

  • e

    as Guru said it`s all in the voice and jay z voice is too whiny. lyrics were always good but that fucking whiny voice

  • WhatEveryoneThinks

    B-real and Evidence know EVERYTHING about hip-hop and music in general. Plus nas sucks, who goes around bumping nas? no one.

  • bigfoot89

    No debate necessary, both very skilled MC's, Nas dropped Illmatic in 94, Reasonable Doubt came out in 96. Fast forward to 2011/14.. Jay Z is a wealthy entrepreneur but has gotten wacker with the actual writing process with rhymes, Nas is broke but still lyrically as sick as the day he came out in 91 with Live @ The BBQ. All boils down to this: Jay-Z: business, entrepreneur, money, fame, limelight = RAPPER Nas: Poet, activist, leader, Harvard, education = MC Two completely different agendas

  • ROZAY O'DONNELL

    First off, let me just say fuck Jay Z and Nas. Secondly, fuck B Quiet and Evidence; their opinions, let alone their careers, are irrelevant so they do not matter. No one takes a couple of broke, stoned rappers seriously. When was their last hit album? Exactly. Now if you want to talk about great rappers, talk about my client Rick Ross. For six years, he's been the hottest thing since sliced bread.

  • new york is dead

    New York rap sis dead. Fuck commercial gay-Z who does do songs with wackass drake, meek mill and other clowns. nas is already played out for years. This nigga only had decent beats on illmatic. And even those beats arent that great. its 2014 and people just wanna listen to faggots like french montana and fake ass boring gangsta rappers like 50 cent.

    • fuck outta here

      fuck the both of your idiotic opinions. new york rap is alive and well. you just gotta know where to fucking look. flatbush zombies, joey bad ass, action bronson, roc marciano, mr muthafuckin esq, need I say more? Nas always was and always will be one of the best emcees of all time. If you took the time to reexamine his discography & lyrical content, you'd see he has beautiful, well crafted songs.

    • Big 18th Street Gang, E'z up!

      I agree, Nas is definitely played out. Basically just riding off the hype of his "Illmatic" album. "It Was Written" is my favorite Nas album tho and the only Nas album I like. "Illmatic" had Nas's crazy flow and lyrics at the time with a few nice beats but IMHO, it's not as great as people make it out to be. First of all, it's way too short and there are some weak beats on it ("World Is Yours", "One Love" etc.). Just my opinion and I know most peeps won't agree but I don't give a fuck.

  • mario

    Nas is a better emcee but Jay is more worldy and picks trendier beats and topics that more white fans and pop nickas like...but Nas is wayy more Hip Hop and dope than Jay but I like both of them..although Hov is too pop for me now, he is corny now magna carta wack n the new video on the run is some shh i would expect from old ass ll cool j..not jay the nicka who was on some politics as usual streets is watchin

    • Anonymous

      Nas was also a poprapper: if i rule the world is poprap. How many rnb verses he did and the firm project was a commercial project and many songs. i dont say that he is super commercial but come on

  • Anonymous

    If Jay Z wasn't rich as he is today he wouldn't be named in the same sentence

  • SopasDePollo

    What did they put in that blunt? Jay better than Nas? Jay's the commercial face of hip hop, Nas is the soul.

  • Weatherman

    I'm glad more and more people acknowledge this and stop riding with Nas for the sake of looking more "cool". Jay's a far superior MC and a much better musician.

  • insanemacbeth

    RAKIM is 'THE GOD EMCEE'; and both NAS & JAY-Z wanted 'god emcee' status. 'nuff said!

    • Anonymous

      fuk outta here with dat. rakim was on top of his game in the late 80's and early 90's but hasn't come out with one, not one good song in over twenty years. rakim is dope but has been far removed from the game for a long, long time.

  • Anonymous

    JA RULE BODYBAGS ALL THESE NIGGUZ!

  • TheTruest

    As I said before almost every young or old rapper mentions nas's name! That is why I have always put Nas as the greatest of all time musically for rap. No one talks about his many businesses or any violence behavior just his lyrical ability to flow on a microphone better than anyone else in the history of rap! Nas is that dude!

  • DavidDanielz

    You can debate all you want over who is better. I will always love Nas's music but Bottom line is Jay has always been relevant in the culture. Always pushed the culture forward and started and finished trends. You can play this bullshit game all you want but every rapper your listening too on the radio on some level, took something off of Jay-Z. Pop has MJ, Basketball has MJ, AND Hiphop has Jay-Z. Evidence was right in his assessment and anyone who follows the culture agrees.

    • Anonymous

      come to the east coast--NYC, Boston, Jersey, we still bumpin Nas in traffic, son.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly. When was the last time you heard anyone in the streets bumping Nas??? Around a decade a ago? Jay's the undisputable king and all the true heads know this.

  • Anonymous

    the headline is also deceiving cause he said at a certain point. he was arguably more on point in the late 90s

  • Anonymous

    Nah..if anything its the other way around. Jay Z is still dope but nas is on a different level now.

  • hiphop

    I see all these nas fanboys are butt hurt, Thats that mans opinion. If you think nas is better ok but you don't have to go out your way to put jay down. I like both and grew up listening to both, I like jay better than nas but I would never put nas down to make jay perfect like nas fans do.

  • Iggy Fresh

    Nas is better than Jay Z period. The "wack beats" argument is played and subjective, because Jay Z, Eminem, and Tupac all rapped over PLENTY of wack beats. Tupac was probably the worst at picking beats, but yet nobody brings that up when talking about him, so just cut it out. Nas' only album where he had mostly weak production was Nastradamus.

    • Iggy Fresh

      I like Street's Disciple... it's a 3.5... could've been a 4 or a 4.5 if it was condensed into one disc with just the dope songs. I think what it is... a lot of people outside of NY do not like the raw NY sound... because you even have people criticizing the production on Illmatic, when I think it's perfect.

    • Anonymous

      Daz Dillinger has produced many wack beats. Street's Disciple is also Nas' worst album.

    • chris

      Also while I do slightly favor Nas over Jay...Nastradamous isn't his only sloppy album; Streets Disciple had some UNBEARABLE production!

    • chris

      I agree to an extent with your statement (although subjective), but saying "Tupac was probably the worst at picking beats" is a far stretch at best. I'm not a Pac fan boy, but if you listen to the production on All Eyez On Me compared to everything else that came out in that timeframe, that album is BEYOND light years ahead of its time IMO. That being said, I do agree Pac rappped on a lot of average-to-wack beats, however he moved so quickly in the studio that I do not believe he had a hand or say in much of his production (particularly the overwhelming amount of his posthumous releases). He was focused on his message and the weight of his lyrics more so than the beats. That being said, in his prime while he was alive, he had a production crew that consisted of Daz Dillinger, Dr. Dre, and DJ Quik. Can't name many wack beats from that trio of producers

  • chiraq

    Yo, Ev is a dope MC but what is he on in the clip? His eyez all bugged out and shhhh--joke toke Ev smoke

  • Anonymous

    Evidence says about B Real: "[B-Real: He had to work on it] And God-damn-did-he. And look what he turned it into" Exactly...he turned it into smoking weed in the front seat of a car while giving interviews. What?

  • jhurst14

    This argument was settled years ago. Nas > Jay Z. Hip Hop is like Jazz. Nas is more like Miles Davis, the purist, and Jay Z is more like Kenny G, commercial and loves to play with everybody styles. Nas catalog is better than Jay's catalog. Most of Jay Z's albums sound dated with played out artists on the features, while a majority of Nas's albums sound great and classic. As far as business, Jay Z is whore when it comes to business. He doesn't mind being a storefront for Jews and corporations. As long as he gets the credit and his commission, he is happy. Nas has higher standards and doesn't like to be controlled. B real is just bugging out. Leave that pipe along bruh.

  • Nas

    Their last albums tell the story. Life is Good - a grown man hip hop album with Nas moving with the times. MCHG - a stale passionless album with Jay talking the same stuff he has on 12 of his albums.

    • Anonymous

      Jay's just awful now? Last time I checked he dropped a verse on "We Made It" that basically shits on what Nas did the last four years.

    • Anonymous

      Yep. Pretty much. Let's not forget Nas last few albums have been pretty damn good. Distant Relatives is a classic and Life is Good is like you said a grown man album. Jay-Z is just awful now. I don't even think he tries anymore. He just yells "uh" in between every bar and rap about superficial shit.

  • yeaaahh

    This is how I've always felt about it --- Nas may be the better lyricist, but Jay is the better artist, hands down. While Jay also being a lyricist, he is one of the best, if not, the best rappers when it comes to the musical process. He absolutely understands how to make music. You throw on Jay's music and everyone is rapping along. Nas, while still spittin at a high level, always picked wack beats and made average songs, imo.

    • blackula

      I've always loved both, but Jay's last few albums have been horrendous. At different points one was better than the other, but right now Nas is making much better music. Magna Carta for me has by far the least replay value out of any Jay's albums. Jay just doesn't try anymore.

    • Anonymous

      Jay-Z IS THE kING

    • yeaaahh

      @KingMe - You must can't read because nowhere in my comment did I talk about numbers. I even said Nas is considered the better lyricist. I just gave my opinion on their styles. Calm down, fanboy!

    • KingMe

      Dude must bumped his head! Lyrically no rapper is messing with Nas!!! Please get that straight! This really shows how great nas really is superior over Jay because nas is talked about in every conversation on who is the best. Look at the numbers that Jay said he has but why people are questioning him on not being the best! Yes, numbers don't lie but google nas on who is the best. Nas come out the winner each and every time! End of discussion, no rapper is messing with Nasir period!

  • RGeezy

    Using someones business success as part of the criteria to debate who is the better artist makes no sense. Nas not only bodied Jay on ether, but on the songs they did together.

    • Anonymous

      No, he didn't.

    • Anonymous

      Jay bodied Nas in every aspect possible.

    • Anonymous

      Jay bodied Nas in life!!!!

    • SimplePlayer

      I totally agree broh! I wish the other knuckle will see this one day. Succes in businesses does not have any thing to do with music. Nas make music for the street, for his people and inspirational. Jay makes bragging and materlistic shit that have grown men shaking their a$$e$ in clubs. Rapping was made on simple beats not rhythm. Your flow suppose to capture any beats. Nas is not trendy like the other dudes and that is why he survived over 20 years. You can't mess with that period! PAC, Bigge, and Jay all know and knew Nas was and still is the King of New York. He is the truest

  • Donnis McIntyre

    C'mon Danielle/HHDX staff, stop trying to trick people into clicking pages, a very reason why the site is lacking in the first place. Stop catering to these weirdos and be serious about your craft.

  • Anonymous

    tupac better than both them clowns

  • Anonymous

    r u mad jay z better than nas get the f*** outta here

  • ukhh

    hhdx is run by idiots. i watched the whole thing and this title is misleading as fuck, like always. is wear u niggas just wanna start some rap beef

  • D From Q.U.

    May surpassed Nas BUSINESS WISE, NOT MUSICALLY

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