Given the fact that Nas and Jay-Z have now reconciled their 2001 beef, the question of who won the legendary battle between them always makes for an entertaining interview. When asked about Jay’s line in “Takeover” about how Jay allegedly showed Nas his first Tec-9 while the pair were on tour with him, Large Professor gave his thoughts on the line and the entire battle.
“It was just a matter of Jay stating the facts,” Large Professor told Maya The B and Mitchell Jackson of ThisIs50 Radio. “He was trying to bring a lot of facts to the table, and he was going at Nas. Someway, somehow it as a, ‘Yo, you was on tour with Large Professor’ type of thing. We was all on tour—on that same level and all of that.”
Despite being from what both “Takeover” and “Ether” insinuated were rivaling boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, Large Professor said there was no beef during the early days when Nas and Jay toured with him. He did add that, like most quality Hip Hop, there was a friendly competition between all artists involved. Ultimately, Large Professor said he enjoyed the energy and production of “Takeover” but preferred Nas’ rhymes on “Ether.”
The early-Aughts beef between Nas and Jay would spill over onto two albums, with Nas releasing “Last Real Nigga Alive” and Jay-Z throwing additional shots on “Blueprint 2.” Cooler heads prevailed, and there were additional barbs from Nas that the public never saw. Hot 97 stopped Nas’ attempt to hang Jay in effigy at Summer Jam. And Large Professor adds that there was a more malicious version of “Ether” that was never made public.
“When Nas was first recording “Ether” it was over a Swizz Beatz beat, and he was getting at him,” Large Professor added. “That was the original lyrics about, ‘It should’ve been you on the plane crash,’ and all of that. I was there and I was kind of hype, but you know I’m like an adrenaline junkie.”