Internet sleuths began to connect dots and noticed the two former foes’ release date schedules collided often.
In fact, following their epic 2001 lyrical clash that spawned the diss tracks “Takeover” and “Ether,” there have been several coinciding release dates between the Hip Hop legends.
During Nas’ interview with The Breakfast Club on Tuesday (August 25), Charlamagne Tha God inquired about the extent of JAY-Z’s motives, but the Queens native dismissed it as the cosmos aligning.
“I think maybe there’s an energy that we both have where we maybe we feel like we work around the same time and the time,” Nas said before DJ Envy interrupted him with the facts.
On December 18, 2001, Nas released fifth studio album Stillmatic while JAY-Z unleashed his MTV Unplugged album with The Roots; on November 30th, 2004, Nas dropped his seventh studio album Street’s Disciple as JAY-Z collaborated with Linkin Park for the Grammy Award-winning Collison Course album; on November 6th, 2007, Nas released his Greatest Hits amid the rollout of JAY-Z’s 10th studio album American Gangster.
However, the past two mirrored releases are where the intentional accusations heated up. On June 15, 2018, as Nas and Kanye were putting the finishing touches of NASIR through the wee hours of the morning, JAY-Z and Beyoncé did a surprise unveiling of their previously unannounced joint album EVERYTHING IS LOVE — the very next day. On July 19 of the following year, Nas answered fans by unearthing The Lost Tapes 2, a follow-up to his 2002 unreleased track compilation, only to compete with the Disney-ballooned budget of Beyoncé and JAY-Z’s Lion King remake soundtrack.
Still, Nas gave his old rival the benefit of the doubt and refused to see any maliciousness behind the Xeroxing.
“Yo, bro that’s a hell of coincidence; that’s some confidence for you!” he exclaimed. “I think things just happen; just synergy, you know? Jay would know better than me.”
According to prelim site HITS Daily Double, Nas’ King’s Disease is in the running to crown the Billboard 200 with upwards of 40,000 equivalent album units sold.
Watch The Breakfast Club clip commentary above.