Jay-Z vs. Nas

at 4:44 pm | By
Nas and Jay-Z perform onstage during day 2 of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 12, 2014 in Indio, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella)

Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

  • Jun 25 1996
    Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt album drops. Nas was meant to appear on the album, but he never showed up to record his verse for “Bring It On.” In his absence, producer Ski Beatz sampled a Nas line, “I’m out for presidents to represent me,” on another Jay Z song, “Dead Presidents II.”
  • Jul 02 1996
    Nas opens his album It Was Written with a track called “The Message” that included the lyric “Lex with TV sets the minimum.”
  • Nov 04 1997
    Jay-Z drops his In My Lifetime Vol. 1 album. Its track “Where I’m From,” Jay has the bar “who’s the best MC’s, Biggie, Jay-Z, and Nas”. Since Biggie had died earlier that year, this leaves Nas and himself at the top. Another track on the album was titled “The City is Mine,” which many perceived as Jay asserting his dominance as the King of New York. However, Jay-Z sampled Nas’ voice again on the track “Rap Game/Crack Game.”
  • Aug 03 1999
    Jay-Z’s protogé Memphis Bleek releases his debut single off of his Coming of Age album titled, “Memphis Bleek is…”, possibly mocking Nas and his track “Nas Is Like.” Another track on the album, “What You Think of That?,” includes the bars, “My whole team rock rocks, we don’t speak to cats/I’mma ball till I fall what you think of that?”, which Nas would reference later.”
  • Nov 23 1999
    Nas hits Bleek with “You wanna ball till you fall, I can help you with that/You want beef? I could let a slug melt in your hat” on the “Nastradamus” track on his album, Nastradamus.
  • Apr 09 1999
    Nas drops his album I Am… which features the track “We Will Survive.” On the track, he says ,”It used to be fun, makin records to see your response/But, now competition is none, now that you’re gone/And these n–as is wrong — using your name in vain/And they claim to be New York’s king?/It ain’t about that.” Nas had been known to test Biggie as the King of NY, but now that he was gone, refers to Jay-Z’s self-proclamation as disrespect.
  • Mar 05 2000
    Memphis Bleek directs more shots at Nas on his “My Mind Right” single, saying “It’s beef I’mma see you, and bang til you hang up/Your life a lie, but here’s the truth: You ain’t hype to die, but you hype to shoot.”
  • Sep 12 2000
    Memphis Bleek drops his next single, “Is That Your Chick,” which features Jay-Z. The song starts with Jay-Z allegedly talking about how he was hooking up with Nas’ baby mama, Carmen Bryan. Bryan has publicly admitted to cheating on Nas with Jay-Z.
  • Nas drops his “Desert Storm Freestyle” on DJ Clue’s The Great Ones Pt. 2 mixtape, dissing Jay-Z with full aggression, but without name dropping.
  • Dec 19 2000
    Nas comes at Jay-Z and the Roc-A-Fella crew on the single “Da Bridge 2001” off the QB’s Finest compilation.
  • Jan 12 2001
    The Roc-A-Fella crew slid to Hot 97 and had Funkmaster Flex put on beats by Queens producers, which was taken as disrespect by Queens MCs.
  • Jun 28 2001
    Jay-Z performs “Takeover” at the Hot 97 Summer Jam. Although the primary target of the diss is prodigy at the time, Jay-Z still includes a bar that calls out Nas by name.
  • Nas responds with a freestyle over Eric B & Rakim’s “Paid in Full,” called the “Stillmatic Freestyle,” or “H to the Omo.”
  • Sep 11 2001
    Jay-Z releases The Blueprint, that includes the track “Takeover,” which goes in on Nas directly.
  • Dec 04 2001
    Nas responds to Jay-Z with his legendary diss track, “Ether.” This song was widely accepted as the determining factor in the Jay-Z/Nas beef, giving Nas the victory. The song was dropped on Jay-Z’s birthday.
  • Dec 11 2001
    Jay-Z shoots back at Nas with his “Supa Ugly” track, finally using the name of Nas’ baby mama in the track. After his mother hears it on the radio, she makes her son apologize publicly on the Angie Martinez Hot 97 show for going too far, on which he said “I want to apologize to Carmen and any females I may have offended.”
  • Nov 12 2002
    Jay-Z drops his Blueprint 2 album, which has a song titled “Blueprint2” that sends more shots at Nas, including the quote “my mama can’t save you this time.”
  • Dec 13 2002
    Nas releases his God’s Son album, which includes the track “Last Real N**a Alive,” that sends subtle shots back at Jay-Z. After describing a history of New York rap beefs, he ends the track with “I was Scarface, Jay was Manolo/It hurt me when I had to kill him and his whole squad for dolo.”
  • Oct 27 2005
    Jay-Z headlines 105.1’s Powerhouse concert, advertising the title as “I Declare War.” To everyone’s surprise, he brings out Nas in a display of unity, publicly ending the beef for good.