In the 2001 interview, Nas unpacked a confidential conversation he once had with Hov.
Most recently, the Internet caught wind of an old diss track from Nas, directed at Tupac and crafted a the height of the two emcee's beef prior to the resolution that arrived before Pac's death.
But in the spirit of unearthing old artifacts, another piece of history attached to Nas has resurfaced via an old interview with FELON Magazine from 2001.
For the historians out there, quotes from the conversation found Nas speaking on Jay-Z at what was the height of the two emcee's beef and at the peak of a post-Biggie mad grab for Hip-Hop's throne in New York. Just ahead of the release of Stillmatic, Nas spoke with the cult publication, initially declining to comment on Jay-Z before backtracking to spill the beans on private conversations that affected the arc of Hip-Hop thereafter.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
“You know what? I want to talk about this shit with Jay-Z—FELON is a street magazine, and I fucks with the street magazines," Esco would state. "It’s only right that I keep it real with the streets.”
He revealed that it was while attending a party thrown by Steve Stoute that Jay opened up to him, allegedly stating that he felt he was better than Biggie at that stage in his career and that Tupac and DMX were not lyricists.
“We were kickin’ it and he told me that he’s better than Biggie now,” Nas told FELON. “I looked at him like he was crazy. Then, he started telling me Memphis Bleek was a fan and that I shouldn’t go at him. He predicted that Beanie Sigel would never sell more than 600,000 copies. He said that Sauce Money was to him what Nature was to me. Then, he really got crazy. He said that Tupac and DMX were not lyricists—they just had the hungry, starving street niggas coppin’ their shit—but me and him had all the money niggas buying ours. I told him that I disagreed with him—that Tupac was the greatest ever—period, and that DMX really brought that street shit back into the game.”
At the time, he would also state that he was unaware of what really sat at the root of the beef between himself and Hov.
“I don’t know if it’s over a bitch, I don’t know if it’s over the joint I didn’t do with him, I don’t know if he’s trying to show me ‘I told you so’—meaning that he would be as successful or more successful as me—and if it’s that, it shouldn’t be because I never told him that he wouldn’t or that he couldn’t. All I know is that something is really bothering him and he needs to address it, release it, and get over it.”
While the interview sparked a rift between Jay-Z and DMX, time reveals that the two men (and former labelmates) would eventually hash things out. Memorably, Jay helped DMX clear a $12 million tab at Def Jam so that he could make his exit from the label.