By Rob Markman
Over ten years later and rap fans are still intrigued by Jay-Z and Nas epic rap battle. The two rap legends have clearly moved past their beef, but an old wound seemingly opened earlier this month after a video titled “Nas Hanging Jay-Z” popped up on YouTube, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the over-the-top stunt God’s Son had planned for Hot 97’s 2002 Summer Jam concert. The story goes that Nas plotted to perform a mock lynching of his then-rival Jay-Z onstage, but these days, the Queens, New York, rap legend does not want to feed into the negativity.
“I really don’t even want to acknowledge it,” Nas told MTV News on Tuesday. “Everybody’s in a different place. I don’t even want to acknowledge it. I can’t acknowledge that. Jay’s my man, and that’s that, that’s all I’m gonna say.”
You can imagine Nas’ difficulty with the subject considering he and Hov buried the hatchet years ago, but back in 2002, things were rocky, to say the least. A year after Jay-Z debuted his Mobb Deep and Nas dis track “Takeover,” Nas aimed to return the favor with an attack of his own on Hot 97’s storied Summer Jam stage. Things didn’t work out as planned: Once the radio station caught wind of Nas’ intentions, it put constraints on his performance and he pulled out of the show.
The recently unearthed video documented the creation of an animatronic Jay-Z figure that Nas wanted to hang and the gallows from which he planned to hang the figure. Nas did not appear in the clip, but it was edited with his 2001 track “What Goes Around” playing in the background.
It was the hottest story in rap at the time, but 10 years later, it comes off as a moot point. In 2005, Nas and Jay-Z squashed their beef onstage at Power 105.1’s Power House concert in New Jersey, and then a year later, God’s Son signed to Def Jam Records, where Jay held a position as label president.
The two have since collaborated on a number of songs, including “Success,” “Black President” and Ludacris’ “I Do It for Hip-Hop.”
Should Nas acknowledge the recently unearthed video? Sound off in the comments!