October 27, 2015

Jay-Z & Nas End Their Beef (October 27, 2005)

"Jay-Z's highly anticipated "I Declare War" concert was promoted by New York's Power 105.1 as the definitive act of aggression. But without sparking a hip hop battle royal, Jay lights more fireworks than expected. Bypassing past beefs, Hov and Nas stand side by side before 15,000 shrieking fans at the sold-out Continental Arena in East Rutherfood, N.J., and declare ... peace? "It's bigger than "I declare war," Jay-Z explains as he introduces the QB poet and his former adversary, "Let's go Esco!" With 1996's "Dead Presidents II" - on which Jay sampled Nas's voice - as a befitting backdrop for his historic union, the Queens natives takes his position onstage next to Jay. Earlier in the year, the rap community got a peek at proposed peace when 50 Cent and The Game publicly put aside their squabble (however briefly...). But this meeting carried with it the weight of the hip-hop world and was truly a rap fan's dream come true. The pair's now landmark battle was born in 2001 at New York's Hot 97 Summer Jam, where Jay famously lashed out at Nas and Prodigy in front of a similar set of fans. Since then, that incident has been recooked and dissected ad nauseam. As the tension between Jay-Z and Nas continued to intensify, Nas would return with the stinging "Ether." And when Jigga spewed lyrics like "Left condoms on your baby seat" on "Super Ugly," the conflict became more malicious, more personal. While sparks from both sides have ceased in the last couple of years, a cold war ensued. A resolution seemed implausible. Then, this night: The two former gladiators stand together, motionless, bathing in the crowd's roar. "This is for hip hop," Jay-Z yells. "We love y'all." Peace, love, and hip hop, what more can a fan ask for? Aftermath: with only one more album left under his current recording contract, Nas is reportedly in discussions with several labels, including the Carter administration-helmed at Def Jam Records, where Nas may finally record a long-overdue collaboration with Jay-Z." - Vibe Magazine, January 1996. Another pivotal moment in hip-hop.