August 06, 2022

Jay-Z vs. Nas (Angie Martinez Interview on Hot 97, 2002)

August 2002: Jay-Z took over Hot 97 for several hours over a two-day period to sound off on all his naysayers. For two consecutive days, Jay-Z guested on Angie Martinez's afternoon show, speaking out on rumors of civil unrest within the Roc-A-Fella camp -- which he scoffed at, insisting, "How could I leave the Roc? I am the Roc" -- as well as his falling-out with former mentor Jaz-O. More significant, though, was Jay-Z's reaction to the ongoing beef with rapper Nas. Echoing a challenge that he made in the The Source magazine, Jigga suggested that the two rivals settle their differences with a pay-per-view rhyme battle. He added that each party could pony up $1 million for the wager, with all event proceeds going to a charity of the winner's choice. By day two of Jay's marathon interview, he reported that boxing promoter Don King had already faxed in a proposal to organize the event. - MTV. Nas responded saying the contest should be decided in record stores, not on TV. ”Pay-per-view is for wrestlers and boxers. I make records,” he told MTV. ”If Jay-Z wants to battle, he should drop his album the same day I do and let the people decide.” Jay-Z was scheduled to release ”The Blueprint 2” on November 5th, 2 weeks before Nas released ”God’s Son.” 


In the interview, they discuss when Nas flirted with idea of signing with Irv Gotti to Murder Inc. A decision that Irv later regretted, as he was also the producer on "Super Ugly" for Hov during that battle. Jay-Z said of the battle with Nas, "It's wrestling," alluding to the fact that it's just music. Jay-Z explained that he's not a perfect human being, and owned that he went too far with certain things he said. But, "people clash at the top," so as competitive artists, that's just where things went. Then they jump into a discussion about the battle: the pay-per-view funds/proceeds and tickets at the door (Madison Square Garden?) would have gotten to charity, with only the $1 million they each put up, going to the winner. A show with 3 freestyles from each MC, but "they gotta be vicious." He added, if anyone felt a way AFTER the battle, they could've gone to a gym, "put on some head gear", go 3 more rounds as men and go separate ways. Additionally, they discussed Jaz-O, R. Kelly, Cam'ron, Dame Dash and more. Ultimately, it's bigger than hip-hop and they squashed their beef, but all these years later, Hov still petty AF, if you ask me. A special moment in hip-hop!