If you know the timeline of the Nas-Jay Z beef you know that everything started on the 2001 Summer Jam stage where, during the first version of the song “The Takeover”, Jay simply spit “Ask Nas/he don’t want it with Hov.”
Nas responded with the blistering but still underground freestyle “Stillmatic“.
On his album The Blueprint, Jay Z released a full version of “Takeover“, complete with an entire Nas diss verse.
Nas waited a few months then released “Ether” which effectively ended everything, although little side comments and a bit of a Hip Hop cold war brewed for a bit longer.
If judging by karma, then the right thing happened.
Jay’s attack on Nas was a total blindside, if there had been subliminals back and forth, they had been more in the vein of generalities – meaning that they could have been directed at anybody – and the only thing even bordering on “logic” behind Jay’s vehemence other than flat out jealousy, would have been proof to the rumor that Jay had indeed either auditioned or begged for bars on all of Nas’ releases and Nas had told him ‘no’.
This being the case, Jay’s diss seems almost logical, especially when you contextualize it against the fact that Jay waited until he became so big an MC in his own right that once he dissed Nas, Nas would have to respond.
And while Jay probably didn’t expect to get trounced like he did, in the end, he got from Nas what must have really been his goal from the beginning; acknowledgement.
Now, Remy Ma’s “shETHER”, lethal that it is, and it is fucking brutal, almost comes across to me, not like Nas'”Ether” which it’s actually patterned after right down to the track, but like Jay Z’s “Takeover”.
It’s a total blindside.
And sure there were subliminals back and forth between Nicki and Remy, but if I’m Nicki, the ground I’m standing on plants me in the camp among Remy Ma supporters.
In fact, if I’m Nicki, that’s my voice that’s heard at the beginning of “Shether” chanting “Free Remy!”
So why the attack?
Well, I used to work at a major Hip Hop publication that was always getting dissed by several smaller rags and one day I asked the editor, “Why don’t we go back at some of these fools?”
His response to me was simple, “If we respond, they win.”
And I get it; if we even acknowledge the comp from our position as industry leader then we’ve given them credibility.
Credibility that obviously their journalism and photography couldn’t get them on it’s own.
That’s why for every clown in a basement making Youtube Drake diss videos, the only response you see him offer was to Meek Mill who he must have then considered a peer.
Joe Budden, if you’ll recall, wrote anti-Drake song after song and barely warranted a mention.
And if you’re Nicki, Remy’s too big to ignore.
Still, Remy Ma was never the “Queen” of Hip Hop, she was, in fact, always a bigger talent than she was a star, sort of like a Hip Hop Tony Parker; never mentioned among the league’s elite point guards, but when you look up 4 Chips later, you won’t at all be surprised to see him heading to the Hall of Fame.
But Karma’s on Nicki’s side.
If she takes the Nas route and takes her time to respond, Remy’s in trouble.
Even if she doesn’t, Remy’s positions is borderline untenable.
If you study the history of wars, you’ll notice that the side with the most resources is usually the winner.