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Before Instagram and Twitter, rappers actual rapped a full song about their superiority and/or about how much they didn’t like another rapper. This boys and girls, is called a diss song. A diss song usually sparks a beef. What’s beef? Beef is when you need two gats to go to sleep … wait, sorry, I had a moment. Beef is when two rappers don’t like each other, and create a Hip-Hop battle amongst themselves. Some examples of past Hip-Hop beefs: Common vs. Ice Cube, 50 Cent vs. Ja Rule, and of course Biggie vs. Tupac. But today I will be discussing one of the greatest and most debatable beefs/Hip-Hop battles of all time: Jay-Z vs. Nas. Now who won the battle is split 50-50. That is until today. So lets discuss.

Contender: Jay-Z

“R-O-C, we running this rap s–t.” In 2001, these words were the ultimate truth. So why did 50% of Hip-Hop fans say Jay-Z won? Mr. Carter held no punches nor did he tell a lie. Most diss songs are filled with 85% fabrication and 15% facts. That is not the case with Hov. Did he really sleep with Carmen, Nas’ baby mama? Yes. Did Nas really fall off after Illmatic? Even though It Was Written was well received, Nas’ other efforts were not. Nas had the worst flow in “Oochie Wally.” There are a lot of people who forgot that he is even on the song. Are Nas’ ‘backpack’ raps about world history true? Of course not. And this is why folks believe Jay-Z won. Nas’ whole persona, to the Jay-Z fans, is a big fabrication. They feel just like Hov: “N—a you ain’t live it, you witnessed it from your folks’ pad, you scribbled in your notepad and created your life.”

Contender: Nas

“You no mustache having, with whiskers like a rat, compared to Beans you whack.” Guess who woke up from their slumber? So why did 50% of Hip-Hop fans say Nas won? Mr. Jones’ aggressiveness caught all the Hip-Hop fans off-guard. The usual coy, nonchalant rapper came back for more than just the King Of New York crown. There was no metaphorical and poetic lines. Just straight “You a fan, a phony, a fake, a pussy, a Stan. I still whip your ass, you thirty-six in a karate class. You Tae-Bo ho …” A pissed off Nas is a listenable Nas. And this is why folks believe Nas won. The fans loved the aggression and they, too, were on that “First, Biggie’s ya man, then you got the nerve to say that you better than B.I.G, dick sucking lips. Why don’t you let the late, great veteran live,” tip.

And the winner is … Hov

Jay-Z won the battle and the war because it came down to facts vs. opinions. Yes, I know that everyone uses the term “Ether.” However, “Takeover” is the song that actually gets bit the most. So back to facts vs. opinions. All of Jay-Z’s responses to Nas were based on facts. You can either look it up or ask the person in question about a Jay-Z line. Nas’ responses were all opinion. Except for the lines about Biggie, all Nas kept repeating was Jay-Z is ugly and can’t rap. These are not facts. Is Jay-Z ugly? To some yes, but there are quite a lot of people who think otherwise. Can Jay-Z rap? Depends on who you ask. The main reason why folks believe Nas won was because of aggression. Here is Jigga spitting fact after fact so nonchalant. If he would’ve spit “Takeover,” “Blueprint 2,” or “Super Ugly” with a little bass in his voice, the votes would’ve been unanimous. So there you have it, the battle goes to Jay-Z. What about the war? Well after battle after battle, Nas and Jay-Z decided to make peace and call a truce. This resulted in Nas signing with Def Jam while Jay-Z was the president. Your former enemy is now your employee? Mr. Carter won. And I believe he said it best: “You’re an actor, you’re not who you’re depicted to be. The street dreaming, all y’all n—as living through me. I gave you life when n—as was forgetting you emcee.” Touché, Young Hov. -Pooh Bailey