Dec 05

The FT Top 100 Songs Of All Time No. 71

FT + New York London Paris Munich/5 comments • 11,159 views

Jay-Z – “The Takeover”

Joe M says:

The Jay-Z attack on Nas in ‘Takeover’ is a masterpiece because he acknowledges that Illmatic was a great album, and even that another unspecified Nas album was insert equivocal hand-wavering gesture here okay. Then he adds “That’s a one hot album every ten year average”. This is pretty much the accepted wisdom on Nas: that he made one of the best debuts in hip hop history and never achieved that level of quality again. Saying this, rather than saying “You are shit in every way” as some rappers are prone to do on diss records, made at least a large part of Jay’s attack on Nas very hard to refute.

Andrew F says:

(The Takeover is) a near-perfect diss record, through disrespect into dismissal. Where most rappers come up with a good insult or two and off to the studio, this is pleasingly thorough, covering the target’s past, sexuality, street cred, business sense and basic rapping ability (“Yeah I sampled your voice, you were using it wrong”). It’s magnimanious in victory – Jay-Z has no problem saying that Nas has released two great albums, as long as he has made more and greater. And still, better to be the target of all this than the multitude brushed aside in the last line.


  1. 1
    Jon on 10 Oct 2006 #

    I assume that it is a mid-Seventies production. The label is from Hollywood. And that is about it. (PATNOX.COM)

  2. 2
    bridget on 31 Dec 2006 #

    i think the takeovers what ever that is i really think its stupid people post all shit on the internet and its just stupid if any 1 agreeds with me leave a comment !!!!!!!!!!!!!! .

  3. 3
    Gemma on 9 Jun 2007 #

    Takeover is a brilliant diss song. Nas’ reply, Ether, is overrated because Nas has a good flow. However, Jay-Z has always been better in the lyrics department. When you compare the two tracks, Jay-Z makes a good assault on Nas including facts you can’t ignore like the fact that Jay-Z sold more of his album in 1 week than Nas sold of his altogether. Also, when you look at the lyrics of Ether, Nas calls Jay-Z “Gay-Z” and Rocafella “Cockafella” which isn’t exactly profound. Jay-Z rounds it off with production from Kanye West which always guarantees a good song.

  4. 4
    ya boy on 20 Apr 2008 #

    kanye is wack jay-z is wack nas is hot but the best rapper ever is LIL WAYNE all day then cassidy then jadakiss and no bridget your gay

  5. 5
    blue on 8 Aug 2009 #

    ok, commenters, you are all utter retards.

    gemma: nas has both better lyrics and superior flow to jay-z; better in the lyrics department? suck my dick! have you listened to illmatic? sales dont mean SHIT either, so go and rethink your life.

    ya boy: i agree with your first three points, but unfortunately you eclipse their merits with the monumental amount of fail and retardation of the other three. lil wayne is a overrated disgrace of an mc who is killing hiphop slowly, with his stupid voice and unfounded arrogance. and cassidy, jadakiss? who the fuck are they? OH! two of those upstart faggots who can hardly pronounce their own names..

    bridget: english, bitch! english!!

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