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.