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This is an interesting.
As The Blueprint turned 18-years-old, we got a brand new story behind one of the most popular tracks on the project.
Jay-Z debuted “The Takeover” during a historic performance at Summer Jam 2001 where he dissed Prodigy from Mobb Deep, and Nas. The full track was not released until it was featured on his sixth studio album, and it is widely considered the first clear shot in the war between the two rappers.
Months later, Nas released a scathing diss track himself in “Ether,” and the war began.
Lenny S, A&R at Roc-A-Fella spoke about his conversation with Jay-Z at the time during an interview with Def Jam, and his mindset soon after the release of “Ether,” and it is actually quite interesting.
“The Blueprint showed me how selfless Jay was,” he said. “This was the time when “Takeover” was out and “Ether” and everything. The energy was kind of crazy. They did a poll on the radio like “Ether” vs. “Supa Ugly,” and everyone voted “Ether.” It was like, ‘Jay’s career is over. He’s done.”
Lenny S is speaking about a segment of Battle of the Beats that was done live on the radio in which callers chose which diss song was better.
“Jay’s on the phone with me, convincing me that this has to happen in life,” he said. “We have to go through ups and down. We have take losses in order to get greater wins. We have to fall in order to get up. He just spent 15 minutes convincing me why this was necessary and that it’s alright. This man just took a loss. A public loss to a rival rapper. And he’s convincing me, a young A&R, and obviously his friend and his brother, of like why I need to be okay with this and let it go and not take it to heart. It just taught me as a man how to be a more mature adult.”