Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Power Switch

Sometimes a guy just wants to hang an effigy. In June of 2002, a year after his feud with Jay-Z broke open on Hot 97's Summer Jam stage, Nas, basking in the glory of an on-air win, wanted to return the favor and literally string up his competition. However, this mock lynching was quickly nixed by the Summer Jam brain trust, so Nas, already feeling middle-childed by the station, took to rival Power 105's airwaves to add a couple new names to his hit list. On that day, more enemies were accrued, radio station ethics were questioned, and New Yorker and Hip-Hop fan alike were buzzing.

NORE, Nelly, Angie Martinez, and Funkmaster Flex, along with the whole Hot 97 "evil empire", were singled out in the 26th rant, but the most lasting beef came after Nas complimented Cam'ron for being a "good lyricist" but claimed his then-most recent album, Come Home With Me, was "wack." This is the moment that launched a million catchphrases, giving the Dipset crew a target and their minions message board fodder ever since. And while Cam's newest release, Killa Season, is being led by press regarding shots aimed at Jay-Z, '02 proved the more successful and infinitely more entertaining on-record feud. For his part, Nas' off-hand comments were backed up on wax with Zone Out and by his Bravehearts buddies in print, but damage control couldn't quell all that talk of kufi-smacking. However, regardless of the amount of tension this interview caused, it's fitting to note that Jay and Nas, together, gave Hot 97 the ultimate burn by making history on stage, at the I Declare War show, sponsored by Power 105.
NAS: I'm letting my people know why I'm not at the Summer Jam. I've been bamboozled, hoodwinked, and the whole nine. I was told and begged to do the Summer Jam. I was begged to come to Hot 97, 'cause I had a hot new record that nobody wanted to support except for the streets. I was told to come there and save Angie Martinez' job. I was told to come there and help the ratings at Hot 97 by Flex and the rest of the crew over there. I'm here to let my people know, all my Hip-Hop community people know that I was dissed this morning by Hot 97, and told what I couldn't do on the show. It's really outrageous and really shows that the wrong people are in power. This Hip-Hop thing comes from the streets. We need our freedom. If y'all ain't gonna fight for your freedom, y'all just gonna be like them sucka artists that just go up to the radio station and kiss A-S-S just to get some airtime, or just suck Flex or suck Clue and 'em, tryna get on their best sides so they can play your record. C'mon, man, take Hip-Hop back into your own hands, man. Throw a party in the streets for free. You know, make it safe, hire the Nation of Islam or somebody to protect it. It's time that we take it back into our hands, because when it's being held in bondage and slavery, it's really a big smack in the face to Hip-Hop and all the people who love it. You gonna tell Nas, me, myself, what I cannot do on a Summer Jam stage when it's been done--the same acts have been done . . .

105: 4 or 5 years in a row.

NAS: 4 or 5 years in a row. And last year it happened to be that the diss was toward me by Jay, and he was all high and mighty. Then I dropped the Ether napalm bomb, and their whole crew was running like roaches. And now you got that station over there crying because he lost, unanimous decision he lost. They played his records like he was dead, like it was a Jay-Z memorial--not saying he was. Don't get me wrong, y'all, I'm not wishing that on any man. And that's my brother, but I'm saying--

105: You just looking for a fair play.

NAS: A fair play. And it's really out of hand, y'all, I'm not going for it. It's not gonna happen. This is a perfect opportunity, you have the alternative to choose any radio station you want to choose. And Power 105 plays everything: old school, new school, if you want to listen--

105: Pimp Juice! Mike Saunders, Pimp Juice!

NAS: Yeah, big up to my man Mike right here who let me come up here. Big up to my man Donnie Ienner, everybody at Columbia Records who's totally behind my back. David Belgrave, everybody. The whole crew.

105: We behind you, Nas.

NAS: And especially right here.

105: The streets is behind you. Because you know what, after this, you probably ain't gonna hear none of your records over there. But it's okay, you know why? We have over 1200 stations, and we gonna hold you down.

NAS: That's love.

105: I know Colb's gonna make a few calls. Mike's gonna make a few more calls. I'm gonna 2-way a few cats. Because we definitely appreciate this. This is what this is all about. This is real Hip-Hop, y'all. This is not synthetic Hip-Hop.

NAS: This is not synthetic. I have my freedom of speech, I'ma say what I want. I'm not worried about a record. I turn on that station, I hear people, rappers on there, talking about their record sales--that's played out--their rims on the truck, I mean what does that have to do with our community? What does that have to do with anything real? Let the rappers talk about it on their records. I don't wanna hear about rims on a truck. I don't want to hear the radio disc jockey making records that's terrible.

105: Woah.

NAS: I wanna hear true Hip-Hop music. Nah, for real, man. This is real.

105: This is true which is why I'm saying "ooh."

NAS: You gotta realize I ate it. They had a Takeover show. And that was the song, ladies and gentlemen, the wack record Jay had trying to come at me. They named a whole show on that station "The Takeover." And I ate that. They didn't worry about my feelings when he made a record dissing my daughter's mother, with derogatory things about women in it.

105: Two records.

NAS: Yeah, Jay just making records about how much he hates women, which really makes me curious. And I'm sitting here, they just support that and support everything he does. But when Nas, God's Son, answers him back, they team up with the evil. See, it's a whole evil empire funded by a bunch of other evil empires, Def Jam one of them, that's giving them money to play all their artists' records. Meanwhile the struggling artists have to try to recreate records that sound like Jay, and they're destroying themselves. If you listen to 90% of the rappers, they're not even creative. Pick up a Stillmatic album. Listen to the song Rewind. Listen to the song What's Goes Around ("comes around").

105: Listen to One Mic.

NAS: Listen to One Mic, my people. Let's get real and be creative. I buy these people's albums, and they ain't talking about nothing. From Cam to everybody. I mean, I like Cam and everything. He's a good lyricist, but the album's wack. Y'all brothers got to start rapping about something that's real.

105: About life, man.

NAS: Nore, my man, Nore, I love you Nore. Step your rap game up. Nelly, you trying to battle KRS-One. Don't follow Nas, man. You can follow Nas if you're going to be creative. God's Son--yo, my next album coming out to school a lot of rappers on how to be a man, because these brothers got--they let Flex and them dictate what's supposed to be hot. That's why I'm here to let y'all know why I'm not at Summer Jam. I ain't no sucka, man. I'm right here, I'm made from Queensbridge.

105: Let's give Nas a round of applause for standing up for the Hip-Hop community.

NAS: This is for the Hip-Hop community. I don't want nobody get it twisted.

105: I'm cosigning everything.

NAS: Yo, word is bond, I don't want nobody get it twisted. Word is bond. This is all about people know that I did not diss my fans there at Hot 97. I was told this morning what I could not do.

105: And that's why you're not closing the show.

NAS: I'm not gonna close the show. They begged me to be the headliner, because Jay is mad at them, he got a fit with them, a little emotional attitude.

105: Of course, 'cause he came over him and made the Power Switch. That's what that was all about.

NAS: He got a fit with them. They begged me not to go to Wendy's station because Wendy was slaughtering Angie Martinez. They was like, "please don't go there, Angie's not about to have a job." Don't confuse me into the Wendy Williams-Angie beef. I make rap records. They got me in the middle of that to boost up their ratings, and then treat me like a crab today, which is not surprising, which is a reason why part of me feels good for not showing up, when they told me what I could not do, and that I could just take it or leave it and walk, and just treated me with total disrespect. So that's why I'm here letting my people know. It's time to be real y'all. Make your own outlets, man. Listen to 105, make mixtapes, listen to Kay Slay. Go get Hip-Hop without dealing with that station over there.

105: There it is, yo. Or you can get yourself a Nas album.

NAS: Get a gun and get real. Get some balls, man. You rappers, get some balls. You rappers are slaves.

Nas: Power 105 interview (2002)
BONUS: Cam'ron: Hate Me Now (diss)
BONUS: Cam'ron: Radio Response
BONUS: Noreaga: Radio Response


Blogger Fletch said...

2 notes of interest:
1.Nas gave a shoutout to Kay Slay . . . soon after, Nas and the Drama King would be involved in their own beef that lasted until just recently.

2.Nas called Def Jam an "evil empire" . . . and now calls it home.

May 16, 2006 7:40 AM  
Blogger thugspoet said...

As 4 ya 2 notes of interst fuck that.Wat Nas did took balls and he was speakin real shit name one rapper that would do real shit like tat.(Maybe fake ass 50 but everthing is a stunt for him.)

May 16, 2006 1:51 PM  
Blogger CMcMurtry said...

The Kay Slay beef was mostly just a misunderstanding though.

May 16, 2006 5:06 PM  
Blogger the prisoner's wife said...

i think that Nas is human. sometimes we whyle out when we feel we aren't treated right. sometime he just takes it to that next level though (when he gets a little too gassed). i remember reading an interview in...XXL(?) where he said it was his later interview because he was "over" the whole magazine thing. but alas...he's back in the public.

i say this to say that we all freak out at times. but we grow and change and evolve. to all the nas haters, who say he is just a walking contradicton...tell me who isn't?

such is life

May 16, 2006 10:20 PM  
Blogger Fletch said...

PW, I'm cosigining everything . . .

Here's one of my favorite quotes that fits Nas perfectly:

"Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)"
-- Walt Whitman

May 16, 2006 11:04 PM  
Blogger Fletch said...

*reposted to make sense*

thugspoet, when you say what Nas did, do you mean it took balls to go on the radio and critize another station, perhaps one of the most powerful? Absolutely. I don't know if the whole effigy thing helps his case, but otherwise it's a respectable move to make. Now throwing in Cam's name or Nore's name is perhaps one step to far, because he could have made his point by leaving specific targets out completely.

Or do you mean it took balls to sign to Def Jam? That's a move that I'm 100% behind. I think by partnering w/ Jay, Nas is in a better place than he was the day before that deal was announced. However, he did call Def Jam what he called it though, but it's still a good business deal.

cmcmurty, isn't the Kay Slay story that Nas didn't show up to a video shoot? Eh, the song was wack, and I know Kay Slay was one of the New york radio DJs playing Ether and supporting Nas during the time, despite general Hot 97 resistance, but all in all that whole beef is kinda boring to me. I was just pointing it out because of the bit of coincidence that followed.

May 17, 2006 12:31 AM  
Blogger CMcMurtry said...

Nas didn't show up to the Kay Slay video shot because Sony (the label releasing Slay's album) was dicking him around on the Bravehearts album, so he wasn't about to help them out. Kay Slay was caught in the crossfire.

May 17, 2006 12:52 PM  

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