The beef took another step in 1997 when Jay-Z anointed himself New York City's best MC following the death of The Notorious B.I.G. In 1999, Jay-Z associate Memphis Bleek took aim at Nas, and in 2001, Jay ripped into the Queensbridge product on "Takeover," a track from his sixth album The Blueprint.
Nas's response? Possibly the greatest diss track in hip-hop history, "Ether." The vicious attack took aim at Jay-Z's full Roc-A-Fella roster and was seen as a knock out blow on the streets. Not one to go down quietly, Jay responded with "Supa Ugly," a deeply personal response that earned the rapper a public reprimand from his own mother.
Then, things got quiet. There were a couple diss tracks here and there, a couple subliminal jabs, but it seemed like both rappers had fired their best shots. The hip-hop community looked elsewhere for entertainment (see below) until 2005 when, on the East Rutherford, New Jersey, leg of Jay-Z's "I Declare War" tour, Nas joined his rival on stage to squash the beef. The duo performed "Dead Presidents" and "The World Is Yours," and everything was right in the hip-hop universe.