Malcolm Venable
January 11, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

LL Cool J vs. Kool Moe Dee. Dr. Dre vs. Eazy-E. Eminem vs. his mom (and everyone else). Feuds have been a part of hip-hop since the first MCs started battling it out at South Bronx block parties. Now Brooklyn’s Jay-Z has sparked the new millennium’s first rap spat, with ”Takeover,” a blistering attack on Nas. The Queens MC jabbed back with ”Ether,” which includes the less-than-subtle chorus ”F— Jay-Z.” Jigga reacted with ”Superugly.” As the heavyweights return to their corners, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY calls the fight.

STREET CRED

JAY-Z ”Nigga, you ain’t live it, you witnessed it from your folks’ pad. You scribbled in your notepad and created your life.” (”Takeover”)
NAS ”In ’88 you was gettin’ chased through your building, callin’ my crib…. All I did was gave you a style for you to run with.” (”Ether”)
ROUND GOES TO Nas won the cred contest when Jay-Z embraced Michael Jackson on stage last summer.

SKILLZ

JAY-Z ”Four albums in 10 years, I can divide…. One was [okay], the other was Illmatic. That’s a one hot album every 10 year average.” (”Takeover”)
NAS ”His manuscript just sound stupid when KRS already made an album called Blueprint.” (”Ether”)
ROUND GOES TO Jigga’s admittedly fuzzy math adds up; even we can’t forgive Nas for The Firm and I Am….

MANHOOD

JAY-Z ”I came in your Bentley backseat, skeetered in your Jeep, left condoms on your baby seat.” (”Superugly”)
NAS ”Heard it when I was sleep, that this Gay-Z and Cockafella Records wanted beef.” (”Ether”)
ROUND GOES TO Hova’s tired rap dis ”I slept with your baby’s mama” outclasses Nas’ incessant homophobia.

MUG

JAY-Z ”Niggas will tie you up on the coliseum roof and open beer bottles off the boy chipped tooth.” (”Superugly”)
NAS ”You no mustache havin’ with whiskers like a rat compared to Beans [Beanie Sigel] you wack.” (”Ether”)
ROUND GOES TO Nas’ chipped tooth can be fixed, but looking like a rat can’t.

WINNER

We love an underdog: Nas’ creative barbs show him to be a scrappy fighter. But as long as it stays in the studio and off the street, who cares who wins?

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