Nas’ classic diss record ‘Ether’ originally featured lyrics about Aaliyah’s fatal 2001 plane crash, according to a longtime collaborator of the Queensbridge MC.
Released in December 2001, Nas’ ‘Ether’ shook up the rap world. Aimed at then rival Jay-Z as a direct response to his diss record ‘Takeover’, according to producer Large Professor there was an earlier version of ‘Ether’ that was produced by Swizz Beatz and featured a set of different lyrics.
Talking to Vlad TV, Large Professor, who has produced many records for Nas including three of the 10 songs on the rapper’s debut album ‘Illmatic’, remembered some of the original lines from ‘Ether’ where Nas dissed Jay by referencing Aaliyah:
“Sorry Aaliyah/ I’m sorry it was you in the plane crash/ It should’ve been Jay… Dame Dash.”
Aaliyah died in 2001 when shortly after leaving the Bahamas following a video shoot the plane she was travelling on crashed after takeoff. Aside from being good friends with Jay, she was engaged to the Roc Nation rapper’s business partner Dame Dash at the time of her death.
“[Nas] took the crux of the idea of that first one he did with Swizz, and then kind of did a re-edit with the Ron Browz joint,” Large Professor added, after explaining that Swizz’s beat was faster and noisier than the final version.
Elsewhere in the interview, Large Professor admitted that he felt Jay-Z’s ‘Takeover’ was better musically than ‘Ether’ and used history and facts to get at Nas, whereas ‘Ether’ was purely driven by rage.
Large Professor was even name-checked on ‘Takeover’ when Jay rapped: “I showed you your first tec on tour with Large Professor/ Then I heard your album about your tec on the dresser.”
In other news, producer Salaam Remi has released a new song that features Nas and some posthumous Amy Winehouse vocals.
Taken from Remi’s upcoming compilation ‘Do It for the Culture 2’, Winehouse’s vocals on ‘Find My Love’ were reportedly recorded during a jam session several years ago.