JADAKISS SAYS: I didn’t really like the “Takeover” beat. But the words—you know what the words are! It’s like the Declaration of Independence on the battle tip. What he’s saying is crazy. I like the laaaaayyyyymmmmme part. It was heavy, but Nas’ “Ether” sits on the mantle when it comes to battle songs. From the production, to the way he formatted it, to what he was saying—he touched everything. It was an A-Plus grade. —As told to Shaheem Reid
KENDRICK LAMAR SAYS: Truthfully, I felt like everybody wanted to go against Jay-Z because Nas was the underdog. But I was riding with Jay because he was saying more facts. “Ether” was powerful, but I always thought Jay had the upper hand. Nas is an incredible artist, but Nas was the cool thing to say at the time. He was the underdog, so everybody was riding for him. —As told to John Kennedy
Be sure to check out VIBE's August/September 2011 Juice issue, which features the full Blueprint 10th anniversary commemorative package.