'Stillmatic' (2001)

After several mainstream records, many hip-hop listeners and pundits viewed Nas as a sellout. Furthermore, Nas began feuding with rapper Jay-Z, whose diss record "Takeover" criticized Nas and his camp. Out of this, Nas released "Stillmatic" in 2001, which saw the rapper return to the politically and socially conscious themes he was known for. His response to Jay-Z, titled "Ether," is often considered the quintessential hip-hop diss track.
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( Sacha Waldman / Columbia )

After several mainstream records, many hip-hop listeners and pundits viewed Nas as a sellout. Furthermore, Nas began feuding with rapper Jay-Z, whose diss record "Takeover" criticized Nas and his camp. Out of this, Nas released "Stillmatic" in 2001, which saw the rapper return to the politically and socially conscious themes he was known for. His response to Jay-Z, titled "Ether," is often considered the quintessential hip-hop diss track.

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