Cam’ron and Nas are two of New York City’s greatest MCs. They’re both from the same era (the mid ’90s where you had to really rap) yet the two have never done a song together, which is kinda mind-boggling since they’ve both done songs with most of the legends that matter.
The reason why the two haven’t collaborated yet? Since 2002 the two have had static. That was finally put to rest yesterday, when Killa posted a pic of him and the Queensbridge legend in an airport in Las Vegas.
MissInfo, who’s close friends with Cam’ron, got the scoop on the exchange:
“I had to find out more about this impromptu meeting of two rap legends…so it turns out, Cam’ron and Nas just happened to be headed from Las Vegas to New York City on the same flight. And that’s all it took to thaw a decade old rivalry. Cam was out in Vegas to support Dame and Jim Jones for their Vamp Life and Million Dollar Racers clothing line at the Agenda Trade Show.
According to my source, Nas and Cam saw each other, got to talking without any awkwardness or old tension. The photo wasn’t forced. Respect all around. And the best part, there was even talk of future collaboration.
Maybe that was just polite lip service but maybe, if we’re lucky, there will be a Killa x Godson Dipset x Bravehearts song someday.”
But they did. And like most rap beefs, it had its great moments and it had its ugly ones. So for those with a foggy memory, we thought we’d look back at the Nas vs. Cam’ron beef, which would go on to turn into a whole Bravehearts vs. Dipset beef.
The beef started midway through 2002. Nas was scheduled to headline Hot 97’s Summer Jam, the biggest concert in the Tri-State area. During his performance, Nas was planning on lynching a Jay Z doll (they were still beefing) on stage. Something Hot 97 was, understandably, wary to let him do.
Nas spazzed out. He canceled his Summer Jam performance. Then he went to rival radio station Power 105 and went off, blasting everyone from Jay Z to Funkmaster Flex to Noreaga.
Oh, and of course Cam’ron:
“I buy these people albums and they ain’t talking about nothing. From Cam to… I mean like Cam and everything. He’s a good lyricist but the album [Come Home With Me] is wack.”
[Editorial note: Nas was wrong. Come Home With Me is far from wack].
Cam’ron got hold of what Nas said and went on a relatively foul-mouthed rant on The Angie Martinez Show soon after:
He also released a freestyle over one of Nas’ most polarizing songs, I Am…‘s “Hate Me Now.” Legend has it that Cam’ron recorded the freestyle the same day Nas had his rant.
The freestyle is vicious, one where he goes after Nas’ daughter, baby mother and mom, who had just died:
“How many grams in an ounce?
How many ounces in an eighth?
How many eighths in a key?
Shorty, stay in your place,
before the AK’s in your face,
take your daughter, R Kelly,
have my way with her face”
It’s actually a pretty classic diss. The freestyle gave birth to the infamous “I’ll smack the kufi off your head” line that Jim Jones started. Nas didn’t respond himself. Instead, he sent one of the younger members of his Bravehearts crew, Nashawn — who also went by one of the worst rap names ever, Millennium Thug — to respond. In his diss, Nashawn claimed that Cam’ron has AIDs, and he also blasted Cam’s second in command, Jim Jones.
After Nashawn’s record hit the streets, the Diplomats released a mixtape called Diplomats Volume 3. On the tape, Cam starts his shit-talking right away, ranting about Nashawn and other Queensbridge street guys like Little E (who moved packs for Cam, apparently) and the incarcerated Sherm the Worm:
Juelz Santana also had some choice words in a freestyle:
Many Dipset members sent their shots, but Jim Jones was the most invested in the beef, releasing freestyle after freestyle:
And there was that iconic rant on “I Really Mean It,” which is a masterpiece:
It was officially a crew thing. Dipset was involved and Nas’ crew, Bravehearts, was involved.
Wiz and Jungle, Nas’ younger brother, gave a great interview to AllHipHop where he had this memorable comment about Juelz:
“I will kill Santana with a fucking clap. I will soul clap his head like this [smacks hands together] into a sandwich like, you know what I’m saying?”
In the end of 2003, Nas dropped his God’s Son album, featuring a Bravehearts posse cut called “Zone Out,” where Nas finally sends some shots back at Cam:
“You got a house in Virginia
The only way you sicker than us
Gettin’ bagged with .22’s now you’s a ridiculous fuck
No need for the gun play, it’s ok, ’cause you dyin’ anyway”
(“House in Virginia” = HIV. Get it?)
Over the next couple of years there would be tension, but the diss records basically stopped. The two parties still traded barbs, however.
Jim Jones said something slick on “Summer of Miami,” while Nas shot little sly lines on “Streets Disciple” and “Money Over Bullshit.” But for the most part, the beef settled in a space where the two parties just didn’t like each other.
Before we go, however, we have to mention the time in 2006: when Jay Z and Nas, who had squashed their beef at that point, shared a hearty laugh at Cam’ron’s expense during an interview with Toure:
After that, there was basically quiet. Until yesterday when Cam posted this pic:
Now…how about that collabo?
PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram, NahRight