It's been almost 20 years since JAY-Z and Nas fired angry bars at each other in one of rap's most legendary beefs.
The consensus was back then -- and continues to be -- that Nas's track "Ether" gave him the W in the war of words.
In a new Def Jam oral history of The Blueprint, Roc-A-Fella A&R Lenny “Lenny S” Santiago explained that he had trouble accepting that verdict, believing Hov's Nas diss 'Takeover' was at least as good and probably better than "Ether".
However, once he talked to JAY about it, he learned the wisdom of sometimes just taking the L.
"So I literally call him from a pay phone. And here we are, Jay’s on the phone with me, convincing me that this has to happen in life. We have to go through ups and downs. We have take losses in order to get greater wins. We have to fall in order to get up. He just spent 15 minutes convincing me why this was necessary and that it’s alright. This man just took a loss. A public loss to a rival rapper. And he’s convincing me, a young A&R, and obviously his friend and his brother, of like why I need to be okay with this and let it go and not take it to heart. It just taught me as a man how to be a more mature adult. And to look at the glass as half full instead of half empty. Jay took the time when he could have been selfish, or pissed off, and took the time to school me."
Things have worked out for Hov in the long run. While Nas is a legend and a successful businessman in his own right, Jay is a cultural icon who may one day be remembered more from what he's done outside the game than for his substantial achievements in it.