Takeover (song)

Takeover (song)

Name = Takeover

Artist = Jay-Z
Album = The Blueprint
Released = September 11, 2001
track_no = 2
Recorded = 2001
Genre = East Coast hip hop
Length = 5:13
Writer = Jay-Z
Composer =
Label = Roc-A-Fella/Island Def Jam
Producer = Kanye West
prev = The Ruler's Back
prev_no = 1
next = Izzo (H.O.V.A.)
next_no = 3

"Takeover" is an album track recorded by Jay-Z for his 2001 hip hop album "The Blueprint". The song is a diss track aimed at rappers Nas as well as Prodigy of Mobb Deep.


This song was the first official LP diss track to directly publicize the hip hop rivalry between Nas and Jay-Z (although there exist several other rap records prior to this featuring disses from both Nas and Jay-Z towards each other). It samples the song "Five to One" by The Doors.

References to other rappers

In the second verse, Jay-Z alleges that Prodigy (member of Mobb Deep) took ballet classes as a child and mocks Prodigy's small stature. Jay-Z further dismisses Mobb Deep as competition in the hip hop industry by pointing out that his career had more commercial success than they ever would, and dissing Mobb Deep's famous song Shook Ones Pt. II. Mobb Deep replied to Jay-Z in a subsequent LP diss track, but their rivalry has more or less been overshadowed by the rivalry between Nas and Jay-Z.

In the third verse (which has 32 lines, while the other verses have 16), Jay-Z ridicules Nas's discography (at the time consisting of four albums) and claims Nas has a "one hot album every ten year average." Jay-Z referred to a widespread feeling from many hip hop critics and purists that Nas's subsequent albums after his legendary "Illmatic" debut were mediocre follow ups, and dissing Nas' famous song and from that album "The World Is Yours": Jay-Z sampled some of Nas' lines for the chorus of Jay-Z's famous song "Dead Presidents II", and claimed in "Takeover" that he sampled it because Nas was using it wrong ("So yeah I sampled your voice, you was usin it wrong/You made it a hot line, I made it a hot song"). Jay-Z also questions Nas's street credibility and claims Nas has lied or exaggerated about his past in songs, with the lines, "Nigga, you ain't live it you witnessed from your folks' pad/Scribbled in your notepad and created your life/I showed you your first tec, on tour with Large Professor (Me! That's who!)/Then I heard your album 'bout your tec on your dresser." Jay-Z also ridicules Nas's style, flow, and career decisions, with lyrics like, "Nigga switch up your flow, your shit is garbage/But you try and kick knowledge? (Get the fuck outta here)" and "Fell from top ten to not mentioned at all/To your bodyguard's Oochie Wally verse better than yours/Matter fact you had the worst flow in the whole fuckin' song..." which "Oochie Wally" is a song by The Bravehearts from the collaborative album QB's Finest, and samples the song in this song when Jay-Z mentions it.

The song initiated one of the biggest and most hyped hip hop rivalries within the industry, and the song was generally well-received by fans. At the time, the song's hard-hitting caliber was such that Jay-Z and many hip hop fans had felt that this song could have potentially ended Nas's career. On the contrary, however, the track merely served to reinvogorate Nas' career as he responded to "Takeover" with a diss track of his own, entitled "Ether".

"Takeover" ranked #2 in XXL Magazine's "greatest diss songs of all time", beaten by 2Pac's "Hit Em Up", while "Ether" ranked #3.

Jay-Z responded to "Ether" with a freestyle entitled "Supa Ugly". Jay-Z and Nas would release other subsequent diss tracks and records referencing the feud, including "Blueprint 2" (from Jay-Z's "") and "Last Real Nigga Alive" (from Nas's "God's Son".)

"Takeover" was produced by Kanye West and samples The Doors' "Five to One" as well as KRS-ONE's "Sound of da Police."

The song also references Fame by David Bowie where Jay-Z imitates Bowie's call of "Fame" replacing it with "Lame".

Rapper 50 Cent acknowledged "Takeover"'s insults towards Mobb Deep in his own diss song "Piggy Bank", by telling his rival Jadakiss "Jada don't fuck with me if you wanna eat, 'cause I'll do your lil' ass like Jay did Mobb Deep." Coincidentally, 50 signed Mobb Deep to his G-Unit Records imprint a mere few months later.

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