The Truth Behind the ‘Behind the Music’ of Nas

On April 18, VH1 aired its “Behind the Music” episode focusing on the life and rhymes of Nas.  While the show was entertaining in revealing his battle with Jay-Z and the breakdown of his marriage to Kelis, there were a few moments that left you scratching your head trying to separate fact from fiction.  Here are a few examples of what the episode revealed and what research proves:

NEWS:  According to Nas on September 4, 1996, he confronted Tupac in Bryant Park in New York City after the MTV Video Music Awards.  He grabbed Tupac by the back of shirt and surrounded him with 40 people in his entourage.  Tupac resolved their beef and promised to remove all the disses aimed at him in his upcoming album “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory.”

TRUTH:  Snoop Doggy Dogg was interviewed on Hot 97 after Tupac’s death by Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg.  Snoop had a different account of what occurred.

“He [Tupac] walked up on Nas,“ said Snoop.  “Nas reached to shake Pac’s hand.  And Nas said, ‘I got love for you Pac.’   And Pac said, ‘Well nigga if you got love for me I got a song coming out where I diss you, Jay-Z, and Biggie.  And he told Nas if you got love for me then you aint gonna say nothing after this record comes out…   He [Nas] said I love you Pac and he separated.  And Pac looked at me and said, ‘I told you nigga, we got these niggaz punked out here.’”

NEWS:  According to Nas, L.A. Reid is responsible for resolving the beef between Jay-Z.  At the time, Reid was the Chairman of Island Def Jam and Jay-Z was the newly appointed President of the label.  But this is not true.

TRUTH:  Mark Pitts was Nas’ manager at the time and also recognized in hip-hop for being Biggie’s former manager.  Pitts actually created the truce between Jay-Z and Nas.  Jay-Z actually confirmed this in Nas’ presence during his interview with Toure’ in a “Beyond Beef” segment that aired on BET.  Pitts also confirmed this in an interview with in 2009.

“At the time, when me and Nas first started working together I said, ‘We have to do something different,’” said Pitts.  “Your’e supposed to be a movement, so you need to do a song with Jay and get past all the bulls—. So I had a conversation with Jay and he was open. I couldn’t believe it was going down, and because they both felt comfortable and know my energy, and when we all got together that day, I couldn’t believe it was happening and we sat down and worked things out like men. That was definitely Big guiding me, all of us.”

NEWS:  Steve Stoute declared Nas the winner of the beef with Jay-Z after he dropped “Ether.”

TRUTH:  Stoute is currently Jay-Z’s friend and business partner but was formerly Nas’ business manager.  Stoute has received shout outs on records by Jadakiss, Nas, and most notably Jay-Z in the intro to his “Best of Me” remix featuring Mya when he says, “Tell Stoute to holla at me man!”  While Stoute can be praised for his honesty, the fact that he still works with Jay-Z and considers Nas the winner is quite interesting considering that Jay-Z to this day believes that “Takeover” is much better than “Ether.”

“Clearly Nas won that battle,” said Stoute.  “He took that right hand to the chin and got off the mat and punched him right back in the face.”

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