Ron Browz Offered Nas’ ‘Ether’ Beat to Jay-Z First — Video
Before he became known by his Auto-Tune enhanced alias “Ether Boy,” Ron Browz was a young producer, scrambling to get his beat tape into the hands of his favorite rappers.
First making his mark with four productions on Big L‘s posthumous sophomore LP, ‘The Big Picture,’ including the beat for ‘Ebonics,’ Browz later established himself as a production force with ‘Ether,’ Nas‘ searing, career-altering Jay-Z diss.
However, the beat for ‘Ether’ almost fell into rival hands, Browz recently explained.
“It was just one of them beats that I let everybody hear,” Browz revealed in an interview with ThisIs50.com. “Whoever came to the house, ‘Yo hear this.’ One of Jay’s A&R’s actually came to the house to hear that beat too, and he said he was gonna give it to Jay, but I guess it never got in his hands. I went through a travel agent to get to Nas, and it got in Nas’ hands. I guess he got to him at the perfect time, and Nas was like, ‘Yo, come to the studio and hear what I did.’”
Though Jay and Nas eventually settled their beef, ‘Ether’ remains one of the most scathing, personal displays of one-upmanship in hip-hop history.