But none was more shocking than Jay Z taking the stage with Nas well past midnight. Even though they ended their long-running feud in 2005, it was still totally out-of-the-blue when Jay showed up to deliver his "Dead Presidents II" alongside Nas, right after the master MC performed Illmatic in its entirety.
"Dead Presidents II" has a special significance for the former lyrical sparring partners, aside from the fact that the studio version samples Nas' voice. On the cusp of fame, Jay reportedly invited Nas to guest on the Reasonable Doubt single and appear in its video, an offer Nas supposedly shot down. Other reports claim Nas agreed to record with Jay but never showed up to the sessions. Either way, a long-running feud was born between two of the greatest rappers of all-time, which officially ended in 2005 when the two performed "Dead Presidents II" at Jay's I Declare War concert (Nas signed with Def Jam shortly thereafter).
But just in case there were any lingering doubts, Nas and Jay reiterated their reconciliation at Coachella 2014 with a jaw-dropping performance. Pharrell might've had more guests, but nothing this historic.
Check out the trailer for an all new, three-part special on the 20th anniversary of Illmatic, premiering April 15 right here on Fuse.tv