When these streets keep calling, heard it when I was sleep

from Nas – Ether Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

The entities listed below were so low on Nas' radar that he was not aware—metaphorically asleep—when he was told by Prodigy of Mobb Deep that beef was imminent. Prodigy proceeded to be ether’d by Jay-Z.

This also refers to Jay-Z’s “sneak attacks” whilst Nas was taking a hiatus in order to care for his dying mother. See also “Last Real Nigga Alive”:

I gave it all up so I can chill at home with mama
She was getting old and sick so I stayed beside her
We had the best times, she asked would I make more songs
I told her not till I see her health get more strong
In the middle of that, Jay tried to sneak attack
Assasinate my character, degrade my hood
Cause in order for him to be the Don, Nas had to go

To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “Ether” by Nas Lyrics and leave a comment on the lyrics box