Released in December 2001, the record was a direct response to his then-rival Jay-Z's track, "Takeover".
And according to Large Professor - who worked with Nas on his debut 1994 album "Illmatic" - there was an earlier version of "Ether" that was produced by Swizz Beatz and featured different lyrics about the tragedy.
Talking to Vlad TV, the producer remembered some of the original lines in which Nas apparently dissed Jay.
"(There were) little variations. I'm sure you heard of the 'Dame Dash/Plane crash' and all that s**t with the rhymes and s**t? (Nas basically said), 'I'm sorry Aaliyah / I'm sorry it was you in the plane crash / It should've been Jay and Dame Dash.' "
Back in August 2001, the plane carrying Aaliyah and eight others crashed at the Marsh Harbour Airport in Abaco Islands, in The Bahamas.
The 22-year-old - who was engaged to Jay's Roc-A-Fella Records business partner Damon 'Dame' Dash (Damon Dash) at the time of her death - had just finished filming the music video for "Rock the Boat".
The original track was scrapped after it didn't fit the feel of Nas' album, and was re-worked without the offending lyrics.
"(Nas) took the crux of the idea of that first one he did with Swizz, and then kind of did a re-edit with the Ron Browz joint," Large Professor added. "I was there when Swizz (Beatz) did the original Ether. Swizz did the original. That's the one (Nas) originally rhymed over. It was faster, and it was just a lot more noisier."
The hip-hop producer also admitted that he felt Jay's "Takeover" was "better musically" than Nas' "Ether".