Nas Remembers the Making of Stillmatic & Hip Hop Is Dead


With Hip Hop Is Dead, do you feel like that album marks you becoming an elder statesman in the game?

I didn’t go for that. That’s not what I was looking for, but for an MC point of view and a competitor point of view as an MC, yea, I was with that.

Did you have any reservations about sampling “Iron Butterfly” for the second time because you did it on “Thief’s Theme” before?

No, that was the joke. Hip-hop is dead. I’m gonna do the same beat again from my last album that was my last single. This is gonna be the shit again. And will didn’t even know it at the time, will.i.am when he played it for me and I told him that’s why I have to do this record. For me it was perfect. I know people didn’t get it, but it was my little joke.

The album also marks you working with Dre for the first time in 10 years. How did you guys reconnect?

You know, just hounding Dre ’til you get him. I just had to hound my man, you know what I mean? Once he opened up, he had a moment. I jumped right in there. I flew right in, got in the studio. [I'm] always excited to see him in the studio.

Game was on the track, but that was after he got kicked off Aftermath. How did that happen?

That almost didn’t happen, but again, hounding Dre. Staying on him, staying on him, staying on him. “Come on, I need this.” You know, [I] stayed on him.

Was he initially like, “I don’t  want to put Game on the track or something like that?

Nah, he never said that. It was just, we wasn’t gettin’ any response. We needed a mix and master the song, so we wasn’t gettin’ any response on anything. We had to stay on him. He’s a busy man.

You also had the “Black Republican” joint with Jay on the album. What was that session like?

It was a party. Not like tons of people. Easy party. That was actually us warming up to working together. We never got a chance. Maybe I over-thought it. I needed the beat. I mean, we needed the beat to be crazy. We wanted Dre to do it, then we wanted ‘Ye to do it. And I had a timeline and shit. It never would have came out, so I go back to the thought of, “This is rap music. This is bangin’ on the lunchroom table and makin’ a freestyle, so, don’t over-think it. Here it is. Take it, guys. This is what it is.” We wanted to get off a crazier joint, but never got around to it.

I know your fans wanted a video for the song.

Yea, we sat down with Spike Lee about it. We had a lot of controversial, crazy Spike Lee ideas. It was a moment, but we never got around to doin’ it.

Speakin of videos. I was watching the “Can’t Forget About You” video and you had Natalie Cole. How did that happen?

She was kind enough to bless us with her presence. The estate was kind enough to let us use Nat’s vocals on the record. At the same time, we did a swap. I did somethin’ on an old Nat King Cole record, so, we were able to make that swap and it was cool. It was somethin’ I was proud of. I wish that if Nat was here, he’d be proud.

  • Decatur GA BOI

    Why is dumbass asking those old questions about Jay & Game? Dayum, we knew the answer before i finished reading this artice…..a Damn shame.

  • Dashboard

    ^^^ I KNOW WHAT THE FUCK XXL Y’ALL NEED TO HIRE A WORKER AND NOT A GROUPIE

  • land lord

    If they would’ve did a vid.for B Republicans w/ Spike that would’ve been B.I.G.for hip hop but I’m sure afterwards media would’ve hounded them 4ever about a full collab cd

  • http://jigsawjungle.blogspot.com eye.Q

    respect to the LEGEND…eye only wish the interview was more indepth in content

  • Muted mullah atari

    Love nas but for all the reading and dope lyrics son spits all of his interviews always sound like he can not speak proper English.

  • QBG

    He’s still from the ‘bridge, Muted mullah atari. He doesn’t have to impress you with big words…BIIIIIIIIIIATCH!

    • mutada mullah atari

      There is a difference between big words and speaking correctly. Not to mention son has not lived in QB for nearly 20 years

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  • http://xxl basedgod

    All i want is a Nas and Lil b collabo.

    That song would be sick!!!!

    Swag

    • kreaper

      LMFAO! nuff said. i would lmao at that song 4 years

  • http://www.rap4ever.net roland53

    nas is a legend from underground hip hop, his music is really cool.

  • http://www.hiphopdaily.net youngb

    a great artist, really hip hop is dead without the big artists …

  • Pingback: @Nas Speaks On Reuniting With @dr.dre | URBAN DIGITAL

  • francis nasim

    weel now that im back hip hop is too wassup nas?are you chillin joe frazier?

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  • queeklyndsay

    look at for gift , just clicks away

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