A History of Rick Ross and Nas' Collaborations

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In the last week alone, fans have been treated to two new collaborations from Rick Ross and Nas. The songs, "Accident Murderers" and "This Thing of Ours," off of Nas' Life Is Good and Ross and Maybach Music Group's Self Made 2, respectively, carry on a brief but compelling history of joint work from the two esteemed MCs. Hopping on the same track seems to help bring some of the finest work out of the vets, as their chemistry is evident. Here, XXLMag.com takes a look at the past work from Ross and Nas. —XXL Staff (@XXL)

Rick Ross ft. Nas "Usual Suspects," Deeper Than Rap (2009)


Rating: XXL
On their first of several collaborations, Nas and Rozay flip mafioso- inspired lines with bars of wisdom as the two showcase a more fluid chemistry than many would assume. As Esco offers insight in his verse rhyming, "I used to stand on rooftops, with two glocks/Figuring how do I turn my Timberlands to Crocs." Ross matches with endearing lines, "If you follow physics nigga, money never float/Meaning every day I'm living, try to stay afloat." Despite how the contrast may have seemed on paper, the two MCs supersede expectations.

Nas ft. Rick Ross "It's A Tower Heist," Tower Heist Soundtrack (2011)


Rating: XL
Arguably one of the few good things about the 2011 film, Nas and Rozay's follow-up to their Deeper Than Rap collaborative cut undoubtedly picks up where the former left off. The menacing track finds the two pulling out their lyrical guns over a head-nodding backdrop, showcasing their oozing chemistry. "You want respect, money and power right?/This is a tower heist."

Rick Ross ft. Nas “Triple Beam Dreams,” Rich Forever (2012)


Rating: XXL
As Ross suffered a seizure in late 2011 and subsequently pushed back his album, God Forgives, I Don't, fans were left not knowing how long they'd have to wait for some new music. Then came his early 2012 mixtape, Rich Forever, and this unavoidable standout, featuring Nas. Reunited and it felt so good, Rozay and Esco traded lengthy verses that displayed their lyrical paintbrushes, as each crafted vivid pictures of life in the ghetto and their subsequent come up.

Nas ft. Rick Ross "Accident Murderers," Life Is Good (2012))


Rating: XL
When it comes to creating lyrical mise en scène, Nas reigns supreme as the game’s finest. Over No I.D. and Salaam Remi’s piano-laced loop, Nasir’s first verse tells the tragic story of a man who accidentally murders an acquaintance instead of his intended target. Though, the song’s content momentarily thwarts off to Rozay’s fantasy crime tales, Nas finishes his message by sighing out words about childhood friends who turned killers. While the song’s theme serves as brain food, its musicality can bang on the radio—a feat Nas has repeatedly been able to accomplish.

Rick Ross, Wale, & Omarion featuring Nas "This Thing of Ours," Self Made 2 (2012)


Rating: XXL
The Bawse opens up this plush, reflective offering looking back on the road taken to the top since first emerging in 2006, even subtly acknowledging his unexpected survival from beefing with 50 Cent. ("I toted them toolies, I bullied the bullies.") Esco closes out with a fascinating verse, addressing the interconnectivity of life and brushing off fears of his own mortality, rapping, "What does death mean to me? I never owned the concept, I was here / I'm a spirit let's get one thing clear/Everything segues into each other/One thing is just an extension of the other." Omarion ties the verses together with a simple, yet alluring hook, resulting in perhaps the strongest record from Self Made 2.