Lost amid larger names like The Trackmasters and better affiliated producers like No I.D., L.E.S. has quietly rode shotgun with Nas throughout most of the QB poet’s catalog. He was a nominal presence on Illmatic
, compared to the heavyweights brought in to craft that classic. However, L.E.S.’s “Life’s a Bitch” proved to be a standout, indicating he and Nas’ chemistry. The pair see-sawed between social commentary fair (“Black Girl Lost,” “I Want to Talk to You,” “Just A Moment) and nihilistic gangster-infused tracks (“Suspect,” “Money Over Bullshit”) just as easy as Nas could slip off loafers for a pair of Timbos. Although they have their share of misfires—L.E.S. contributed heavily to Nas’ least prescient albums, Nastradamus
and Hip Hop is Dead
—their connection still yields results: bear witness to their last collaboration, appropriately scaling the full-range of their artistic efforts together, “Black Republican,” featuring Jay-Z. Fuck it then.
Album Appearances (1pt):
7 = 7 pts
Officially Released Singles (2pts):
3 = 6 pts
Grammy Nominations (3pts):
0 = 0
Top 40 Singles on Billboard Hot 100 (4pts):
0 = 0
Signature Track(s) (5pts):
“Life’s a Bitch,” “Black Girl Lost,” “Black Republicans”: 3 = 15 pts
Click here to see Nas’ No. 6 Go-To Producer, and stay tuned as XXL reveals Nas’ Best Go-To Producers throughout the week.