Nas Reflects on Making “Black Republican” in the Studio With Jay Z
Nas’ eighth studio album, Hip-Hop Is Dead, celebrated its 10-year anniversary this week (Dec. 19). To commemorate the 10-year marker, Mass Appeal and Google Play partnered up for a new video series, in which Nas himself explains four aspects of the project: its title, the lead single, the Jay Z collaboration “Black Republican” and the album’s place in hip-hop history.
In the third part of the series, which you can watch above, Esco reflects on the making of the Jay Z-assisted "Black Republican," which comes in at track No. 7 on the 2006 album. Not only does Nas speak on the instrumental, taken from a scene in the movie Godfather 2, but he also discusses getting in the studio with Hov.
"For 'Black Republican,' I'm like 'Yo, yo, that's Godfather 2!' Nobody raps over that, you know what I'm sayin'? And if they do, they'll use the theme song of Godfather," Nas says. "The music comes from the part when the godfather becomes, you know, his first introduction into the underworld. That track wasn't the obvious."
Esco explains how he and Jay didn't rush their verses -- they listened to the beat over and over before methodically laying down their raps. "I knew when I played it for Jay, nothing was gon' happen except us getting in the booth," Nas says. "Jay was like 'We gon' let it breathe for a minute. We're not even gon' dive into the rhymes, we're just gon' - the verses gotta wait."
As aforementioned, you can watch the clip above via Mass Appeal, Google Play and YouTube. In case you missed it, check out Nas talking about the inspiration behind the album title in the first part of the interview series.
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