(Credit: Mikamote)

Old School Archives

Nas remembers first meeting his "cousins" Wu-Tang Clan

Nas and Wu-Tang Clan share a lot of history, and the ‘Illmatic’ rapper knew from the first time that they crossed paths that they were made from the same DNA as him.

Interestingly, Nas also became the first-ever artist who isn’t part of the legendary collective to appear on one of their albums when he featured on ‘Verbal Intercourse’ on Raekwon’s Chef’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, which remains one of the ultimate guest verses.

That collaboration was facilitated by the late Prodigy, who once remembered how it happened to Complex. He said: “We was just chilling with Rae and Ghost, smoking bud, drinking 40s, just wilding in they projects and shit. And when we were out there chilling with them n*****, Rae was like, ‘Yo, introduce us to Nas. We want to do some music with Nas.'”

After that moment, Raekwon began hanging out frequently with Nas, and making music wasn’t even on their agenda. Eventually, Rae finally introduced his friend to RZA to record his verse which he described as “one of my greatest memories”.

Reflecting on their friendship, Nas once told XXL: “Rae would come out to Queensbridge. I would go to Staten Island. We’d just ride and hang out all night. We didn’t call each other to work. We called each other to hang out.”

He also revealed that while he laid down his verse for ‘Verbal Intercourse’, he also spat over another beat that Rae had cooked up, which has never seen the light of day. Although they have worked together since, and whenever Nas works with the collective, you feel their innate chemistry.

That first time he met the group remains incredibly special to Nas, who knew they were his kindred spirits and compared them to his “cousins”. In their documentary, he recalled, “I remember being around Wu and I’m like, ‘Damn, they just like us.’ It was like cousins, almost.

“It was like, you know, project kids. That was the language – project kids. We felt it, we smelt it off each other, and it just shows you that out of those housing projects come some brilliant people.”

He continued: “The special thing about Wu-Tang being eight or nine guys was each one was a rapper that can represent his own individual self within that crew. They were the example for all of us because we didn’t really see that before.”

As Nas rightly said, every member of Wu-Tang brought their own unique flavour to the mix with their styles never standing in the way of one another, and truthfully, if anybody could have been an honorary member of the collective, it was him.