The verse Biggie Smalls almost gave to Nas
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The verse Biggie Smalls almost gave to Nas

Biggie Smalls (real name Christopher Wallace) and Nas were two of the most prominent lyricists in New York during the 1990s. In 1994, the pair both released their debut albums, which have since become classics. Ready To Die and Illmatic are both testaments to life on New York’s gritty streets and are holy grails in hip-hop.

Songs such as ‘Big Poppa’ and ‘N.Y. State Of Mind’ defined the 1990s, and both are among the most classic songs in the genre. Alongside acts such as the Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, and the Lost Boyz, Biggie Smalls and Nas represent the best of East Coast rap.

Nas was crowned the King of New York in 1994. However, the double-platinum certified Ready To Die put that title into contention. As a Queensbridge native, the It Was Written lyricist faced off against prevalent Brooklyn figures such as Biggie and Jay-Z. However, there was a period when Nas (real name Nasir Jones) and Biggie Smalls almost collaborated.

However, before their unspoken rivalry, Nas and Biggie were friendly with each other, and the pair were in the studio working on a collaboration. In an interview with DJ Khaled for his Apple Music We The Best Radio show, Nas explained his work with the late Clinton Hill lyricist.

Opening up about it, Jones explained, “He wanted to get me on Ready To Die, and by the time I finished my first joint that was already out. He was trying to get me on Ready To Die, and it never happened. So he wanted to do the ‘Gimme The Loot’ remix.”

He continued, “He put up the beat, and I started writing. But he started smoking. He had some of that chocolate. He lit some of that up, and it was late. We’re lit. I’m like, ‘I ain’t got nothing. This is over today.'”

Jones told the host how amazed he was that Wallace could write lyrics in his head and learnt lessons from the experience. Concerning his upcoming projects, Jones explained, “[I’m] just trying to feel the inspiration, just trying to get the vibe. One month I know what I’m doing. The next month, I’m starting all over again. So it’s a lot of that back-and-forth, just grabbing the inspiration. That’s what’s holding the whole thing.”

You can watch Nas’ interview with DJ Khaled below.