Nas & AZ’s Illmatic Collabo Was Supposed to Be Over Juicy. Hear What Could Have Been (Audio)

Though the sample has now been used countless times, Heads will forever associate the deep bass line and knock from Mtume’s “Juicy Fruit” with The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy” flip on his debut album, Ready to Die. However, a lesser known fact is that the song was originally supposed to be the sample for Nas and AZ’s legendary collaboration “Life’s a Bitch,” on Illmatic.

As Ego Trip recently recalled, in speaking to HipHopDX in 2012, AZ stated:

“The record that my DJ L.E.S. was supposed to bring [to a recording session] was the ‘Juicy Fruit’ record by Mtume, and he winded up bringing ‘Yearning For Your Love’ by the Gap Band somehow, and we just used that record. It’s one of the last records on the the album [Gap Band III], and that winded up being ‘Life’s a B[itch]’ with AZ. We wanted to use ‘Juicy,’ and I love ‘Life’s a B[itch],’ but when [the Notorious B.I.G.’s] ‘Juicy’ came out, it took me a while to get over that…this wasn’t the days of now where you can go online and just download the song; [L.E.S.] drove from Queens to Manhattan, and we wanted to get the song done, so we didn’t want to wait for [him to retrieve it] and the record stores were closed, so today is a different day. Back then, we had to do what we had to do.”

Possibly inspired by that interview, TROB put together a remix of “Life’s a Bitch,” using Mtume’s timeless track, back in 2012. Take a listen below. In hindsight, do you think things worked out as they should have with Biggie riding “Juicy Fruit” and Nas and AZ flowing over “Yearning For Your Love?”


Props on the spot: Ego Trip

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