Nas Details That Time He & Biggie Were Supposed to Collaborate (Video)
“Gimme the Loot” is a Hip-Hop staple, a classic piece of the Notorious B.I.G.’s repertoire from what is arguably one of the most influential debut albums in history. But what some may not know is that 1994’s Ready to Die almost inspired a remix to the song featuring Nas, another young MC who also introduced himself as a solo artist the same year. Shortly after releasing Illmatic in April, he was in the studio with Biggie, and as he divulged on DJ Khaled’s “We the Best” Beats 1 Radio program, the plan to record got derailed by some studio antics.
DJ Khaled introduces the conversation about that little-known session near the 3:50 mark of the nearly 40-minute interview. After sharing that he’d always been curious about a photo he’d seen of Nas and Big in the studio, the Queensbridge legend goes into detail about what transpired. “I know he had tried to get me on Ready to Die and um, it never happened, so he wanted to do the ‘Gimme the Loot’ remix, so we was in there to do [the song]. ‘Cause Ready to Die had already come out and was already killing everything and so we was in there trying to do that.” Trying is the operative word, as Esco then begins to describe what went down next and how it derailed any productive recording that was meant to take place. “He put up the beat and I started writing, but then he started smoking this shit,” he says. “He had some of that chocolate and uh, he lit some of that up…so we kinda, like, lit and I was like ‘I ain’t got nothing’. I was sayin’ ‘this is over today.'” Despite their elevated state, Nas says Biggie was still able to deliver some impressive lyrics (which would eventually end up on Puff Daddy & the Family’s 1997 track “Young G’s”). On the other hand, Nas wasn’t able to compete and didn’t come up with a verse. As he describes, “I knew it was a wrap for me that night and um, you know, he went on and did that [track] without me,” concluding his anecdote of the evening in question by saying “after witnessing that genius, I just went home.”
Other topics touched upon include Nas’ plans for a new album, his creative process, some of his personal favorite LPs, reflections on “One Mic,” his work with Mass Appeal, and much more.