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Album: Major KeyReleased: 2016
This features some old-school rhyming by Nas about issues facing minorities over Cool & Dre and 808-Ray's new-school beat. Nas told Complex the story of the song.
"Khaled hit me up and said that he wanted to do this and we had planned some studio days to sit down and we cleared some studio days just to go over records. He knew exactly what he wanted. He had a couple of ideas, but the one we put out, that was the one he really wanted."
The song samples "Fu-Gee-La," by the Fugees. It was Khaled who came up with the idea and Nas revealed how he got Lauryn Hill's approval to borrow from the track.
"I texted Ms. Lauryn Hill to ask her if she was cool, she said she was cool. She signed off on it, she gave me the approval. I don't have the rest of the Fugees' phone numbers, so I hit Salaam Remi who worked with the Fugees and he signed off on it. I just wanted to get her blessing and we were good."
Nas touches on his hip-hop resumé throughout the song, including his iconic Illmatic
album cover, which featured a picture of the rapper as a child:To every baby on the album cover existin'
This trend I was settin', it came to fruition
I'm assistin' to push the culture forward
He explained in a Genius
attribution: "I was thinking, 'How do you pop s--t?' I'll be standing here for a while trying to fit all the little things that I put in the game into a verse. I had to pick and choose the first ones that came to mind and shot that out there. But the list is long. Everybody got a list. You shine a light on that—that's hip-hop. Hip-hop is poppin' s--t."