My favorite song from the album, “I Gave You Power”
Remember when Nas’ second album was skewered by some diehard Illmatic fans (Jay-Z included)? Turns out that it’s actually one of his better projects since his debut (no, seriously). Speaking to XXL, Nas reflects on his now 15-year-old sophomore project…
You worked with Dr. Dre in the middle of the East Coast/West Coast feud. What was the response on the East Coast?
It was unbelievable ‘cause Dre had The Chronic, he had Doggystyle. And really that was it. So it was unbelievable. It was crazy.
For “Street Dreams” what was the process like to clear the Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams” sample?
Oh, they took everything. They took everything. Word. For real.
That song also partially led to ‘Pac taking issue with you ’cause he had the same track on All Eyez on Me that he released that same year. What was your reaction when you heard that ‘Pac accused you of taking the same track?
See, I was always into ‘Pac early before his controversial side blew up all over America and the world. I was already into his music. I saw him as a kindred spirit, I saw him as a brother, so it was like beefin’ with your brother. Not even beefin’, it felt like, your brother over there’s a little mad. This is an issue right now, so you gotta deal with it.