Nas sat down with XXL's Carl Chery to give his retrospective input on releasing the Stillmatic 10th anniversary album. During the interview he revisited the success of his first platinum record, It Was Written. He also discussed what he took from Tupac's issues with him, and working with Dr. Dre during the height of the East Coast/ West Coast beef.
Highlights from the interview:
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.
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 Doggystle. And really that was it. So it was unbelievable. It was crazy.
So nobody was like, “Why you working with dude?” Nah, they thought, “Wow, it’s amazing. It fucked ‘em up. Then Biggie had him and Bone Thugs. Nice move. I was like, “Wow, nice move.”