Nas “Nas Is Like” (1999)

[Reaches back and pulls out a record.]

DJ Premier: “I was about to throw it away. And who would’ve known? This was the sample. It’s a fucking church record. I remember Showbiz and I bought out this record store from this old guy who was shutting it down in the Bronx. And we were like, ‘Let’s split it in half. You take half the room, and I’ll take the other half.’ We boxed everything up, and just took them. Unfortunately, Showbiz’s stuff was in the storage place, and his storage got burnt down. Mine I still have. And this record was one of the many that were sitting in that box with no cover. I was about to throw it out, and then I said, ‘You know what? Let me see what’s on it.’ And, yeah, glad I checked. This is ‘Nas is Like.’

“I made that record in my house when I was living in Long Island. So I made that record on my way to meet Nas. All I had was the birds chirping in the beginning of the beat. And I had that ‘Nas, nas, nas, nas, nas, nas is like.’ I didn’t have the music, but I mean I knew that was the sample I wanted to mess with because I did freestyle, just reversing the record back and forth. So Nas said, ‘Yo, I got it. I’m going to call it ‘Nas is Like.’’ And we cut it in one day. Later he called me and said, ‘Yo, this is going to be my first single.’ I said, ‘I got a single with you?’ Because he had a single with Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, and I wanted one too. So, yeah, we went to the Bridge, his old apartment where he used to live, and shot the video. ‘Ready when you are Prim.’ [Laughs.]

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