Raekwon Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

Raekwon f/ Ghostface Killah & Nas "Verbal Intercourse" (1995)

Produced by: RZA

Raekwon: “Another one of my favorites right there. That one right there though, the beat was sick. RZA was just dominating where he wanted to take this record, and I was just right there with him all the time co-signing the beats. At that time me and Nas were real close. He would come see me at my crib. I’d come see him up in Queens. And I always told him I want him on the album.

”So one day I brought him out to Staten Island. We went to RZA’s house and he went to the basement and he was listening to the beat and I’m like, ‘Yo, this is the one I’m thinking I need to have you on.’ And we would just sit there for an hour listening to the beat. Now mind you, I didn’t even write my rhyme yet. I just knew, this beat is going on the album.

“So Nas is automatically like, ‘Yeah this is it, but I don’t know what rhyme to fucking come with.’ I’m like, ‘Fuck it. What you got?’ He got a couple lines. I’m like, ‘Fuck it, go in the booth.’ So now, I’m in the back on some A&R shit. Ghost walked in. We all just chillin’. Next thing you know, Nas is up in there trying all different kinds of rhymes. He’s my guest, so I’m definitely paying attention to what he’s doing ‘cause at the end of the day I’m gonna make sure that he does what he need to do.

”He was trying shit and I was like, ‘Nah that ain’t it right there.’ And then once he said that, ‘Through the lights, cameras, and action,’ I looked at niggas in the room. Everybody looked at me. I’m like, ‘That’s it!’ I stopped him and said, ‘Yo, that’s the verse. Do that one.’ And ever since when he did that one, it was one of the best verses in hip-hop today.

“When that came out, Nas was just really starting to be heard more. He was starting to get his buzz up now as far as being a Queensbridge representative. People were seeing that this nigga’s nice, but we helped put that credibility on it even more when that record came out. So it was definitely one that people was like, ‘Yo, I love this shit because this little nigga over in Queens is nice. Then he’s fucking wit y’all and then the record is mean.’ So, it just kinda like helped everybody’s position grow in the game at that time.”

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