Produced By: Trackmasters
Album: It Was Written
Label: Columbia

Before "Hip Hop Is Dead" caused a ruckus in the industry, Nas dropped "The Message," a confrontational piece that didn't name names but got plenty of responses. It has long since been revealed that "Yo, let me let y'all niggas know one thing/There's one life, one love, so there can only be one king" was indeed aimed at the late Notorious B.I.G. But was Nas really dissing 2Pac with the opening bomb, "Fake thug, no love, you get the slug/CB4 Gusto/Your luck low/I didn't know till I was drunk though"?

Pac certainly felt so, and was even more pissed for the lines "Caught a hot one... I got stitched up and went through/Left the hospital that same night, what?"—mainly because Pac himself actually lived those lines. Still, Jones has maintained he wasn't going at Shakur. Well, what is certain is that the contemplative track (based off a Sting song) adds emotional depth to lyrics like "But a thug changes, and love changes/And best friends become strangers, word up."