6. Nas & The Bravehearts "Prematic Freestyle" (1993)
Station: WKCR (89.9FM) DJ: Stretch & Bobbito Best punchline: "Touch a temple/And leave you leaking when I'm speaking/Cause shit that I be freaking gets me papers when I'm sleeping."
It’s hard to remember a world pre-Illmatic. But believe it or not, there was a time when Nas was just a new jack vying for a spot in the hip-hop landscape.
Back in late-1993, an early incarnation of the Bravehearts (Nas, Jungle & Wiz) made their way from Queensbridge up to Stretch & Bobbito’s show, in part to promote Illmatic, which was due to hit stores in a few months. This threesome from the 40th side were relatively unknown but their front man, Nas, had a promising buzz thanks to a few high-profile appearances (“Live At The BBQ”) and a newly buzzing single (“It Ain’t Hard To Tell”).
With Nas describing Illmatic as “it’s just science, a bunch of sciences,” they all split time on the mic, but it was Nas who distinguished himself with lines like: “Here’s my basis/My razor embraces many faces/Your telephone blown, black stitches and fat shoelaces.” It’s almost unfathomable that the kid kicking those lines was only 20 years old.