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Common f/ Nas “Ghetto Dreams” (2011)

Album: The Dreamer, The Believer

Label: Warner Bros.

No I.D.: “‘Ghetto Dreams’ was really the first song we did for The Dreamer, The Believer. Common and I were in the lab and were just talking and catching up on life. We were just catching up at first, and then we started to talk about working and Common hit me with the ‘Man, you ain’t got no beats, though.’ And I was like ‘What? Hold on,’ so I put the headphones on and went to work.

 

We wanted the mic sound to sound like something from [Big Daddy Kane’s] Long Live The Kane. We wanted to recreate that moment and do a entire hardcore hip-hop album—no holds barred. Just indie style.

 

“I came back 15 minutes later and he heard it and went crazy. He recorded right there in the studio on a handheld. We wanted the mic sound to sound like something from [Big Daddy Kane’s] Long Live The Kane. We wanted to recreate that moment and do a entire hardcore hip-hop album—no holds barred. Just indie style.

“A little while later, Nas came in to work with me and I said ‘Yo, check this out.’ The same handheld mic was sitting in the studio, and Nas said ‘I’m on this right now.’ He wrote his lyrics on his Blackberry and just laid it right there. No studio booth at all. Just a handheld mic.

“Then a snippet of the record just appeared on Amazon one day. Somebody we know put it up, and it was a big deal. They killed the surprise, but it did what it needed to do.”

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