10 Things You Didn't Know About Nas' "Illmatic"

Nas Did “N.Y. State of Mind” In One Take

What’s crazy about “New York State of Mind” isn’t just that it’s Nas’ best song ever, what’s crazy is how many tries it took for a young Nas to get it just right.

“He did that in one take,” explained to DJ Premier, when we spoke to him last year for "DJ Premier Tells All." According to Nas, the original verse was close to 60 bars which he wrote in the studio that day.

“If you listen to ‘N.Y. State of Mind’” continued Premier. “You’ll hear him going, ‘I don’t know how to start this shit,’ because he literally just wrote it. Before he started the verse, I was signaling him going, ‘One, two, three,’ and he just goes in.”

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