Large Professor Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1)

Nas “One Time 4 Your Mind” (1994)

Album: Illmatic

Label: Columbia

Producer: Large Professor

Large Professor:“I did that in the studio right on the spot. Nas was starting to get into his groove. He was like, ‘Yo, I got some more time. Hook something up live.’ That’s why it’s as nonchalant as it is, because it was something extra. It’s not a concentrated joint. It’s just like, ‘Then I send a shorty from the block to the store for Phillies.’ Day to day.

 

That album is as successful as it is because of Nas, not really the beats. The beats were a good backdrop for him, but it’s because of his lyricism that that album did what it did.

 

“It was another one of those sessions where we just had fun. Nas’ boy from Bravehearts, Grand Wiz, was on the hook, and Nas was just now getting into his own sessions. He was just chillin’, like, ‘Yo, hook this up.’ He started getting into his production niche, like how rappers want [to hear things]. So he was starting to give that a try.

“That was another one where he already had the rhymes. Like I said, Nas had a lot of rhymes. A lot of rhymes. There were [throwaways] that we did at the crib for Illmatic, but not at the studio.

“That album is as successful as it is because of Nas, not really the beats. The beats were a good backdrop for him, but it’s because of his lyricism that that album did what it did. The lyrics on that album are crazy. Even to this day. I talked to him a few days ago, and it’s like, ‘Yo, Illmatic is a really lyrical album.’ It’s the lyrics.”

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