The Making of Nas' "It Was Written"

“Suspect”

Produced by: L.E.S.

Nas: “L.E.S. is from my hood, we knew how to grab a sound that came from that hood. I feel like the beat on ‘Suspect’ came from that hood and it was just hanging out with the fellas and rapping.

“People say that I attempted to make a commercial record. I don’t know how to make a commercial record. I make records with producers who are producing bigger records but when I get on it, I feel like I always bring the streets to it. I feel like I’m the balance between commercial and street.

 

People say that I attempted to make a commercial record. I don’t know how to make a commercial record. I make records with producers who are producing bigger records but when I get on it, I feel like I always bring the streets to it. I feel like I’m the balance between commercial and street. - Nas

 

“I feel like I’m one of the only guys who can stay underground and make sure that the mainstream knows me. That’s been a balance that I’ve been balancing my whole life. That album is a great balance and I think if you can do that, then you’re saying something. To me, that’s what we’re all trying to achieve.”

Poke: “Initially, because of Nas working with Trackmasters, we didn’t want to give people the stigma that we were going to sell this guy out because we’re fans first. We come from making records for Kool G. Rap, Chubb Rock, Big Daddy Kane. We come from making those hard-ass records.

“So we wanted to show the world that just because we had triple and quadruple platinum records, that doesn’t mean that we’re trying to make records that sell out. We were just trying to make good music.

“We were pretty much trying to prove ourselves. Initially, we had a bunch of hard records, but we didn’t do what we usually do. So that’s when we started bringing in the continuity. Plus, we didn’t want Nas to feel like we were giving him all radio records. So that’s how it transformed.”

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