Large Professor f/ AZ and Styles P “The Hardest” (2008)

Album: Main Source

Label: Gold Dust

Producer: Large Professor

Large Professor: “Damn, ‘The Hardest.’ That was originally supposed to be a remix for Styles. We were working over there in Bob Perry’s studio in Williamsburg, the Chop Shop. At the time, when I did the remix for Styles, we had an ill conglomerate in there of dudes like Fame from M.O.P., AZ, Cormega, and J. Waxx Garfield. They were in there just yayin’ and nayin’ shit. And when I did that remix, everybody was raving, like, ‘That shit is crazy!’

“So Styles was in that day, and I was like, ‘Yo, you gotta put some new rhymes to this.’ And Bob Perry was like, ‘Yo, I wanna get AZ on this.’ And he gave it to A, and A is a perfectionist, so it took a minute for A to roll through. We were almost like, ‘We need to get Rakim on this,’ because A took a minute! We even did the chorus over, saying, ‘Rakim, The G-O-D.’ And right when I was doing the chorus over, A came in, and just laced it with his verse. And it was like, ‘Yes! This is what I’m talking about.’

“How that came about was nice. Late too, late in the game. That’s what surprised me. There can still be something that sounds right late in the game. I see a lot of comments like, ‘If this came out in the ’90s...’ But [we need it now]. I’m very proud of how that joint came out.”