Large Professor f/ Nas “One Plus One” (1996)

Album: The LP (shelved, then officially released in 2009)

Label: Geffen

Producer: Large Professor

Large Professor: “It was sad, man. It was sad for me. I kind of knew that they were getting ready to drop me. We were starting to go from different studio to different studio. They were like, ‘Well, maybe it’s the studio. Maybe it’s the engineer.’ But it was like, ‘Nah, I’m good. I’m just recording my shit.’

“So we were going to different studios, and that day I was at Battery. I was actually getting ready to record that, and then, all of a sudden, Nas pops into the studio. And I’m like, ‘Oh shit. What’s up?’ He was really good at that point. That was right after It Was Written and everything, so he was good.

“So he was like, ‘Yo, I’m here, man, what’s up? Let me hear what you’re working on.’ And I was kind of like, ‘Yo, who told you to come here? What’s going on?’ But either way, I’m like, ‘Yo, bust what I’m working with.’ So I played it, and he was like, ‘Oh, that’s hot. I gotta write something to this.’

“So he sat down and wrote. And I had my rhyme already, and was like, ‘Yo, this is the kind of shit that I’m talking about.’ He was like, ‘Aiight, cool.’ Then he laid it down, and it was me, him, and Grand Wiz in there. And I was like, ‘Yo, that shit is crazy.’

“But that song is really sad to me, because I knew they were getting ready [to drop me], and I was alone. Before Nas and Grand Wiz came in the studio, I was alone. I was for self. It was just crazy where I was. When I started working, I had a lot of people around. And it seemed like the people were slowly fading away. And now, I’m not at my [regular] studio, I’m at this other studio. It was kind of on some problem shit, [which you can hear me express in my verse]. Then Nas comes in, and he’s problem free, like, ‘Yo, smoke heavily..’ and that type of shit. And I’m sitting there ready to get dropped from the label! [Laughs.] I was on some other shit.

“That was a sad time for me, man. I love the song now, when I listen to it, and think about how I survived the times. But it always brings that back fresh. I know the listeners, they don’t know that part of it. But for me personally, that’s a sad one. But it was a nice joint.”