Produced By: Q-Tip/Godfather Don & Victor Padilla
Album: Illmatic/"One Love" 12"
Nas f/ Sadat X "One Love (One L Main Mix)"
It was a moving letter to his peoples locked down, but this ghetto poem, enriched by heavenly xylophone accompaniment, was chockfull of vivid descriptions that spoke volumes on a universal level, signifying the importance of friendship ("Why don't your lady write you?/Told her she should visit that's when she got hyper"), the perils of prison life ("Last time you wrote you said they tried you in the showers") and the stark realities of project living ("But, yo, guess who got shot in the dome-piece?/Jerome's niece, on her way home from Jones Beach").
It even generated awareness of more QB rhymeslayers ("What up with Cormega, did you see him? Are y'all together?"). The final verse, in which Nas conversates with a 12-year-old drug dealer, is brilliant. "One Love" is, arguably, Nas' best written song. The remix, featuring a hook by Sadat X from Brand Nubian, is a more-than-worthy postscript, with slow-winding bass and serious piano keys that result in a stark, altogether-different vibe.