Produced By: Trackmasters
There exists some debate as to when this song was written. It's main focus is chronicling the ups and downs of the treacherous music industry, but it also offers insight into the creation of the controversial Escobar character, which, as we all know, was based on the dead Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar. Although there are unanswered questions, like how much of what's depicted is truth and not fiction, this sparkling track still shines like a starry-filled night (with well-used, cut-up Slick Rick "The Moment I Feared" samples for the chorus). As Nas recounts, his financial problems started early on: "Three Gs worth of chronic a week/Promoters was mad, I stopped doing shows to spend my time on the street/Loot declined, eventually sold in my shine/Repo looking for my Lex... Pistol in my car, full clip/I read about Pablo Escobar and got on some shit/So-called man supplied all my chips/I was frontin'/Niggas thought I was rich and got mad 'cause they was pumpin.'"
As the story moves along, Nas starts running with dangerous cliques and eventually starts fearing for the safety of his loved ones: "Every night I slept with my weapon/To guard my family, for a minute, I forgot my profession/Not from Colombia or Nicaragua/Don't distribute coke from Antigua that's shipped out to Panama/Pablo Escobar's bloody reign came to an end/Far from my life, a kid who made his fame from a pen/Hit the studio and changed the game again/Wrote down all the pain within, top of the charts, triple-platinum/Got the fake love back, money stacks, more plaques/Had to see who I was just to know where I was at..." And that's a hard lesson in the music biz, folks.