As the war between older and new artists in Hip-Hop rages on with some trying to push the elders over a cliff and others reaching back to pay homage, you have those teaching moments when the vets extend a hand to help bridge the gap.
On his sophomore album “Born Sinner,” North Carolina MC J.Cole composed a tribute to one of his lyrical heroes from Queens, NY, Nas. On the track “Let Nas Down” he spits: “I used to print out Nas raps and tape ‘em up on my wall/My n*ggas thought they was words, but it was pictures I saw.”
In an interview with Fuse Cole explained the inspiration for the title and the events that lead up to him making the song.
“N*ggas were killing me,” Cole said referring to the response to his first single ‘Work Out.’ “My partner gets a call from No I.D. who, that’s my mentor, you gotta understand that, he’s like, ‘What the f*ck? Who approved this sh*t?’ … So I was mad that he didn’t call me and he finally called me a week later and he was explaining to me, ‘Yo, to tell you the truth, I was in the studio with Nas man, and that n*gga was like, ‘Why the f*ck that n*gga make that sh*t? Don’t he know he the one? He was on track. Why the f*ck he do that?’ And I was hurt. I was like, d*mn, why he gonna say that? They gonna box me in like they box him in. F*ck that, I’m getting defensive. But really I was just hurt as a fan, you know what I mean? I idolized that dude, I had his raps written on my wall. So, I said that long a** story so that you have perspective for that song on your menu that says, ‘Let Nas Down’ and I had to tell you that.”
Evidently, Nas got to hear the song directly from Cole when they bumped into each other at an airport and he gave the tribute a thumbs up.
“I played him the song, gave him my headphones. I was trying to hear what part of the song he was on because he was behind me,” Cole told BET.com. “And then, like a minute into the song he was like, ‘Wooo,’ beatin’ my chair, you know what I mean, bangin’ my chair and then, just overall, he was wowed. The look on his face was like, honored that I would make that and then also highly impressed. That was a huge moment for me.”
So today Nas took it one step further and recorded his own response/remix where he passes the torch down to Cole.
“You ain’t let Nas down/it’s just part of the game becoming a rap king/ here the crown pass it down to you like it’s nothing…”
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NINETY-NOW: J. Cole F/ Nas, “Let Nas Down (Remix)” [AUDIO] was originally published on theurbandaily.com