Nas and Rakim first collaborated together on one track thanks to Alicia Keys and Kerry Brothers.
Getty Images

Here's How Nas And Rakim Appeared On The Same Song For The First Time

Good to know.

Thanks to hip-hop's storied history and layered moments, there's always a surprise that hangs around the corner when you do your research. One narrative, in particular, is how Nas and Rakim recorded their earliest collaboration.

While discussing the origins behind Alicia Keys' sophomore album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, executive producer Kerry Brothers revealed how he and the "You Don't Know My Name" singer succeeded in getting the New York City lyricists on the same record. Although Keys and her team wanted to steer clear of packing her project with features, one collaboration nearly made it onto the tracklist, which started as a flip of Nas' "N.Y. State of Mind" melody.

"[Alicia] came up with the song and we put it out on a mixtape [Vol. 3 The Reign, 2003] in between the album," Brothers said. "We thought it would be dope to get Nas on this because it’s a Nas record. Nas did it and we were honored. Then I was like Rakim is a scratch in the sample, it would be dope to have Rakim on this. Reached out and Rakim did it, so we had features on remixed records but it didn’t make the album because we felt like, 'Ok, we don’t want people to pick it up for Nas and Rakim.' It didn’t really make any album, but it’s out there floating somewhere. Just the fact that we were the first people to get Nas and Rakim ever on a record together was amazing and we did it from a mixtape idea."

Keys' version was titled "Streets of New York (City Life)" and lived on her Unplugged album. She took her cues from DJ Premier's production of Nas' "N.Y. State of Mind," which took its melodic inspiration from Donald Byrd's "Flight Time" and Joe Chambers' "Mind Rain." The song is hosted on Nas' debut studio effort Illmatic.

After that moment, the "One Mic" artist released "U.B.R. (Unauthorized Biography of Rakim)" in 2004 and their joint collabo on DJ Premier's 2007 "Classic," which also features KRS One and Kanye West.

READ MORE: 15 Years Later: The Oral History Of Alicia Keys' 'Diary of Alicia Keys' Album

From the Web

More on Vibe

Earl Gibson III

T-Pain Accused Of Plagiarizing Popular Bollywood Song

T-Pain wanted to gift fans with a final tune before the year's end, but instead of praises, the singer was reportedly hit with allegations of plagiarism. According to various claims made on Twitter, T-Pain has been accused of copying a popular Bollywood song.

T-Pain reportedly shared his new single "That's Yo Money" on social media on Dec. 15. Shortly after the music dropped, fans began pointing out the similarities between his song and "Tum Hi Ho," a track that was originally featured in the 2013 Bollywood picture Aashiqui 2.

https://twitter.com/mohit11481/status/1073843801029009415

Sir, the melody that you have used in your new song is my original work for a previously released Hindi film..The Label is looking into this.#tumhiho #Aashiqui2 https://t.co/5fnDf4sfg7

— Mithoon (@Mithoon11) December 15, 2018

The allegations only grew stronger after the song's creator Mithoon called out the artist on Twitter. "Sir, the melody that you have used in your new song is my original work for a previously released Hindi film..The Label is looking into this. #tumhiho #Aashiqui2," Mithoon reacted.

Filmmaker Mohit Suri also joined the discussion, tweeting, "dunno why but this seems familiar," Suri reacted.

T-Pain has not explicitly commented on the incident, but the song has been taken down from his Twitter and YouTube account with the unavailable song link citing "a copyright claim by a third party" as the reason for its disappearance. You can still hear a snippet on Pain's Instagram account below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

One more surprise before the year’s over 🙂 #ThatsYoMoney out now 💰 Still looking for 20 fans to #1UP and help out this holiday season..tag who you’re spending the holidays with and what’s on your wish list for a chance to win..picking winners by next Wednesday. Link in bio

A post shared by T-Pain (@tpain) on Dec 13, 2018 at 9:10pm PST

READ MORE: T-Pain's 'Everything Must Go Vol. 1' Mixtape: Stream Now

Continue Reading
Bob Levey

Tekashi 6ix9ine Facing Additional Charges Over Chief Keef Shooting Case

Things just keep getting worse for Tekashi 6ix9ine. The Feds have reportedly launched an investigation into Tekashi's involvement in the Chief Keef shooting case to see if it may lead to any additional charges, TMZ reports.

Federal prosecutors are reportedly reviewing evidence from the case after police suggested the Brooklyn rapper implicated himself on tape. TMZ previously posted leaked footage in which 6ix9ine is heard saying that he's got a "30 pack" on Tadoe, Chief Keef's cousin. Feds think this may be evidence that the "Stoopid" artist ordered a hit on Tadoe. Additionally, one of the men who allegedly followed Chief Keef prior to the shooting, is a "known associate" of Tekashi's.

As previously reported, Chief Keef and his team were shot at after leaving the W Hotel in New York City's Times Square in June 2018. Luckily no one was injured. Nevertheless, the leaked video suggested the rapper was inquiring about Keef and Tadoe's whereabouts, although he does not say anything explicit about the shooting. Tekashi was previously under investigation by local authorities, but it was later handed to the Feds.

Ordering a hit on someone is just the cherry on top of an already extensive list of offenses. The rapper is currently facing prison time for racketeering. The court is also looking into re-sentencing Tekashi in his child sex case after the rapper was previously given four years of probation.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Bobby Brown Reacts To King Of R&B Debate, Challenges Jacquees To A “Battle”

Jacquees may have found the perfect way to keep R&B fans riled up. The 24-year-old Atlanta crooner had the internet in a heated debate after he feverishly proclaimed himself the “new king” of R&B, and it looks like his words caught Bobby Brown's attention.

Brown, who humbly proclaimed himself an outgoing king of the genre, weighed in on the throne debate by challenging Jacquees to a live music battle. “If you want the title, battle me,” Brown told TMZ on Monday (Dec. 17).

“I really didn’t want to talk about it,” added Brown. “But I’ve been seeing it on Instagram and social media.”

The 49-year-old  singer went on to drop a few names of artists that he feels are more deserving of the crown, like Chris Brown and Usher. Brown also made it clear that Jacquees has a lot of work to do before he can fall in the same category as his R&B predecessors. “He’s not even recognizable. I don't even know his music.”

Check out Brown's full comments on Jacquees in the video below.

READ MORE: Jacquees Denounces Keith Sweat As The King Of R&B In Awkward Exchange

Continue Reading

Top Stories