2018 turned out to be a memorable year for Nas. He released his first album in six years Nasir produced entirely by Kanye West. In addition to releasing music with the likes of Dave East, The Black Eyed Peas, and Swizz Beatz. He has already mentioned planning to release another album next year. Twenty-seven years into his career Nas is still highly relevant and his music is still anticipated. A career where Kool G Rap and MC Serch played prominent roles early on.
Nasir – The Film
Dave East – Nycha feat. Nas
The Black Eyed Peas – Back 2Hiphop feat. Nas
Swizz Beatz -Echo feat. Nas
Kool G Rap initially met Nas through Large Professor, a critically acclaimed hip hop producer and member of the group Main Source. He had put Nas on the track “Live at the Barbeque” from the classic album Breaking Atoms released in 1991 along with Akineyle and Joe Fatal. Nas’s style especially early on was influenced by Kool G Rap. Kool G Rap would help shop Nas’s demo in hopes of helping him land a record deal. The demo included “Number One With A Bullet”, a track Kool G rap recorded with Nas along with an artist called Whiteboy.
VladTv – Kool G Rap Interview Regarding Nas
Main Source – Live at the Barbeque feat. Nas, Akineyle & Joe Fatal
Nas – Number One With A Bullet feat. Kool G Rap & Whiteboy
Kool G Rap had set up a meeting with Kevin Liles and Lyor Cohen who were high level record executives at the time with the Def Jam record label. They respected Nas’s ability but felt he sounded too similar to Kool G Rap. Eventually Kool G Rap brought Nas to MC Serch from the group 3rd Bass’s attention. He had asked for Serch’s help prior with the artist Whiteboy to help land a deal.
MC Serch took a liking to Nas. Putting him on “Back To The Grill” from his 1992 solo album Return of the Product. Red Lover Hot Tone and Chubb Rock also appeared on the track. Because MC Serch was signed to Def Jam he would talk to Russel Simmons regarding Nas. Russel Simmons was dismissive of Nas due to similarities to Kool G Rap and felt he had limited appeal. MC Serch would be able to eventually able to broker a deal for Nas through Columbia Records. Giving him a fair deal and not take away any publishing.
VladTv- MC Serch Brokering Nas Deal
MC Serch – Back To The Grill (remix) feat. Red Hot Lover Tone, Chubb Rock & Nas
A few years later Nas would appear on Kool G Rap’s “Fast Life” from the 1995 album 4,5.6. They would link up again on the track “Holla Back” along with AZ. The track was intended for Kool G Rap’s 2002 album Giancana Story but did come out due to record label politics. Thankfully Nas at this point thankfully is no longer tied down to a major label and can put out projects through his label Mass Appeal. Meaning he has complete freedom, hopefully translating to working with important figures who helped him early on including MC Serch and Kool G Rap.