For those who don't know, today marks the twenty-fourth anniversary of Nas' classic Illmatic. It also happens to be one day removed from the release of J. Cole's anticipated K.O.D. album. Seeing as it also happens to be Throwback Thursday, it seemed fitting to pay homage to one of Cole's most personal early-game tracks, the penultimate Born Sinner track "Let Nas Down." As the story goes, Cole indulged in a little bit of "hit-chasing" in order to placate his record label, Roc Nation. The process resulted in "Work Out," which ultimately went on to be the lead single.
Evidently, the more accessible direction wasn't doing it for Nas, who told No I.D. that he disliked the song. Upon hearing this, Cole was devastated; after all, the rapper grew up idolizing Nasir Jones, and hearing the dismissal drove him back into the booth to reflect. The session resulted in "Let Nas Down," a heartfelt confessional dedicated to the Queens legend. Ultimately, the gesture led to Nas returning the favor, releasing his own remix called "Made Nas Proud."
Relive Cole's powerful dedication, and stay tuned for K.O.D. We're mere hours away.
I used to print out Nas' raps and tape 'em up on my wall
My n***as thought they was words, but it was pictures I saw
And since I wanted to draw, I used to read them in awe
Then he dropped Stillmatic, rocked the cleanest velour
Fast forward, who'd a thought that I would meet him on tour
I'm earnin' stripes now, a n***a got Adidas galore
Backstage I shook his hand, let 'em know that he's the man
When he said he was a fan it was too hard to understand