Nas and Notorious B.I.G, two of the best to ever do it.
Today, Nas has delivered one for the purists and historians. The Queens legend posted a throwback picture of himself and The Notorious B.I.G in the studio, a bittersweet reminder that they never ultimately linked up in the booth. Though while a trueborn Nas and Biggie collaboration never manifested, it's clear their relationship extended beyond the booth, as cornerstone members of a budding New York hip-hop scene.
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Unfortunately, the alliance between the New York lyricists was not always strong. On God Son's classic "Last Real N***a Alive," Nas opened up about his so-called "Biggie Wars," naming himself as one of many targeted by "Kick In The Door." In fact, the song continues to paint a vivid tapestry of New York hip-hop lore, made all the more interesting when viewed in tandem with Nas' "Last Real" lyrics:
So Puff drove his new Range through Queensbridge Projects
He let me drive it, before Ready to Die hit
Big and I hit blunts performin' at the Ark
Next thing you knew, Big blew and all the ballin' starts
He had Kim in his crew, I found Fox
Only n***s in New York with number one charts
Big was ahead of his time, him and Raekwon
My niggas, but dig it, they couldn't get along
That's when Ghostface said it on The Purple Tape
Bad Boy bitin' Nas album cover, wait
Big told me Rae was stealin' my slang
And Rae told me, out in Shaolin, Big would do the same thing
Nas - "Last Real N***a Alive"
For those interested in the deeper dynamics of the New York rap scene, this picture symbolizes a timeless moment on a variety of levels. For one, the mere fact that Nas posted it is a reminder that relationships can be destroyed, but also rebuilt. And two, it's a testament to the sheer brilliance of golden era New York lyricists, a nostalgic glimpse behind the scenes. Respect to Nasir Jones for sharing, and rest in peace to the Notorious B.I.G.