While it’s undeniable that Nasty Nas murdered the “Halftime” instrumental for his debut single, Large Professor actually created that beat for Busta Rhymes.
Around that same time, Busta was still a member of the rap group, Leaders of the New School, and fresh off destroying his verse on Tribe’s “Scenario.” Can you imagine dungeon dragon Busta going in over Large Pro’s thumping drums and those horns?
In an interview with XXL about the making of Illmatic, Busta recalled passing on the beat because he couldn’t out how to rap over it.
I went over [to Large Professor’s house], and he made the “Halftime” beat in front of me, and he was gonna give it to me at the time. I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t know why I didn’t know what to do with it, because I loved the shit out the beat. Then I heard it on “Halftime,” and I was like, Goddamn, I was a stupid ass for not touching this beat!Still Ill | XXL Mag
In an interview with Complex about his classic records, Large Pro remembers Busta writing to the instrumental:
That’s funny, because when I made that beat, Busta Rhymes wanted that beat, right after I made it. My house after a while became like a little hangout for dudes. Busta Rhymes, coming from Long Island, he would always pass through Queens and come to the crib. And that beat right there, he was writing to it and everything.Large Professor Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1) | Complex