Nas is a hip hop pioneer in many ways: he was one of the first rappers to sing their own hooks; he was the first New York artist to collaborate with Dr. Dre and Illmatic kicked off the trend of having an all-star producer line-up, just to name a few.
To add to that list, Nas made history as the first non-Wu Tang Clan member to feature on one of their albums, when he appeared on “Verbal Intercourse” on Chef’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… which is one of the greatest guest verses in rap history.
“Rae would come out to Queensbridge,” Nas recalled in an interview with XXL. “I would go to Staten Island. We’d just ride and hang out all night. We didn’t call each other to work. We called each other to hang out.”
“Somehow we wound up in the studio. RZA had a couple of beats ready. He played them for me. I got on both of them. The other one never came out. I was honored to be asked to be on the album. Raekwon was ahead of his time. I knew Rae was a classic artist and the album was going to be a music classic.”
Since then, Nas had collaborated with the Wu numerous times, including on “Let My Ni**as Live” on The W and on “Rich and Black” off Rae’s Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang.
Raekwon: We got in the studio. RZA played the beat. Nas was liking it, and he was trying different rhymes to it. We would sit there, and he’d say some of his shit. But he didn’t really know which rhyme he wanted to say. And I was there, being like his little coach. And I was like, “That’s it, son.” He was like, “That’s it?” I was like, “Ni**a, that’s it!” But he had already went through three or four rhymes, and he couldn’t really see which one he wanted it to be. But I heard it. Once it came out his mouth, I was like, That’s it.Raekwon, The Making of “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…” | XXL