Producer No I.D. recently delved into his relationship with rap moguls Jay-Z and Nas, specifically what makes the two hip-hop stars so different when closely examined.
Asked to compare the working conditions between Jigga and Nasty, No I.D. admitted both rap veterans have vastly different methods of penning tracks.
“No. You can’t draw Jay out. Mainly because Nas would write multiple, incredible verses and not think that they are good enough,” No I.D. said. “Jay knows what he wants in life pretty much. He’ll come with a song real fast. And that’s it. And Nas will write a whole song and be like “Nah, I don’t like that anymore.” And then write another three verses. Not with Jay. Jay won’t let you in his process.” (Complex)
Back in May 2010, Nas talked about taking heat for misconstrued rhymes and not always fact-checking his bars.
“You can sit back and say, ‘Let me perfect this’ and ‘Let me perfect that,'” Nas said in an interview, “but I was never that kind of artist. I’ve made albums where I slurred words, I’ve done crazy sh*t. People feel that. When [Rev] Run says ‘It’s three of us but we’re not the Beatles,’ he thought the Beatles had three people. It didn’t matter. ‘I’m the king of rock,’ not the Beatles, is what matters. As far as the line in ‘I Can,’ Alexander the Great and all those guys all affected each other. You can’t read about Napoleon without hearing about Alexander The Great, and vice versa. You might read one book about it, but that’s that author’s account of what happened. Someone else might say a whole different story, but if I speak on what happened in one man’s book, then that’s what it is.” (VIBE)
He also previously revealed his process for selecting producers to work with.
“Well I have a wish list sometimes or I have a dream list of who I would love to work with and wish they would want to get in the studio and do records or whatever,” Nas said in an interview. “Then I have my own ideas of being a producer. And what happens is a lot of time goes by with me being indecisive so it winds up with me kind of like doing what I have to do really fast because I played around for so long. Then, the deadlines come. But, you never know who has it, everyone’s got a lot of talent. You have Little Brother, you have Drumma Boy. There’s a lot of dudes I like right now. You have DJ Toomp.” (BET)
In 2009, Jay appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and dished out his writing secrets.
“Yeah, I was working on it,” Hov jokingly told Oprah about writing lyrics in his head. “Yeah, we work through it. It’s almost like an exercise. I used to write so much, you get these flows of creativity, you know, and if your’e accustomed to doing something even if you’re not in the house anymore. You know, I was away and out in the street and I was still getting all these ideas so I had to memorize ‘em. And the more I memorized them, you know, every single day, it built up my memory. Like anything, if you do one push-up, then ten, you know. You build, I built the muscle.” (“The Oprah Winfrey Show”)