Nas Recalls Being "Too High" to Record with the Notorious B.I.G.
"We were smokers, man...still am"
Published Aug 26, 2020Nas and the Notorious B.I.G. are revered as two of the greatest artists ever to emerge from New York, and though they shared time in the studio during their early careers, a proper collaboration never surfaced. As the former MC tells it now, the blame lays squarely with some powerful piff.
In a recent interview with The Breakfast Club, Nas reflected on joining Biggie in studio shortly after the release of his seminal Ready to Die album. Charlamagne Tha God asked, "Weren't you and Big supposed to do a record together but something happened? Like, your verses didn't get recorded?"
"I got too high," Nas explained. "I was in the studio and Big was rolling up some of that chocolate from Brooklyn — and he didn't warn me. It was just...I was zonked out, yo."
Photos of the pair at New York City's now-shuttered Hit Factory studio — including the one above in which Biggie is rolling up the cannabis in question — have circulated online. In recent years, Nas had shared the stills on Instagram in memory of the late hip-hop icon.
Nas told The Breakfast Club that during the session, he was due to write a verse of his own for a remix of Biggie's "Gimme the Loot," a moment which he had also expanded on in a 2016 interview with WorldStarHipHop.
"He put up the beat and I started writing, but then he started smoking this shit," Nas said at the time. "He had some of that chocolate and uh, he lit some of that up…so we kinda, like, lit and I was like 'I ain't got nothing'. I was sayin' 'this is over today.'"
Nas then recalled how Biggie began freestyling lyrics unprompted, leaving him awestruck. "I knew it was a wrap for me that night and um, you know, he went on and did that [track] without me," he told WorldStar. "After witnessing that genius, I just went home."
But why did he not go back to the studio refreshed the next day? "Still high," Nas admitted to The Breakfast Club, shaking his head. "We were smokers, man...still am. I don't know, things happen. I lived far out in Long Island at the time...coming to the city was like a mission. It was hard to get me to move, man."
Nas is fresh off the release of new album King's Disease, while the Notorious B.I.G. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year.