While speaking to dead prez about their new album, Pulse of The People, (out today) I took a quick moment to speak with Stic.man about producing for those songs for Nas’ Untitled.
As Told to Jerry L. Barrow
My man Horse from the Bravehearts is one of Nas’ homeys and he reached out saying Nas was trying to get in touch with us. Then M called me and said Nas wanted us to come and work with him on the Nigga album. We naturally assumed he wanted us to do a song with him, lyrically. So we went to LA with a pen and a pad. We were playing him different stuff we had come up with, and he said “nah, I don’t want to take yalls stuff.” We were playing him the lyrics and hooks. He said, “that’s hot but I need a beat for a concept.” He wanted to get at Fox, or he wanted to salute Farrakhan. Eventually we realized he didn’t want us to rap, he wanted a production. He didn’t say it directly, but indirectly. Every time we would write he would say “that’s hot” and then move to something else. Once we talked and realized he wanted a production, we got in production mode. (Laughing)
Luckily he chose 3 joints. The “We’re Not Alone” joint, I already had it. I just had it sitting in the crate for Information Age, and thought “man, I would love to see Nas spit on this so let me play it.” He liked it, so it worked. “Sly Fox” we made that from scratch. My wife’s cousin came to play the guitar, this cat named 0-1. We added some rock shit, because he wanted to get at Fox. We helped him co-write it and give ideas. I wrote the hook for that. The Farrakhan joint was the last song. He called me the day before and said he needed something for Farrakhan by that night. I went in and did what I felt. I already had done 2 joints so I didn’t think the thirds one was going to make it. I sent it to him at 10pm and he called at 12am. He hit me and said “I already recorded it.”
As a fan of Nas, as a fan of real music, and as a beginning baby producer- that was such a blessing to me. It definitely did not make me cocky about nothing because there are so many things I would have improved on, had more time or more involvement in it. I just respect the fact that he had asked us to do it. I mean I had more ideas; but I didn’t want to burn my bridges. I think the album did good. It went Gold at least. It was a blessing. I am still working on my production craft and trying to do bigger and better things.