It’s no secret that J Cole has been a Nas stan from out the door and his song ‘Let Nas Down’ from his latest album Born Sinner is about as dope an ode to an O.G can get.
In the song, Cole explains how during the production of his first album Sideline Story, Roc Nation label boss, Jay Z, kept pushing back the album’s release date for the lack of a marketable lead single. That is until Cole made some concessions and created ‘Work Out’ specifically for the radio to bump. Although it was a plausible commercial move, Cole recollects getting a call from collaborator and mentor, No I.D, to tell him that Nas hated the song and wished that J Cole did not compromise his lyricism for radio spins. If you remember, Nas previously gave Cole permission to explicitly reference Illmatic for the cover and title of Cole’s 2011 mixtape Villmatic, for which the artwork mimics the portrait photo of the aforementioned with Cole’s face on it.
Cole told Power 105 that a few days after recording ‘Let Nas Down’ he bumped into Nas at an airport in Houston and played it for him and because he had never encountered Nas before apart from a brief meeting in 2011, he knew that fate was telling him that the direction he was taking with the album that has now dropped was the right thing to do.
A few days ago, Nas dropped a freestyle in response to the North Carolina emcee’s track called ‘Make Nas Proud’ in which he counsels the young blood and assures him that he has a place in hip hop history. Listen to it here: