In 2009, the blog contingent was abuzz with a perceived snub on Raekwon’s part by not securing a Nas feature for his critically acclaimed Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II. Rae then told MTV that he requested a Nas feature for the fans but “if dudes were too busy in their own minds” he couldn’t make them drop in for a cameo. Fast-forward to 2011, and all that seems to be water under the bridge as Nas was found on “Rich And Black” from Rae’s Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang album.
Raekwon and Nas shot the video for their collaboration in Oslo, Norway. As part of a promotional campaign by LRG which leads up to the video’s scheduled premiere on Thursday, July 7, Nas and Rae were filmed reminiscing on their respective legacies and how their paths crossed.
“The first time I met Rae was at a big arena in New Jersey…Continental Arena for Summer Jam,” Nas recalled. “I think it was the first Summer Jam Hot 97 ever had. Rae walked in the door backstage, and popped open a bottle of champagne like it was a movie. And I said to myself, ‘There’s no other way I was supposed to meet Rae.’ He walked in, popped the bottle and was looking for beef. It wasn’t no Rap star shit or no cameras. All of that didn’t exist back then. My G walked in, and it was just strength off the money in his pocket champagne.”
Nas added that he respected Rae’s approach and recognized some of it in himself. Over the years the pair would combine on tracks such as “Verbal Intercourse,” Mobb Deep’s “Eye For An Eye” and Wu-Tang Clan’s “Let My Niggas Live.” Raekwon noted that the pair could not have been more than 21-years-old, and part of the celebratory mood was due to locking down such a high-profile performance and the fact that Rae had his mother and a family friend in attendance to celebrate a birthday.