Nas Says Jay Electronica Was Originally Supposed To Produce All Of "Untitled"

Nas explains why his collaborative album with Jay Electronica fell through.

Nas has discussed his near-mythical collaborative LP with DJ Premier for years, but he had another joint album that never saw the light of day. During an interview with BBC Radio 1's Benji B, Esco said that Jay Electronica was supposed to produce the entirety of Untitled and that he was there for the recording sessions. The Roc Nation rapper was even pulling records for the LP, some from J Dilla, but plans fell through.

"I wanted to get him to do the entire Untitled album, the N-word album. He had ideas. He was pulling records from J Dilla… He was pulling records, and he was there with me while I was working on it, and he did the first record on there and it would have been so ahead of its time, because no one at that time, he wasn’t signed, he wasn’t out there like that," he said. "It would have been great right now to go back and say this dude produced my whole album years ago. It would have been cool. He’s ahead of his time like that. Now, yeah, but everyone knows who he is now and some of the mystique would be gone if he did that but who knows how it would come out? It would probably be crazy still."

The Queens, New York native also said that he always wanted to spit over a J Dilla beat but he didn't know who he was until it was too late. "You know what’s crazy? I didn’t know who Dilla was until he was passing away. To me, I was like, where was I all this time that I didn’t know who he was? Then I heard he went under another name, Jay Dee, or even another name. Wasn’t he producing for A Tribe Called Quest? The Ummah. I knew that name but I didn’t know who that was. So when I put it together, I never knew."

Listen to the interview below, where Nas breaks down Life is Good track by track.

RELATED: Nas Performs "The Don," "Nasty" On "Jimmy Kimmel Live"

54 Comments

  • The_Observer

    Nas is always talking on some regret 1st he regrets not being on L Boogie's album, now regrets not doing a full album with Jay Nas misses working with great people all the time...RZA, full album collabos with Dj Premier, AZ, as well as with Killah Priest how many more regrets to come Nas???????????? you make the worst decisions in life 1st marrying a woman who slept with Jay Z, then marrying who's taking half your earnings man you need people with great advise around you man...u can't do it all alone, even Superman needs help

  • Anonymous

    Nas hit me up on the phone, said "What you waitin on?"

  • Anonymous

    No clue who Jay Dee was but he reaches out for Swizz Beatz and Salaam Remi everytime? Just shows that Premier, Pete Rock and Large Professor had EVERYTHING to do with how good his first album sounded.

    • Anonymous

      ...but boy had he had any sense to get with GOAT in the beat game J Dilla early on ...we wouldn't even be having this condo right now...always wondered why the dopest MC's like Nas ( and Eminem c'mon you guys were from the same city....Jay you dropped the ball on the Black Album to make history) didn't get with the dopest beatmaker

    • Anonymous

      I think they are talking about beat selection.. Nas (or Rakim for that matter) hasn't had best beat selection...meaning finding beats that match the dopeness of lyrics...thats all ...everyone with hiphop sense knows that Nas is one of the GOATs of the game

    • Anonymous

      ^ Co-sign comachonvargas But I think those are just teenage "real hiphop" white boys who probably never even heard Illmatic and are just following what everyone else says. I just ignore those people because they don't know wtf they're talking about.

    • comachonvargas

      ^^^^ This has to be the most idiotic spectacle of trolling I have ever witnessed Apparently in 2012 the cool thing to do is to rewrite history and claim that Illmatic, which is the epitome of a classic hip hop album if there ever was one, is only good for the beats. That Nas didn't even know who the producers were and struck luck purely because the beats are tight. To say that is the most laughably pathetic proposition I have ever heard is being generous. WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU LISTENING TO? Name a weak verse off that album. AZ got a record deal off the lifes a bitch verse and it was the best he ever spit in his life... and Nas' verse was every bit as good as his. The 'switched my motto instead of saying fuck tomorrow that buck that bought the bottle could have struck the lotto' line was the coldest in that entire song. Dudes are STRUGGLING to rhyme like that 20 years later. Elzhi next to AZ and Black Thought is one of the most underrated ever and his tribute album like 15+ years after still couldn't beat Illmatic. The sad thing is at no time before this year, or recently anyways, could you say some bullshit like this. Dudes are really putting all their pathetic lives into inventing ill conceived delusions about why Nas never even had a single good verse ever, Illmatic included. I mean when does it stop? The bullshit and depressing Jay cockgargling you guys perpetuate with these type of statements is disrespectful of ACTUAL fans of Jay's music... if you had any shred of sensibility you would realize that Jay admires, respects, and models himself after Nas... THERE IS NO BIGGER NAS STAN THAN JAY... have you never noticed the similarities in their flows? Jay flows like Nas would if he switched it up constantly... yeah it's sick or should I say it was sick back when he could actually do it in 03'... I swear people that think its trendy to hop on Jays jock for AG and the Unplugged album have no fucking idea how good this dude once was... could have made it above Nas if he retired after Black Album... but oh well Seems with LIG things worked out for the better after all... NAS = MOST CREDIBLE RAP CAREER YOU HAVE EVER SEEN

    • djspontaneus

      co- fukkin sign

  • Anonymous

    Jay's work ethic is shit +++++++++++++ J A Y Z BEEN HAD THE ALBUM WHAT IS ELECT 2 DO DROP A VERSE WITH ACTION BRONSON OR STALLEY SO U'LL B HAPPY OR GIVE U A FREE MIXTAPE LIKE A PACIFIER RELAX

    • NoLin415

      I don't listen to action bronson or stalley. What he could of done, is drop his album at some point between the time he announced it' and when he finally signed to jay 4 years later.

  • dilla

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HmQo0UJW_s

  • Anonymous

    "guessing that nas and AZ album will never happen" It's coming out in December. It's called "Hustlin 4 Crumbs"

  • Anonymous

    "doesn't even know the dopest producers" More like can't afford them. Kelis can. She has all his money.

    • ^^^ENVIESKELIS

      ^^^NICE counting Nas' money like you are trying to hit him for legal fees for paternity obligations. SEE ABOVE FOR THE ABORTION POSTER CHILD.

  • 614topdawg

    guessing that nas and AZ album will never happen either huh lol?

  • Anonymous

    Nas talking shit in EVERY interview.

  • Anonymous

    So why didn't he? Terrible article..

  • ayee

    explains why nas can't pick beats.. doesn't even know the dopest producers

  • Hidden By Leaves

    Such a shame that the late great J Dilla was still widely unknown when he passed. I remember the day Jay Dee dropped Welcome To Detroit, I was poised and ready with my 20$ because I already knew he was a beast on the boards. I truly believe that given good health he would have reached superproducer status and even made radio cuts that were dope. RIP. AND SOMEBODY TELL ROC MANAGEMENT TO DROP THAT FUCKING JAY ELEC ALBUM ALREADY WHAT THE FUCK WHO CARES ABOUT A SINGLE ITS ART!!!

  • Anonymous

    FUUQQ YEEZ MY NIKKAS FINALLY IT HAPPENED - JUST GOT A NEW RIDE - A CAM A RO CONVERTIBLE.GOT APPROVED FOR 26 LARGE. BEEN 5 YRS SINCE IVE GOTTEN SHYT APPROVED, BUT NOW ALL MY CRE-DIT SHEET GONE. ALL OF IT. IF YOU STRUGGLING WITH THAT CREDITT HISTORY ISHH, GET RID OF ALL DAT TODAY - CALL THESE PEEPS AT 8^8^8-9-2-7 -3-3-5-6. . THEY DO AMAZING WORK AND THEY ARE CHEAP AS FUQQ. GOT RID OF ALL MY SHYYT IN NO TIME. MY HOMEBOY WAS IN THE GUTTA TOO, AND HE CLEANER THAN ME NOW-gettin a condo!! Hit em up - THEY WILL HELP U!!

  • Anonymous

    Jay Elec is a fucking fraud-- keep ass-licking a 45 year dipshit who's made four songs and three beats in his life. Ignorant asshole actually believes in "Illuminati" too, way to spread knowledge, moron. Nas is an idiot savant, obviously, and with beats he's often just a plain idiot. "Summer on Smash" yo!!

    • SpecialK

      lol, jay elec has made at least 53 songs. do your research. i'm with you on the conspiracy shit tho. and he does come across as lazy too.

  • Anonymous

    Jay Electronica > J. Cole

  • da truth will always be that

    Nas needed J.Dilla a long time ago and i bet nas knows who ELZHI is too!!!

  • g-sus

    This doesn't explain at all why Jay Elec didn't produce the entire album.

  • Anonymous

    "yeah he was going to produce the whole album, he is ahead of his time, but it would have took another 5 years for the album to come out because the dude works about as fast as a snail with down syndrome"

  • Anonymous

    I heard Jay Electronica is about to drop Detox...

  • lmao

    NAS is aigh as a KITE and being all cautious and all that lol

  • Anonymous

    Who the fuck is Jay Electronica? Does he even exist? Or is he the laziest, excuse making corporate do nothing whore ever foisted on a well-intentioned old-school hip-hop audience? And what the fuck with Nasir? He didn't know who Dilla was but he still fucks with insipid Swizz Beatz? It's his JOB to find fucking beats, dumbass.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn't say Jay E is ahead of his time. He's 36 and rapping like we still in the 90's. I personally love it. But thats not considered ahead. He's more of a vintage mc. I would love to see these 2 on more records. I would have loved to see nas rep the dudes who really respect the art more, especially as features on his album. I dont need Ross and Nicki lol

    • ayo

      Im saying that lyrically he is ahead of his time, artist wise, he is behind...

    • Jay B

      I think "hypocondriac" was used incorrectly.

    • Anonymous

      ^^^ Not enough to think that he is ahead of his time. he's not even ahead of himself. 3 recent songs

    • Anonymous

      How many songs has Jay E actually made for us to listen to, no dissing I'm really wondering is it less than 20?

    • ayo

      I respect your opinion but your totally incorrect.. Jay Elect is ahead of his time, its just that he is so advanced lyrically that for the younger gen, it may be over their heads... he is not a vintage mc. "I never got shook up by talks of illuminati, Im from where niggas talk that talk and walk around the streets all day, carrying heat like the human body. Stress we mastered that, death we laugh at that, you niggas sweeter than the Coniyac. I never sleep And when my eyes is closed Im in a deep battle for sheep, Im an insomiac. And when it comes to the flows a hypocondriac, the flows soooo sickly splash a hot round off, peel off quickly luckily, nar none of you niggas can fuck with me! I mean... His verses are equivilant to Nas and Jay -Z in my opinion, no he does not make music on their level yet but verses are very deep with many layers

  • Anonymous

    Nigga makes the dumbest decisions.

    • REBELutionary

      Shame I always thought it was Nas' biggest weakness his ability to pick beats if he only knew who J Dilla was he could've given us more classics (IMO I would only say Illmatic is a classic)

    • Digga

      Okay pal. The plans didn't fall thru. That's not his fault. Shit don't work out the way you plan it sometimes due to scheduling and other things. If you never did any type of performing art, you wouldn't understand (no pun intended) the process. And I didn't even know who J dilla was until I heard slum village so I don't blame him

  • Anonymous

    What a fucking shame. This nigga needs No I.D. as his exec.

  • fresh22

    no nas there still would be mystique since this dude hasn't done shit in 3 years. I've never seen an artist get so much recognition off of 3 songs. yes they were dope but fuck, what the hell is he doing right now. you can't be in detox mode before your FIRST album.

    • Anonymous

      Jay Electronica came to our general attention in July 2, 2007 when he dropped Act I: Eternal Sunshine and didn't sign to Roc Nation until November 12, 2010. So why are you blaming Jay-Z

    • Chicago Rilla

      He had the dopest mixtape I've ever heard, not just 3 songs, THINK B4 YOU TYPE!

    • Anonymous

      Right, and remember when someone the 'Detox' track with the other Jay (Jay E.'s boss) was "stolen from Dre's hard drive." Electronica was hyped but promising but you KNEW nothing good would come of his Shawn Carter bullshit and what do you know-- still NOTHING in sight.

  • sam uk

    word.. a lot of people were sleeping on Dilla.. shame. Nas working with Dilla would've been something special! Jay Elec still gettin pushed back on Hova's label... where's his record??? Last i heard Jay Z saiid Jay Elec 'didn't have a radio single' so it wasn't being released?

    • Anonymous

      Well you heard bullshit, last I heard off Jay-Z himself in an interview he said the album was nearly complete and gave Jay E a massive compliment on the album.

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