Even though Ras Kass has enjoyed nearly 20 years of critical acclaim and rapid fan-dom, perhaps the one song in his discography that many listeners come back is his 1996 single “Nature of the Threat.” Now, in a recent interview with Rap Genius via Nah Right, Razzy recalls the creation of the blistering classic.
Ras Kass explained that while he had always wanted to record a song that detailed his perception of history and the evolution of mankind, regardless of fan response. Still, he said the song required an extensive amount of research from a host of different sources. Ultimately, however, Razzy said that what initially inspired him to write the track was Rakim declaring himself “the God,” which made Ras question his Catholic upbringing.
“When I wrote ‘Nature of the Threat,’ I wrote it for myself,” he said. “It was for me to have a perspective, a chronological perspective about history and human evolution and how we get different races and nationalities. I really didn’t expect people to agree with me – the whole point was to create dialogue, to get people to [say], ‘If you disagree with me, prove me wrong’…I knew I wanted to make this song about history because I had already started questioning my belief system – you know, Catholicism, Christianity – I had already stepped into learning about the Nation of Islam. This is what did it for me: most of those books kind of gave the same information if you really looked at them – the college book, the black nationalist book, and whatever, the free thinker book…so I just started putting [ideas] together and seeing how these things stick together.”
As for Rakim’s influence, Ras Kass explained, “Rakim said, ‘I’m God,’ and I’m baptized Catholic…so my background affects my perception in life, so when a nigga says he’s God, [that] fucks my head up. But he’s hard as fuck, I’m like, ‘But he said he’s God, that ain’t cool!’…and I kept listening [and thought], ‘He said he’s God, how does that work?’ And that’s what I kind of like to do: throw a concept out there [and] try to creatively put in a format that challenges you to be a free thinker.”
Check out the full interview below.