Ras Kass Explains How Rakim Inspired "Nature Of The Threat"

Ras Kass recalls how Rakim's God-status initially inspired his fan-favorite "Nature of the Threat."

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.

RELATED: Ras Kass "Barmageddon" Mixtape Download & Stream

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10 Comments

  • insanemacbeth

    i've alwayZ said this and i'm going to say it again. RAKIM is THE GOD EMCEE... but...i've alwayZ believed that RAS KASS (and CHiNO XL, for that matter) is a genius with the pen. great interview.

  • Spread Luv it's the Brooklyn way

    This is the best song ever created and I'm a Tupac fan. Ras Kass could never match Pac's entire catalog, however, no other rap song can (including any of pac's) could ever top this one. I sure hate that him and The Game got into that fist fight, because I've always wanted to hear them on a track together.

    • makaveli

      tupac might not be as complex as rass kass agreed,but saying this single is better than any of his song's is plain exaggeration.This song can't hold a candle to dear mama(preserved in the national library congress because of its cultural significance),changes,brendas got a baby...e.t.c

  • BLACK

    RAZZY, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU NIGGA??? YOU CREATED JOINTS LIKE NATURE OF THE TREATH AND INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE...JOINTS THAT GOT NIGGAZ QUESTIONING THEY WHOLE EXISTENCE SON!!! WTF HAPPENED MY NIGGA??? DID SOMEONE WRITE THEM LYRICS FOR YOU??? DAMN SON...

  • Five Percenters Changed My Life

    This is my favorite Ras Kass' song along with Jack Frost II (White Christmas).

  • Anonymous

    UNDERSTAND THAT ALL WHITES MUST BE PERCEIVED AS POTENTIAL PREDATORS

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunaltey for Ras, his discography is a mess, so makes it hard to follow hm. Just wish he could pull it all together one day and release a cohesive classic album again.

    • Anonymous

      Yepp, have you heard "The Endangered Lyricist"? (Note: I'm talking about the first one!) Its a compilation from his greatest songs, if it would've been an album, Rass Kass would have a near-classic under his belt. No new songs, just by getting his shit together.

  • Anonymous

    classic joint and the 1st song i ever heard from him

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