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.