Retracing the steps that led to the launch of his mixtape career more than a decade ago, J. Period recently spoke with HipHopDX and explained how a chance meeting with Nas inspired the idea to mix interview clips with music for an in-depth approach to mixtapes.

“Before I combined interviews and music together, nobody had really done that on a mixtape,” he said in a clip that debuted as a part of today’s DX Daily. “The way it happened was that I was invited to this listening session..for God’s Son. Nas was supposed to show up. I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll go to that.’ All these college radio deejays and I was like the infiltrator in the room because I wasn’t a college radio deejay. Nas actually showed up and sits down. It was right around the time of the Jay Z beef, which he had won and so he was feeling himself. Some will dispute that but I think it’s indisputable. So he was sort of feeling himself, and everyone put their recorders down. At that point it was a MiniDisc, and he just started talking. He just started telling his whole life story in this interview. It was while I sitting there listening to this I said, ‘God, you know what would be so ill? To take this interview and combine it with the music and make sort of a storybook out of it.’ I went up to him after and pitched him real quick the idea, got a drop, and that was that. And I went home and made the Nas mixtape.”

“It wasn’t with any ulterior motives,” he added, “I just wanted to hear what that would sound like. I made it and then maybe a month after I made it I put it in like five stores like Triple Five Soul, Fat Beats, a couple of those spots. A friend of mine, Q-Unique from the Arsonists, hit me and he’s like, ‘I’m in a barbershop in Bushwick and they’re playing your Nas CD.’ I was like, ‘Go check and see if it’s really the CD.’ He goes and checks and it’s a bootleg. So I was like, ‘What does that mean?’ He’s like, ‘That’s really good. Here’s what you do: you go to your CD guy, you make as many as you can carry, and go to Canal Street and start trying to sell them to the vendors.’ That’s how my mixtape career started.”

Read the full interview on HipHopDX here.

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