The late Prince is one of the few artists who passed on the chance to collaborate with Nas, something the Queensbridge Hip Hop legend admitted during a recent Drink Champs interview. Apparently, Prince would only work with artists who owned their masters — and Nas did not.
“I sought him, because he came to my I Am… release party,” Nas says at the 48:55-minute mark. “I pulled a N.O.R.E. move, I said, ‘Yo, look man, let’s do this. Let’s do this song.’ And he was like, ‘Do you own your masters?’
“But he blew my shit, because I was like, ‘I don’t. And I’m far from it, ’cause I owe this label like four, five albums.’ So I was like, ‘Damn.'”
Nas didn’t walk away completely empty handed. He says Prince taught him something that night.
“He dropped a jewel, he kind of helped me see the future and he was like, ‘When you own your masters, give me a ring,'” he explains. “But we kicked it a few times. We got cool, he was seriously a very cool dude to me. He invited me onstage to perform.
“I think everybody wanted to work with him, so the pressure that he had from everybody… He turned Michael Jackson down! The pressure he had from people who wanted to work with him was crazy.”
N.O.R.E., DJ EFN and Nas also got into Lost Tapes 2, the making of the 1994 classic Illmatic and the potential for a Lost Tapes 3 and 4.
According to a press release, REVOLT, TIDAL and Mass Appeal will present exclusive Drink Champs content across all of their platforms, beginning with podcast episodes premiering August 13 exclusively on TIDAL.
Until then, watch the full Nas interview above.