[Produced by DJ Premier]
The piano in the beat is sampled from Joe Chambers' instrumental jazz composition, “Mind Rain”.
DJ Premier emphasized the lower tones of this sample, while complimenting them with an alternate higher toned melody. The drums are consistent to Primo’s classic boom-bap sound, and the inclusion off bass throughout the beat provides a strong structure for Nas to flow on smoothly.
At the beginning of this song, there is a portion without the sampled piano and a synthed high-pitch sound, higher than any piano note. This sound came from another jazz track, Donald Byrd’s “Flight Time.”
Premier has said that this whole song was originally one verse, but he added the hook in the middle to give the audience a chance to digest the first verse and not be overwhelmed by one extremely long/complex verse.
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