Recently, in celebration of the 15th year anniversary of Nas’ unexpectedly epic Lost Tapes, Esco’s former A&R Lenny Nicholson sat with Mass Appeal and let loose some incredibly steamy tea.
“50 [Cent’s] song ‘Many Men’ was a Nas track first … he vocalled it,” he said during the interview. The song—as released—was a stand-out single appeared on Fif’s Get Rich Or Die Trying.
It’s mind-blowing to think what bars Nas may have dropped on the record that became synonymous with 50’s post-shooting rise to infamy. The song’s storyline sees Fif enacting revenge on the shooters who hit him nine times in front of his grandma’s house and was given life with an equally cinematic visual treatment.
That’s not all, though. Esco also had his hands on Alicia Key’s “You Don’t Know My Name,” a Kanye West-produced song that stands among her top tracks.
“Kanye gave that to me for Nas first,’” Nicholson says. “We recorded that in the Bahamas the same day we did ‘Destroy and Rebuild.’ He went down [memory] lane; the track gave him that vibe. It was him and Lord in the studio reminiscing about a bunch of things… he did a sing-songy hook to it. It was an excellent record.”
It’s crazy to think about these artist’s catalog without these key records, and even crazier to imagine Nas adding them to his.
We jumped on Serato and decided to see what Nas would sound like on both instrumentals. Check it out, below.