Nas – It Was Remixed

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Last week we showed you how many classic verses Nas racked up over the course of 20 years, but did you know he’s also featured on some pretty great remixes too? Here’s a collection of the best. Breakdowns, tracklisting and download link after the jump.

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Nas – It Was Remixed

01 Nas – Stillmatic Intro (Soul Supreme)
02 Nas – It Aint Hard to Tell (Nick Fury)
03 Nas – Life’s a Bitch (Arsenal)
04 Nas – NY State of Mind 2 (45 King)
05 Nas – Take it in Blood (Alternate)
06 Nas – Street Dreams (K-Def)
07 Nas – Halftime (The Butcher)
08 Nas – Bridging The Gap (Marley Marl)
09 Nas – Made You Look (Single rmx)
10 Nas – The World Is Yours (DJ Hollywood)
11 Nas – One Love (LG)
12 Nas – 2nd Childhood (Cookin’ Soul)
13 Nas – Ether (Soul Supreme)
14 Nas – It Ain’t Hard To Tell (Large Professor)
15 Nas – Memory Lane (DJ Premier)
16 Nas – Ghetto Prisoners (45 King)
17 Nas – Self Conscience (Tony Mahoney)
18 Nas – Life’s a Bitch (Buckwild)
19 Nas – Surviving the Times (Cool & Dre)
20 Nas – Family (Cloudkickers)
21 Nas – The World is Yours (Q-Tip)
22 Nas – Street Dreams (R Kelly)
23 Nas – 2nd Childhood (Soul Supreme)
24 Nas – The Cross (9th Wonder)
25 Nas – Thief’s Theme (Cookin’ Soul)
26 Nas – Hope (Wyldfyer)

Nas – It Aint Hard to Tell (Large Pro)

LP decides to flip Bizmarkie’s “Highly recognized as the king of disco and” line from “Nobody Beats the Biz.” The rest is history.

Nas – Stillmatic Intro (Soul Supreme)

Fantastic usage of The Moments’ “What Is Your Name” sample. Any beat that can go up against the Hangmen 3 original should be applauded.

Nas – It Aint Hard to Tell (Nick Fury)

Fury takes us to the Bridge and back complete with Bizmarkie and Shante samples. So fresh, so fresh. Especially for a remix made a decade late. If that wasn’t enough reason to check it, the alternate verses (including a never before heard Illmatic-era rhyme) should lock it. “I’m blessed with the finesse to express like Shakespeare/ The block’s “Cape Fear,” drop metaphors when the breaks clear.” Word.

Nas – Life’s a Bitch (Arsenal)

This high octane mix breathes new life into the rather melancholy Illmatic original.

Nas – Ghetto Prisoners (45 King)

Peace to Vaporized from Philaflava who concocted the brilliant idea that since I Am was infested with garbage beats courtesy of the usually dependable (if not predictable) Dame Grease and Trackmasters, then maybe adding some Tuff City grit might revitalize the record. The album beat for “Ghetto Prisoners” represents everything that was wrong with 1999 New York production. In other words it was a piece of shit. Which was a rotten shame because the lyricism on the track is some of Nas’ best work. Thanks to this blend, the song is finally listenable and unlike the ridiculously overrated off-rhythm noise that is Nastradoomus, it actually sounds pretty fucking great.

Nas – The World Is Yours (Q-Tip)

Dirty basement jazz courtesy of Kamaal. Some Nas fans will tell you his 2nd verse on here might just be one of his best. “Switch the flow speed, I’m gettin’ vexed/ Guiliani is 6-6-6.” Can’t hate on that.

Nas – Take it In Blood (Alterante lyrics)

“Italiano motto, train like Cus D’amato.” Who knew that an even better version of this cult classic existed? Peace to Justice from Soundcircuit for the blend. DJ Whoo Kid shut the fuck up.

Nas – Street Dreams (K-Def)

MPC wiz and protégé of Marley Marl, K-Def’s jazzy mix quickens the pace and throws in his trademark drum patterns. Not only a fantastic remix, it’s notable if only for K being the antithesis of Trackmasters. Wasn’t it great when a producer could flip an original and make you feel like you were listening to an entirely different song?

Nas – Halftime (Butcher)

DJ Bubie sticks fairly close to the script on this one opting to maintain the original drum rhythms while fusing in a latin feel.

Nas – The World Is Yours (DJ Hollywood)

Popped up on DJ Mike Nice’s Please Listen To My Demo mixtape from 2008. The second verse is Nas at his finest, it’s a shame he never revisited these unused lyrics.

Nas – Bridging the Gap (Marley Marl)

Queensbridge’s finest producer and emcee on the same track. Nice horns.

Nas – Memory Lane (DJ Premier)

Drudging, heavy beat. A dope effort, but I can’t help feeling slightly underwhelmed. It’s Primo after all.

Nas – One Love (LG)

Smooths the edges of one of Nas’ sharper efforts. The LG Experience layer the hook with an R&B refrain without it soundin’ corny.

Nas – 2nd Childhood (Soul Supreme)

Supreme provides some sultry soul for Nas’ classic meandering hood tale. A criminally underused producer, loved his Saturday Night Agenda album.

Nas – Surviving the Times (Cool & Dre)

Taken from the Green Lantern and Nas “Nigger Tape,” this mix runs with an eerie ’95 ATLiens vibe. Love the hook, especially the “cause it ain’t hard to tell” link-up. Some people believe this to actually be the original version of the track that appeared on his Greatest Hits compilation. I don’t know about all that, but it definitely holds its weight against the Chris Webber mix.

Nas – Life’s a Bitch (Buckwild)

DITC crate-master gives Q-Tip a run for his money with this jazzed out piece of wonderful.

Nas – Ether (Soul Supreme)

Victory music only slightly hampered by the fact that it uses the clean acapella. Falls off a little on the last verse too.

Nas – Self Conscience (Tony Mahoney)

London, UK up and comer Tony Mahoney flips this QB’s Finest gem into an internet classic.

Nas – Family (Cloudkickers)

Cloudkickers are DJ Eli and Shan Boogs, perhaps best known for their self titled Fondle ‘Em EP that dropped back in ’99. An assortment of strings and keys lace this one up nicely.

Nas – Street Dreams (R Kelly)

Released a month or so after the original, this mix featured completely different lyrics and production. Armed with a superb mini-story in the third verse, the lyricism is much more introspective with its note of caution for wannabe ballers. “But what’s the purpose, only the gods can watch the Earth twist/ I’m physically trapped down on the surface/ with all the crack merchants, snakes and serpents.” The R Kelly hook melds perfectly with the new beat making it one of the more memorable Nas joints to run some R&B.

Nas – The Cross (9th Wonder)

Oozes soul. Why he departed this formula for the forgettable tripe he produces these days boggles the mind.

Nas – 2nd Childhood (Cookin Soul)

Spanish production outfit Cookin’ Soul serve up some 70s sounds over a Stillmatic classic. The horns and pipes combo is a definite winner and fairly reminiscent of DJ Quik and Pete Rock’s styles. In true PR fashion, there’s a little outro bonus remix of “Last Real Nigga Alive” too. This track is taken from Cookin Soul’s Streets Most Wanted Vol 2 tape.

Nas – Made You Look

Luda and Jadakiss join Nas to remix the song of the year. I need it from the top, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Kiss steals the show as usual. File Nas’s verse alongside his rhyme on “We Major” under ‘really? That’s the best you could come up with?’

Nas – NY State of Mind 2 (45 King)

Water dripping from rust-punctured pipes lining abandoned inner-city tenements. If ever there was a successor to the “Come Clean” beat, it’s this. The fact that it instantly gives Nas’ verses new life is a mere bonus. Again, peace to Vaporized from Philaflava for the blend.

Nas – Hope (Wyldfyer)

Nas at his best and his worst. In other words, A microcosm of his career post-2003. We’re given a glimpse of his lyricism at its vivid apex, a reminder that after all these years he’s still arguably hip-hop’s best storyteller – only to have it ripped away after a minute and a half so he can launch into some nonsensical tirade about the album title. And oh yeah, rather than pay to use the sample for his album mix, did he opt to run with some shitbag acapella version instead? Of course he fucking did.

Nas – Thief’s Theme (Cookin Soul)

Maybe the last strong street single from Nas, this mix injects some 70s flavor. Can we get a Nas album half produced by these guys and the other half Soul Supreme? The only thing iller would be the sample clearance budget.

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