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  • Nas Says B.I.G. Gave Him An Angry Phone Call After Hearing Raekwon’s “Shark N*ggas (Biters)”

    Nas recently appeared on fellow New York rapper N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN’s podcast Drink Champs to promote The Lost Tapes 2. During the conversation, Nas remembered receiving a call from the late The Notorious B.I.G. over a skit from Raekwon’s classic 1995 album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.

    On “Shark Niggas (Biters),” Raekwon’s fellow Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah points out the similarities between the album covers for Nas' 1994 debut album, Illmatic, and Biggie’s debut effort, Ready to Die, which was released later that year.

    Genius contributors Particleface and Doublewire break it down in an annotation:
    Shark Niggas (Biters) by Raekwon (Ft. Ghostface Killah)
    Niggas bit offa Nas shit! You know what I’m saying?
    Word niggas niggas niggas niggas caught his little album cover, boom
    Then done did a Nas for that shit

    Ghost spoke about the skit in a 2010 XXL interview:

    God bless the dead, I love Big. He’s a fucking icon. Even when I seen him out in Cali, I wanted to tell son, ‘Yo, let’s go ahead and make this record together’ because I matured through the years, and at the same time, I recognized good music. We shook hands on some peace shit, but that was all, ’cause they was on their way leaving out. A day or two later, niggas aired him out. I felt bad like a muthafucka because it was like, ‘Damn, the niggas aired out one of my New York niggas.’

    “I couldn’t believe [Ghostface] said it. I had a picture of young me on the cover, and then Notorious B.I.G.—Rest in peace—had a picture of a baby that was supposed to be him,” Nas told N.O.R.E., about his reaction to the skit. “Of course, people started comparing because they was comparing us anyway.”

    Nas remembered receiving an upset phone call from Biggie after the latter rapper heard the skit:

    B.I.G. called me, and he’s like, ‘Yo, you fucking with them Wu niggas? You knew they said that shit?’ ‘Cause me and him was tight. I was like, 'Yo, I mean that’s Ghost. Ghostface is Ghostface. There’s no love lost. I didn’t know he was going to say this shit.’ He was a little disappointed ‘cause he wasn’t trying to bite off my shit. Just in general, 'cause he wasn’t coming at it like that. If you listen to his album, he’d tell a whole story and shit. I didn’t look at it like that, it was just competition at that time.

    Later on, Nas shared his recollection of just missing out on a session during which Biggie recorded a verse directly calling out 2Pac. According to Nas, he was in the studio with Busta Rhymes and Method Man the day before, but Biggie didn’t come up because of a recent car accident:

    The elevator was broke and B.I.G. had a car accident, so he had a cane. And he was like, ‘I love y'all niggas, but I ain’t walking up the fucking stairs.’ Something was broke. He had a car accident. That was a crazy session. That was going to be some shit. So I didn’t lay no verse, but the next day, B.I.G. came and he did his shit… The double album he had some verses for him, but you’re right, that was the one when he went right at [Pac].

    It’s unclear which song Nas is talking about, and whether it was ever released. Biggie was known to record disses against Pac without releasing the tracks in their original form.

    In a 2014 XXL oral history, Biggie’s close collaborator Lil' Cease confirmed Biggie was taking shots at Pac on “Long Kiss Tonight,” which appears on the 1997 double album, Life After Death.

    “That was about ’Pac. He had some shit at the beginning of that though, nobody heard it, on the reel,” said Cease, who was driving the car during the accident. “It was a little too much. I can’t remember what Big said about him, but it was terrible.”

    Watch the full interview below:

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