Many of Hip-Hop’s seminal classics were sorely lacking in liner notes (an oversight that Brian Coleman’s book Check The Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies sought to rectify). Detractors (Read: Haters) will say that is because Rap isn’t actual music and therefore its creation does not warrant serious documentation. However, the truth is that sometimes great artists are too caught up in the creative process to bother trying to capture it for posterity. This is why documentaries come in handy, because they allow artists to take detailed trips down memory lane, thus filling in the historical blanks for fans.
Reebok Classics and Rock the Bells have teamed up to bring fans Classic Albums by Classic Artists, a series of 3 minute segments that give brief but tantalizing insights into the making of some of rap’s most celebrated albums. This particular segment features Nas reminiscing on his classic debut Illmatic. He talks a bit about his relationship with DJ Premier, as well as the conceptual birth of “One Love” as a phrase and a song. The black and white presentation creates a nice photo album ambience. It’s not a full on documentary or a thorough breakdown of the album in its entirety, but it’s always cool to hear a genius’s take on his own work. Enjoy.