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DJ Premier Tells The Story Of Classic Nas Single "Represent"

By Kiani Belgrave

On this week’s installment of DJ Premier’s Youtubes “So Wassup?”, Preemo takes us back to the making of Nas’ “Represent.” 

During the recording of the record, the Queens rapper was known as Nasty Nas before becoming the prolific all-time emcee we recognize him as today. The name of the record was initially called “Representin’’. Famed Nas’ producer, Large Professor, recruited Preemo, Q- Tip, and Pete Rock to handle production on Nas’ Illmatic. 

The original “Represent” had more of a jazzy sample with a simple bassline loop. After Preemo heard Q-Tip and Pete Rock’s songs, he wanted to remake the track in the spirit of competition. After Preemo remade the beat sampling Lee Erwin’s “Thief of Baghdad,” he knew it was the one. 

Although there was some pushback from Nas as he preferred the original bassline version, he eventually gave in, trusting the vision of the iconic DJ Premier. After that, it was history. The second version is the version we got to hear on Nas’ magnum opus, Illmatic, and will live forever as a timeless classic.