Nas was apparently once in the running to be a member of Junior M.A.F.I.A., according to a Lance “Un” Rivera.
On Saturday (April 29), VladTV interviewed the music executive who had close ties to both The Notorious B.I.G. and his Junior M.A.F.I.A. crew. In a clip from the chat, he spoke about Nas’ early career and how his admiration for Lil Cease’s sister possibly blocked his opportunity to join the emerging group.
What happened was is that he just got his record deal,” Rivera explained. “This is when Faith Newman had him. The first time I seen Nas through the ‘It Ain’t Hard To Tell’ video, I said, ‘Yo B.I.G., this kid is perfect for this group!’ Now, this is how the universe and the story is working.”
He continued: “I never met Nas at this moment in time. But as we was shopping Junior M.A.F.I.A., Daddy-O took me to Faith Newman’s office, and she had just signed Nas. And Daddy-O introduced me as this brilliant marketer, director, visionary type and she gave me Nas’ second single and said can I come up with a video treatment for it. And I wanted Toni Braxton, who’s hot at the time, to be the girl in the video.
So the next thing you know, Biggie and Nas do a show somewhere in their early careers. This is when B.I.G. had ‘Party and Bullshit’ and Nas might’ve had ‘Live At The BBQ.’ They end up doing the show and Nas start liking Cease’s sister. ‘Cause I used to say why does B.I.G. hang with Cease? I’m tryna piece it all together. Like yeah, he was the little brother but Cease was a kid. And B.I.G. embraced him. So this is how they met. B.I.G. and Nas”
According to VladTV, since Nas and Biggie both had crushes on Lil Cease’s sister, it added a bit of fuel to their then-rivalry and was possibly the reason Nas wasn’t added to Junior M.A.F.I.A. — but it’s not 100 percent confirmed in the video as it cuts off before Rivera finishes his point.
Speaking of both rap legends, Nas and Biggie are the latest targets of AI. Over the weekend, a computerized version of the late Brooklyn legend’s vocals were used to rework Nas’ “N.Y. State of Mind.”
Many were conflicted at hearing B.I.G.’s unlabored flow instead of Nas while some even thought he rhymed better than the Queensbridge deity.
Cant believe i just listened 5 minutes of biggie rapping ny state of mind,” one person wrote on the viral TikTok comment section, while another added on Twitter: “AI just confirming that everything sounds better when it’s rapped by Biggie. Also, this is mental.”
Others saluted Nas’ flow: “The cadence is definitely unique to Nas. Dam I didn’t realize how unique his cadence was. It don’t sound right on Big.”
Meanwhile, Snoop Dogg has shared his thoughts on a proposed 2Pac and Biggie AI album.
Not wholly opposed to the collaboration, Snoop said he’s not into the idea of a AI-generated album featuring his late friend and the King of New York.
“I don’t really know about that, with the AI,” he said. “Because, that’s kinda like, computerized voices. You know? [But] I think if they can find some old tracks with their vocals, and put them together, that sounds better to me.”