What is old becomes new. Back in 1993, Nas recorded an unfinished freestyle called “Life Is Like a Dice Game” from his demo tape. The lush Norman Connors sample (“Valentine Love”) mixed with Marvin Gaye vocals (“Mercy Mercy Me”) made for a beautiful marriage that’s had diehard Nas fans wondering for decades what a finished version would’ve sounded like.
That wait is now over.
Remade as Spotify exclusive single, Nas added a finishing verse with additional rhymes from Cordae and Freddie Gibbs with Hit Boy touching up the production. While the production is “cleaner,” it does miss that organic, more bouncy feel of the original that could only be birthed from the 90’s sampling process. The Marvin Gaye vocals are also gone, likely due to clearance issues. Nonetheless, it’s a great offering and displays how sharp Nas remains coming off last year’s Grammy-winning King’s Disease.
So with Nas’s new partnership with Sony and today marking the 25th anniversary of It Was Written, who’s up for a 90s, early 00’s focused Lost Tapes 3?