Three generations of hip-hop’s top technicians come together on “Life Is Like A Dice Game,” a new Nas release from Spotify’s Spotify Singles program in conjunction with the RapCaviar playlist. A&Red by Carl Chery of Spotify and produced by Hit-Boy, the single spawned from Nas’ 1993 sessions for his canon classic debut album Illmatic, where he freestyled the verse but never finished a song for it.
Now, nearly 30 years later, Spotify has completed the song, adding a beat from Hit-Boy and verses from two of Nas’s most clear-cut successors in Freddie Gibbs and Cordae, both elite MCs in their own rights, to finally put the freestyle’s portentous final line — “When I finish the sh*t, it’s going to be a hit” — to the test.
Nas explained how the track came together in a press release, saying, “Spotify pulled out a leak from the 90s that I did eons ago, and asked if I could resurrect it. I can’t remember where I recorded it, or who produced it – maybe Easy Moe Bee, he was killin’ the game at the time! Carl Chery from Spotify suggested we connect with Freddie & Cordae to bring the song new life and I loved it.”
July also marks the 25th anniversary of Nas’ follow-up to Illmatic, the criminally underrated It Was Written, which dropped on July 2 in 1996, as well as the 30th anniversary of Nas’ universally lauded breakout verse on Main Source’s “Live At The Barbecue,” which changed the rap landscape on July 23, 1991.
Listen to Nas’ “Life Is Like A Dice Game” featuring Cordae and Freddie Gibbs below.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.