Words by Jesse Serwer
We could hear the bombs that Funkmaster Flex was dropping on “The Don” last night all the way out here in Austin, Texas. Not only does this track knock from Queensbridge to Stubbs and back but the latest hookup between the always dynamic duo of Nas and Salaam Remi comes with some extra special Jamaican seasoning from the original don Super Cat and the late Heavy D. Opening with a sample of a 1992 Yo! MTV Raps interview with the Wild Apache, the second single from Nas’ upcoming Life is Good then cuts into samples from SuperCat’s “Dance Inna New York.”
Nas offers some clarity to the track’s genesis in the second verse with the line, “Although he’s on to a different chapter, Heavy D gave this beat to Salaam for me to rap to, brappppp” Wish we had more details but, as Okayplayer bredrin/original LargeUp don Eddie STATS noted, Heavy was “one of the few men in the industry with the links to sample Cat’s voice without fear of repercussions from his percussions.”
We’re only touching the tip of the iceberg as far as all the cool stuff (like when Salaam and co-producers Da Internz answer Nas’ line, “I used to listen to that Red Alert and Rap Attack, I fell in love with all that poetry, I mastered that” with a sample of Red Alert’s classic “YEAHHHHHH!” ID) going on in this rap song of the year candidate. Best to just stream and download “The Don” below, then check out the full, ’92 Yo! interview with Super Cat and a cameo from the Big Belly Gorgon, Heavy D.