The Message (Nas song)

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"The Message"
Single by Nas
from the album It Was Written
Released February 3, 1997
Format CD single, 12" vinyl
Recorded 1996
Genre Hip hop
Length 3:54
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Nasir Jones
Samuel Barnes
Producer(s) Trackmasters
Nas singles chronology
"Street Dreams"
"The Message"
"Head over Heels"

"The Message" is the third and final single from rapper Nas' second album It Was Written. It is produced by the Trackmasters, who sample Sting's "Shape of My Heart" for the song's beat. The song features scratching provided by Kid Capri and lyrics about the life of a thug. "The Message" was only released as a single in France and did not manage to reach any music charts. A black-and-white music video was made for the song. "The Message" also features vocal samples from Nas's 1994 classic "N.Y. State Of Mind" with Nas saying "I never sleep/cuz sleep is the cousin of death". And, "I ain't the type of brother made for you to start testin'". And "Halftime" after his second verse saying "There ain't an army that can strike back".

Feud with Tupac Shakur[edit]

It was released during the feud between the East and West Coast. The West Coast hip hop artist 2Pac viewed the first lyrics of the song "Fake thug, no love, you get the slug, CB4 Gusto, your luck low, I didn't know till I was drunk though" as a subliminal diss since Shakur had already done a track with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony that mirror those lines entitled "Thug Luv" and responded in two songs from his last album whilst alive, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory: "Bomb First" and "Against All Odds". Although the two rappers purportedly reconciled before 2Pac's death, 2Pac was never able to edit the lyrics against Nas due to his murder.

Feud with Biggie Smalls[edit]

Nas has confirmed that the song actually disses The Notorious B.I.G. with the lines, "There's one life, one love, so there can only be one King."[1] While the quote "there can only be one king" is attributed to Pablo Escobar, a role model of Nas, this lyric challenged Notorious B.I.G.'s title of King of New York at that the time of its release. He responded on the track "Kick in the Door" from his 1997 posthumously released album Life After Death.

Covers & Remixes[edit]

R&B group Git Fresh chopped & screwed the instrumental for their song "I Remember".

Single track listing[edit]

France 12" Vinyl[edit]


  1. "The Message" (4:10)
  2. "Affirmative Action (Remix)" (4:09)


  1. "The Message" (4:10)
  2. "If I Ruled the World (Acapella)" (4:42)

France CD[edit]

  1. "The Message" (4:10)
  2. "Street Dreams (Bonus Verse Mix)" (4:08)


  1. ^ Golianopoulos, Thomas (2008-05-01). "KING Legacy: Nasir Jones, Part Two". King. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 

External links[edit]