Nas Was Nearly On Reasonable Doubt Album’s “Can I Live”

LEGENDS & ICONS OF HIP HOP - Post By Kevin Douglas

JAY-Z and Nas were top stars that had one of the most iconic beefs that permeated the rap world of the late ’90s and early ’00s. However, some information concerning the early years prior to the beef hitting its climax. We find out that the rap legends were apparently supposed to be on a song together. During his recent Drink Champs interview alongside Ja Rule, former Def Jam executive Irv Gotti revealed Nas was supposed to appear on “Can I Live,” from Hov’s 1996 debut album Reasonable Doubt. However, the Queensbridge MC failed to show up to the studio session.

When N.O.R.E. asked Irv Gotti — who produced “Can I Live” and described himself as JAY-Z’s “consigliere” during the making of Reasonable Doubt — if he was confusing “Can I Live” for “Dead Presidents,” which sampled Nas’ “The World Is Yours (Tip Mix),” he replied: “I’m sure, n-gga. I was there, I was in the studio.”

Former Roc-A-Fella boss Dame Dash has a different memory of the situation. It was in 2007 in an interview with the outlet MTV where he stated During an interview with MTV in 2007, the Roc-A-Fella co-founder claimed it was “Bring It On” that was supposed to feature Nas, along with his “Life’s a Bitch” collaborator AZ.

“Nas and AZ was supposed to be on ‘Bring It On,’ they kept not showing up,” Dash said. “That’s when we wanted to put out The Firm. They didn’t show up. We was meeting and they was saying, ‘Yeah,’ but they wasn’t showing up. We would be waiting and we would be getting offended. So we brought Sauce [Money] and [Big] Jaz on the song.”


Both Nas and Jay-Z were born in New York, and the two rappers would run into each other every now and then on the ’90s rap scene. There were no murmurings of insults, disses, or feuds in the early ’90s.

In 2005, the two rappers officially ended their feud by performing together at the Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey. Just one year later, Nas would sign with Def Jam Recordings. Jay-Z was president of the label at the time of Nas’ signing.