One Love X Five. Nineteen years ago today, NaS released the fifth and final single off of his début album, Illmatic. The verses of “One Love” comprise a musical series of open letters written to incarcerated friends.
Cooked up to perfection by Native Tongue lyricist Q-Tip, the recipe for the track utilized spare, yet sublime ingredients: a hypnotic kalimba riff taken from “Smilin’ Billy Suite, Pt II” by the legendary Heath Brothers, topped by a savory Parliament drum break.
While that original mix remains peerless, a wish to keep the young Nasir’s flow fresh over the years has compelled me to seek out alternate versions. And if you follow this blog, you know I’m fond of flipping NaS flows. Below are some of the best remixes and mashups that have been shared over at SoundCloud.