In a recent interview that’ went viral on social media this week, C-Webb explained how they came about. He revealed that, after graduating from the University of Michigan, he used to hang out in New Jersey living with Naughty By Nature‘s Kay Gee during the summer, from whom he learned the ropes on production.
“I would just go to his house in [New] Jersey every summer, man,” he began. “Shout-out to his parents, his family they would just let me stay there. He had a studio. I mean I could stay there for days. No one come bother you. In that time, I learned how to make beats.
“It just takes you where you meet a couple people that you like-minded. Nas, he was somebody I admired from afar. I loved his rhymes. We became close. He was just hearing some beats and he was like, ‘Yo, put that on.’”
Webber went on to say that working with Nas was a huge deal to him, event though he played it cool. “For me, it sounded call and I’m being calm about it. But it’s still one of the biggest accomplishments of my life.
“To have a song ‘Blunt Ashes’ and then have ‘Surviving the Times’ on his other album. For me, somebody that make beats and listen to music all the time, grew up in Detroit where music is that; it was just dope being a part of it.”
after all these years, i finally have an answer for how Chris Webber ended up with production on two Nas albums… pic.twitter.com/5sDt4p7wen
— Andrew Barber (@fakeshoredrive) January 18, 2024
The first placement for Webber came with “Blunt Ashes” which landed on Nas’ Hip Hop Is Dead album in 2006. The album was nominated at the 50th Grammy Awards for Best Rap Album but lost out to Kanye West’s Graduation.
“Surviving the Times,” which samples Nipsey Russel, earned a spot on a 2007 Greatest Hits compilation album from Escobar.
By that time, Webber’s NBA career was winding down and he retired after the 2007-2008 campaign following 15 years in the league which saw him make the All-Star Game five times and win Rookie of the Year in 1994.
C-Webb made headlines earlier in January when he reunited with his college teammates — famously known as the Fab 5 (Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Ray Jackson, Jimmy King) — at the University of Michigan for the first time on campus since leaving the school for the NBA Draft in 1993.
Webber isn’t the only person to share their thoughts on Nas’ old catalog in last few days.
On January 4, Vince Staples tweeted that he was about to listen to Nas’ 1996 track “I Gave You Power” for the first time. Like Staples’ 2022 number “When Sparks Fly,” “I Gave You Power’ contains sections spoken from the voice of a firearm.
Staples’ song switches perspectives, with the first verse featuring the gun’s owner speaking to it, and the gun speaking in the second; in Nas’ track, the gun is the narrator the entire time.
10 minutes later, Vince was back with his review — and a suggestion to boot: “[T]his was a good tune. He shoulda put Ghostface on here.”
Over the years, “I Gave You Power” has been praised by Hip Hop stars like 50 Cent and J. Cole. The latter explained the song’s impact on him during a speech at the 2014 VIBE Impact Awards.
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