Nas Breaks Down Heavy D Production On 'The Don'

The first single from Nas' upcoming 10th album Life Is Good includes production from Salaam Remi, Da Internz and the late Heavy D, who passed away last November. Before performing his debut album Illmatic at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas this past weekend, the Queens rapper explained to MTV News how he ended up with a Heavy D beat on "The Don."

Nas Collaborates With The Late Heavy D On 'The Don'

"When Salaam played me the beat for it, I said, 'That's the single — do this and do that and we're golden.' So he started flipping it around," Nas said of the first time he heard the instrumentals. "When we heard that Heavy D died, of course we were messed up, and Salaam called me and told me, 'You know your record "The Don"? You know who gave me that, right?'

"He's like, 'Heavy D gave me that. He liked what we did with the other single, "Nasty," and he sent me this record.' And the rest is history," Nas continued. "So rest in peace, Heavy D."

Life Is Good will be Nas' first solo album since 2008's Untitled, and the LP is slated to arrive by late May or early June. "It's a summer album," Nas told MTV News. "We're gonna shoot the video for 'The Don' and get ready for the next song that's in the chamber. It ain't gon' stop. It's a whole story. '[The] Don' just dropped, so we're just letting that bubble and setting up the next one."

Before Nas rolls out Life Is Good, fans can catch him on the song "Champion," which appears on Nicki Minaj's upcoming sophomore album,Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. "Nicki hit us up, I got love, so it was nothin' — I did the record," he said of his work on the track.