By Rob Markman
Will we ever hear a collaboration between Nas and Frank Ocean?
It’s been a busy month for Nas and his Def Jam labelmate Frank Ocean. On Tuesday, God’s Son dropped his critically acclaimed 10th solo LP, Life Is Good,and just a week before that, the Odd Future singer/songwriter released his groundbreaking major-label debut, Channel Orange.
It would have been the perfect time for a collaboration, but it just didn’t happen. Back on July 4, The New York Times reported that there was a track Nas and Ocean had been working on called “No Such Thing as White Jesus,” but after G.O.O.D. Music producer Hit-Boy lost the digital session, the song was lost.
Nas wouldn’t confirm that “White Jesus” was the exact track he had planned to record with Ocean, but admitted that a collaboration between him and Frank would be pretty big. “I’ve talked about a song with Frank Ocean about a year and a half before anybody worked with him and since then it’s been a heavily anticipated record, but I didn’t talk about which song actually,” Esco told MTV News when he walked the carpet at the Moet Rose Lounge at Bagatelle in New York on Monday night.
When NYT pop-music critic Jon Caramanica profiled Ocean for his piece “Creating His Own Gravity,” Ocean sang some lyrics he said were intended for his record with Nas. “Whatever you do, young king, don’t wind up dead/ Young queen, cross your legs/ Put a crown on your head and remove the chains/ ’Cause even diamond chains are for slaves/ Don’t set foot in no penitentiary and don’t taste the poison/ Don’t you bail on your families,” Ocean sang for the veteran journalist.
Nas confirmed that he and the Channel Orange singer never got a chance to complete their track. “Now, I’ve talked about us working and we never got to that point, completing a great record,” he said before pondering the potential outcome. “Who knows? I guess it would’ve been a big record if it ever came to light.”