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Versatile producer and long-time Nas collaborator Salaam Remi shares his thoughts on will.i.am using the very same [Iron Butterfly‘s] ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’ and [the Incredible Bongo Band‘s] ‘Apache’ samples for the title track of Hip Hop Is Dead that Remi had used to create ‘Thief’s Theme’ and ‘Made You Look’ for Nas merely a few years earlier.

“On ‘Thief’s Theme’ I intended it to sound like the summer of 2004… We put the record out, I remember we took it up to Flex… But nobody said, ‘You know what, that record’s crazy’ – we didn’t get that feedback. We got, ‘Uh oh, what’s he doing?'” he says in the video below.

“When he [Nas] called me when Will had the track for ‘Hip Hop Is Dead’, he was like, “Um, you know, Will kinda did  a track you gon’ laugh when you hear’.. Then when I heard it, I laughed, because that was the irony.  Like, ‘Hip Hop is dead so I’ma choose the same beat that I used for ‘Made You Look’… and my last single and use it again, because it doesn’t make a difference what I come out with’.  And it was kinda a part of his sarcasm.”

Look out for our full interview with Salaam Remi coming soon: featuring more behind-the-scenes insight on more classic songs and albums, why he’s content not to be in the spotlight, scoring the Sex And The City Soundtrack and more!