Arts & Entertainment, Music

In the Studio: Recording an Original Rap Song


Lesson time 15:42 min

Witness Nas’s genius in action as he records an original song. Nas also breaks down one of his techniques: spitting lyrics spontaneously and then going back and fixing the parts that didn’t work in real time.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: In Studio: Recording an Original Rap Song


[MUSIC PLAYING] NAS: We're about to get into it, lay down whatever I came up with just now. And so we brought the mic here so I can do it right here. Yeah. - You got it all ready? - Test one, two. Test, one, two. Yeah. Big Nas, old money, new money-- tech, turn it down a little bit, the track. Turn the beat down. Turn the beat down. Yeah. Cheer, cheer, track. New music, new content, new programming. I ran the gamut, got my-- new content, new programming, I ran the gamut. Got my hands in everything like bad manners. So save the high school banter for those who are just like you. Uhh. Save the high-school banter for those who are just like you. I'd like to write a book on the Cayman Islands. I'd like to stay cool in the-- . Go up and-- see, that's-- I like to really-- off the top of the head, and it's a longer process. I could just-- it's just a feeling. And I could try it now, but it's like-- then I have to stop, and then I go back. So I'll try-- I show you a little bit how I really record in the studio. You can play the track again. [MUSIC PLAYING] So I'm just sitting here looking to ice this. The vibes is something you never seen before. I just relax in the zone. Uhh. Each year, beach chair, bumwear, looking like I don't care. Somewhere, Caymen Islands, maybe. Write a book. It's crazy how I just, uh, recite the hook. So what I would do-- can you stop it? And now we'll go-- we will go back, listen to what I got, see if there's anything good there. If there's something good there, I start it from where it was stopped. I start it right there where it started to get bad. I erase the bad, and then I put in the new-- the new next lines, you know? That's how we do it. HIT-BOY: Is there a way to hear back that first one? - Can we hear-- can we hear that back, some of that? TECH: Sure. You want it on the speakers or do you want it-- - Uh, speaker, yeah. HIT-BOY: Yeah. That Cayman Islands shit was hard, too. [MUSIC PLAYING] NAS (ON SPEAKERS): Yeah. Test, one, two. Test, one, two. Yeah. Cheer, cheer, track. Old money, new money, rap money, tech's money, flat money. What's next, you funny? Illicit live of recession in Dubai. - It's kind of, like, you go with the beat. You go with the feeling. And working with Hit-Boy is cool because he knows me. He knows me, and he's like-- if I say-- he hears me mumbling a word, and I might not be sure about it, but he's listening. And-- and if it's good, he's like, "That's hard." - Hard. Hard. - And that-- that way, it's like-- it's like when you're sitting around with somebody to see if it's good or not, they give you an opinion. [MUSIC PLAYING] NAS (ON SPEAKERS): New music, new content, new programming. I ran again and got my hands in everything, like bad manners. Save the high-school banter for those who are just like you. - Yes, NAS (ON SPEAKERS): Sa...

About the Instructor

From the landmark album "Illmatic" in 1994 to the Grammy-winning "King’s Disease," Nas has been exposing truth through rhymes and vivid street poetry for more than 25 years. Now he’s sharing his journey, the evolution of Hip-Hop, and a brand-new song with you. Hip-Hop, lyricism, flow—learn how to tap into the power of your own voice and turn your experiences into music with one of rap’s all-time greatest artists.

Featured MasterClass Instructor


Grammy-winning rapper Nas shares his journey through the evolution of Hip-Hop, breaks down some of his biggest hits, and writes a brand-new song.

Explore the Class
Sign Up