During a 2009 interview on the making of Illmatic, DJ Premier, who produced N.Y. State Of Mind revealed, Nas recorded the first verse of ‘N.Y. State Of Mind’ in one take.
“He did the whole first verse in one take, and I remember when he finished the first verse, he stopped and said, “Does that sound cool?” And we were all like, “Oh my God!” It was like, I don’t even care what else you write.” DJ Premiere told XXL.
Nas’ intro to ‘NY State of Mind’ where he raps “I don’t know how to start this s**t” was actually a mistake, and he went on to rap the first verse in one take.
[N.Y. State of Mind Intro]
Ayo, Black, it’s time, word (Word, it’s time, man)
It’s time, man (Aight, man, begin)
Yeah, straight out the fuckin’ dungeons of rap
Where fake ni**as don’t make it back
I don’t know how to start this shit,