"I got the beat from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League and it was the beat I'd been looking all my life for," Khaled says. "Meaning, it had a vibe and a sound I was looking for [so I could] put Scarface and Nas on one record. I always had the idea to put Scarface and Nas on a record for my album."
Once he sent the beat to Geto Boys' Scarface, it came together ridiculously fast. "I reached out to Scarface. He got the beat, called me back was like, 'Yo it's done.' It was in 20 minutes! He said, 'Khaled, this is the way I'm feeling right now, but you might not like it.' I heard it and lost my mind and started jumping up and down."
Khaled describes playing Scarface's verse for Nas without telling him who was on it. "His eyes opened big when he heard Face's voice. We played that record 500 times till 4 in the morning. He was like, 'Did you hear what Face said? It's bone chilling.' He was like, 'Khaled, I gotta go into a certain chamber for this one.'
"After I got Nas' verse, I lost my mind when I heard it. I started punching the wall! I almost broke the speaker I was so excited."
Anyone who's heard the song can understand why—it's mammoth, meaningful and memorable. Listen to it below and watch the video above for the full story behind "Hip Hop."