Hear JAY-Z and Nas Rap with Shaquille O'Neal on "No Love Lost"

The 1996 track marked the NYC legends' first collaboration together

Photos: Kim Erlandsen / NRK P3 (left), John Mathew Smith (centre), Joe Glorioso / All-Pro Reels (right)

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jul 3, 2024

In 1996, one man held the power to unite two figureheads of New York hip-hop in JAY-Z and Nas for their first-ever collaboration, and his name is Shaquille O'Neal. Now, said collab has been given an official release.

Before becoming a DJ, the iconic pro basketball player spent the '90s in the booth as a budding MC. For his third album, 1996's You Can't Stop the Reign, he sought to bring JAY-Z and Nas together with himself and fellow NYC spitter Lord Tariq on a track titled "No Love Lost" — long before the former pair would begin their well-known beef.

However, a clearance issue led to Nas's "No Love Lost" verse being omitted from the album upon its release. After its inevitable leak was passed around file sharing websites for years, a reissue of You Can't Stop the Reign late last month has now brought the complete version of the Trackmasters-produced song to streaming platforms with all four verses intact.

"You know how it is with clearances and publishing and all that... People didn't clear it," O'Neal shared in a 2022 interview with Drink Champs of the lost Nas verse. "I didn't take it personal. Because again, me being in the studio with Nas? I'm happy! I get to call my boy and be like, 'Hey, come over, Nas over.' I get to call my boy and say, 'Hey, Jay in here.' I get to call my boy and say, 'Yo Biggie at the house, we 'bout to jump on the Sea-Doos.' That's what it's all about."

With their beef behind them, JAY-Z and Nas have gone on to team up three more times, coming together on Nas's 2006 song "Black Republican," JAY-Z's 2007 song "Success," and most recently on DJ Khaled's "Sorry Not Sorry" from 2021.

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