Former rivals JAY-Z and Nas joined forces once again in April by way of DJ Khaled’s “Sorry Not Sorry” record that appeared on his No. 1 album, Khaled Khaled. Khaled had wanted to make the collaboration happen for almost half a decade, but he didn’t have the guts to ask them until a celebrity link-up in Los Angeles changed everything.
In a new interview with People, DJ Khaled explained how a dinner with some of Hip Hop and R&B’s elites gave him the sign he needed to put his dream into motion.
“Man, it was a dream come true for me, but also a gift to the world,” he said. “Just to be able to put that together was unbelievable. One day we were having dinner at Tao in L.A. and it was Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé, Nas, JAY-Z, Puff Daddy and more people were there. JAY-Z and Nas are my brothers, but that day, I [saw] them together just having the best conversations and it was all laughing, enjoying good energy and good vibes. So I’ve always been wanting to make this record. So I’d seen that and I said, ‘Man, I can pull this off.’
“It took me I would say maybe four to five years to get the courage to ask. But I knew that day, that is possible, because I felt the love. I asked both of them [about] working on this album. And they were like, ‘Let’s do it.’ The song is motivational and inspirational. That’s what I love about it the most, because it’s 2021 and these are two of our biggest MCs ever to do it. They’re talking about motivation, inspiration, and where they’re at in their life.”
DJ Khaled added, “I want people to hear that as a historic collaboration. It’s also inspiring to say, ‘Man, our leaders, they came from nothing and look where they are now.’ I think that was just beautiful. Not only to get them on the record, but just the lyrics.”
The James Fauntleroy-featured “Sorry Not Sorry” peaked at No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and marked JAY-Z and Nas’ first collaboration since “BBC” on Magna Carta Holy Grail in 2013. Prior to that, they linked up in 2008 on Ludacris’ “I Do It for Hip Hop,” Hov’s American Gangster song “Success” in 2007 and “Black Republican” off Nas’ 2006 LP Hip Hop Is Dead.