The World Is Yours

The World Is Yours


“The World is Yours” was the third single from Illmatic that saw Pete Rock provide a jazzy boom bap backdrop with a piano sample from Ahmad Jamal’s “I Love Music” mixed with a vocal sample from T La Rock’s “It’s Yours.” The title is in part inspired by a scene from the movie Scarface, which is also referenced in the music video. Fellow Queens native Q-Tip created a remix of the track, which was famously sampled in the chorus of JAY-Z’s 1996 single “Dead Presidents.”

Nas said the following about the song:

‘The World is Yours,’ the track speaks to me because it has a life of itself without even one word on it. When I heard it, it had a life to itself. It was like, I needed music that really was alive. […] That beat—it was a piece of art to me, so it was perfect for ideas I was having.

Producer Pete Rock provided some background information about the track in an interview with XXL:

We were in my basement. Large Professor had brought him over. That’s when I actually first met Nas, when Large brought him up to Mount Vernon. We went through beats and stumbled across that one. It wasn’t like I made it then. It was already made, so I just popped the disc in, and he was like, “Yo!” Next thing you know, we in Battery Studios knocking it down. When I was doing the scratches, [DJ Premier] was there. He was just standing there, looking in amazement, and I was like, “Come on, nigga! You that dude, too.”