Shootouts is exactly what it sounds: Classic Nas weaving vivid stories about being a murderous thug in Queens. The first part refers to Nas and Jungle killing a notoroiously vigilant cop in the area. The second part is an actual shootout that happens as a result of gambling (Gilbert Arenas should play craps with these guys). This track comes after “Suspect” on It Was Written which some consider to be one of Nas' most underrated album.

From Complex:

Nas: ‘Shootouts’ was based off some true shit. I added some imagination but it was based on the life of me and my crew.”

Poke: “We actually put ‘Shootouts’ out as a freestyle with Nature and Nas on a DJ Clue? mixtape. It seemed so crazy that we were just like, ‘Yo lets just make it a whole record and put it on the album.’ So that’s what it was, and it was a chance to put Nature out there and stuff like that. Although Nature is not on the final version, he was on the version that we put out. Nas loved the beat and he just wanted to go. He was like, ‘Yo I’m going to air this out myself.’ [Laughs.]