Nas will perform Illmatic in its entirety this week in Austin, Texas at the SXSW festival, and as he gears up for the show that will feature a live band, he chops it up with VEVO and reminisces over his debut project.

Nas spoke on the sound of the track “Halftime.”

“It was early 90’s so the music was just grunge. Just dirty, dusty, alleyway kind of sound. That’s the kind of music that the rap music that I was liking around that time. So when I heard the track for ‘Halftime’ I knew that would be something good for the time.”

In the second part of the interview, Nas spoke on his inspiration for “One Love.”

“I wrote the song as letters to friends of mine that were locked up”

Nas added:

“Q-Tip produced it and Q-Tip is so talented and I’m such a big fan of A Tribe Called Quest and all they albums that I felt like he brought such a jazz, but yet another vibe to the whole meaning of a hardcore song. Yes, it was written letters to guys in jail but the vibe of [the] music was just real smooth.”

Watch Nas’ two-part interview with VEVO below: