In a recent sit down with MTV, J. Cole explained how missed out on two No I.D.-produced beats, “Stay” and “Tears Of Joy,” which ended up going to Nas and Rick Ross respectively. Chalking it up to his "inexperience in the game," Cole revealed that because he wasn't able to solidify the purchase of the "Stay" instrumental with his A&R, No I.D. went ahead and passed on for Nas to use on his Life Is Good album.
We did the most incredible songs in one week. We did ‘Not Too Late,’ ‘Stay,’ ‘Never Told’ and a few more joints that haven’t even come out yet. ‘Stay’ was towards the end of the process — he just looped up this sample, and while he’s looping up the sample, I’m writing the words, and before you know it, I have the song. ‘Stay’ was my favorite song that was absolutely going on my first album, but I guess I’ll just chalk it up to my inexperience in the game. As time goes on, I’m not solidifying it, which basically means I’m not locking down the beat from No I.D. Long story short, I didn’t buy that beat from No I.D., and Nas bought that beat. He didn’t even know I did a joint on it either. I don’t even know if he knows, but I had that shit first.
That taught me a lesson real quick: If you want a record, you have to put some money down on it. Honestly, I heard Nas’ joint one time, and I can’t listen again. It’s hard for me. It’s rightfully his record, he put it out first, and he killed it too, but I can’t listen.
You can check out J. Cole's version of "Stay," recorded back in 2009, by grabbing his recently released Truly Yours EP, by clicking here.