It’s been ten years since Nas declared that “hip hop is dead.” But now the Queensbridge bred rapper is changing his stance thanks to a few in the game.
Nas appeared on Bill Simmons’ Any Given Wednesday show on HBO earlier this week to discuss the current state of hip-hop, the political climate and Tupac. According to Nas, the genre is no longer in danger thanks to Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Drake.
Hip-hop’s generational divide is growingly prevalent as younger rappers tend to get criticized by ’80s and ’90s rhymers. On the other hand, some newcomers have shown disregard for those who laid the foundation.
Last year, Vince Staples shared that he doesn’t get why ’90s rappers are highly regarded and that he prefers the ’00s era of hip-hop. Then, earlier this week, Lil Yachty responded to criticism from OGs like Pete Rock by stating that ’90s rappers are “old and washed up.”
But the same doesn’t go for the aforementioned artists — Kendrick Lamar, Drake and J. Cole. Kendrick name dropped Nas during his Grammy Award speech for To Pimp A Butterfly, while Drake thanked Nas in the liner notes for Thank Me Later. And of course J. Cole wrote about the Queens rhymer in “Let Nas Down” off of his 2013 album, Born Sinner. It’s nice to see that they’re getting love back from the 43-year-old rap legend.
In the interview, Nas also answered a question about how he attempt to stop Tupac and Biggie from seeing death.
“To really tell them about the impact that they were gonna have being dead,” he said. “That the world was about to become a hip-hop planet, even more than it was in ’95. Now it’s global – more than it was then. And they were the leaders, and they were too important to us.”
Check out the interview above and below.