"I knew that statement right there would make everyone think of hip hop again and make everyone question themselves, how much of hip hop do they really know? ... I think hip hop is now becoming.. it's getting some age on it. It's no longer a 10 year old thing that's been around since '79. It's this thing that's been going on for decades now, and it looks like it's going to keep growing. I say right now that it's thriving. It's thriving and there's a lot of potential. I'm optimistic about the future."
Strong and optimistic words from Nas "The Don" as that quotable above ushers in our continuing coverage of SXSW! I was able to attend a panel conference down in Austin with the QB living legend sitting down with former manager Steve Stoute for a candid one-hour conversation that discussed everything from Nas' upbringing all the way through his career and looking ahead to the upcoming album, Life Is Good. As one would imagine, Nas had some very interesting words to say on a number of those things, including the controversial "Hip Hop is dead" statement and hip hop today. Other things? How about some light on his relationship with 2Pac and how his last run-in with 'Pac went before his untimely passing? I also filmed some soundbites about the type of sound and content to expect on Life Is Good and the first album that inspired him (which could possibly surprise you).
Additionally in the video, you can also watch some clips of Nas' headlining set of Illmatic at the VEVO showcase during the last night of SXSW. Crazy enough, we were walking from venue to venue trying to cover as many events as possible and made our way into Nas' set right as it started in press row. Video was limited, but I got footage of the first three songs, which of course included "N.Y. State Of Mind" and "Life's A Bitch" with AZ, DJ Premier, & Pete Rock all flanking Nas in his amazing New York City set, which even featured a subway exit that he emerged from. Simply an epic experience to witness and a performance that I'll always remember. Watching Nas rock the mic live and a riveting hour-long conversation all in a span of two days?! Once again, I can't emphasize enough just how open Nas was throughout the interview; Steve Stoute asked some hard-hitting questions and Nas even flexed a sense of humor that we rarely get to see. For a sampling of all of the above, simply press play; plus, hit the jump for some more powerful quotables. Enjoy!
GWHH @ SXSW: Shanell talks YMCMB with GWHH // Mobb Deep Interview with Gowhere Hip Hop & R&R Productions // SOBs 30th Anniversary Recap [Video] // B.o.B Interview with Gowhere Hip Hop [Camovement] // Kendrick Lamar "Hol' Up" LIVE @ SXSW // Kanye West & Big Sean LIVE @ SXSW
"Pac's one of my favorite artists. When we saw each other, I feel like he's in my city I gotta step to this guy. So we stepped to Death Row and really just got to the bottom of it. What he said to me was, 'Me and you are brothers. We're not supposed to, me and you are never supposed to go out [after each other] but I heard you dissin' me on mixtapes... it was a very dangerous situation right there, but greater heads prevailed and we both knew we was supposed to continue that conversation and probably even squash the whole thing but.. I was scheduled to meet him in Vegas. But you guys, you [former manager Steve Stoute] and Jimmy Iovine called me about 4 in the morning and told me he might not make it... it was a moment."
"The Jackson 5 ABC album. That record is the... first it was Sesame Street, then the Jackson 5 ABC album was the second album I ever bought."
"The eras that I like, the sound, circa 90s.. 'Nasty' was like 90s kind of vibe so that's woven in there. And there's some personal stuff, some life stuff in there; I try to put that out there and get that off my chest."
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"By sheer genius, by sheer acuity, they got it done."