J. Cole recently recounted the story of playing Nas "Let Nas Down", off his new album, Born Sinner. Now, J. Cole releases the new remix where Nas himself flips it into "Made Nas Proud". Raw hip hop above. Can't help but sit back and appreciate both artists at work. I love the concept and Nas' acknowledgments throughout his new verse. Instant *Tibs Fav.
“I was telling people, this album has so many moments that connected that let me know I was doing the right thing, and that was one of them. I give him my headphones, Im trying to hear what part of the song he’s on, cause he’s behind me. About a minute in to the song, he’s just like “whooo!” beating my chair, just bangin my chair. Overall he was wild, the look on his face was like, honored, honored that I would make that, and also highly impressed. So that was a huge moment for me.”
- J. Cole
One of the most talked about tracks off Born Sinner is J. Cole's revealing "Let Nas Down". And naturally, many people wanted to know what Nas thought of the record. J. Cole recalls meeting Nas a couple days after the track was recorded in the early morning at a Houston airport. Cole's story above is something you can't help but feel great for him, am I right? Born Sinner also in stores and available today!
Last night I re-posted this legendary photo from Nas' instagram on our own instagram, and I wanted to give this some Blog love as well to make sure you catch it. This was taken at a celebration for Kanye's birthday. Happy Birthday Yeezus!
Eleven high-quality Nas demos?! Happy Friday, hip hop.
"A majority of the tracks previously were collected on Nasty Nas (The Original 1991 Demo Tape)", says OkayPlayer, as this is essentially some unreleased Nas from before his iconic debut album. We get to hear his talent on display from such a young age on this one. Press play below and take note of the tracks (and collabs) and when they appear in the stream!
1. Understanding 0:00
Featuring AZ & Biz Markie
2. Life Is Like A Dice Game 3:12
3. Just Another Day In The Projects 5:51
4. Déjà Vu 9:04
Produced by Chris Winston
5. Back To The Grill 12:51
Featuring MC Serch feat. Chubb Rock & Red Hot Lover Tone
Produced by T-Ray
6. Everything Is Real 17:53
7. I’m A Villain 20:09
Produced by Large Professor
8. Number One With A Bullet 24:31
Featuring Kool G. Rap & Whiteboy
9. Nas Will Prevail (It Ain’t Hard To Tell Original) 28:47
Let's begin with a disclaimer: Nas doesn't endorse the following sentence.
But he's the greatest lyricist of all time.
Those words were carefully chosen: "lyricist" over "rapper" or "hip-hop artist;" "greatest" instead of "most successful;" "all time" rather than "today."
Those distinctions are important. Still, Nas isn't buying it.
"It's wayyyyyy, way, way too early in our lives," he said when asked where he fits among history's best MCs. "It's great to put a list together, but don't take it too seriously because your list won't matter 10 years from now or 15 years from now. It'll be a different list."
In an interesting read over at CNN this weekend, writer Eliott C. McLaughlin makes his compelling case for Nas as the greatest lyricist of all-time. He notes from the very beginning, as you can see above, that those words were carefully chosen.
This debate is certainly a fun conversation, but at the end of the day, how you measure "greatest lyricist of all-time" is subjective. As is who you choose, and altogether, your view on music itself. I like pieces like this because they're good conversation starters about the hip hop culture, but if you're taking subjective and immeasurable crowns like these so seriously, and looking for an end-all, be-all answer... well, that's just where I stop at least. No reason to get carried away.
All that said, weigh in with your thoughts on who yourfavorite lyricist is and why!