Nas Interview

The album, HipHop is dead. What does it stand for? Do you actually think HipHop is dead?
Yea I think most music is dead, R&B, rock too, I mean once you start to look at what’s happening with radio programming, television, it’s running the whole game, whatever was hot with the last artist, everybody needs to copy, there are no more Ray Charles’s, Bob Marley’s, Stevie Wonders, Public Enemies, nah I mean, its kinda hard for me saying it because I do rap, I mean I’ve seen a lot with doin’ a lot of albums, and I just look at it like, when everybody just start dissin’ eachother, dudes that will never see dudes, and the outside world is getting involved, seeing guys killing eachother, talking about being shot and they just wanna do that and do this and then it just gets confusing in New York city, I mean the birthplace of it, there’s just so much confusion, cause of the media. That’s why I’m saying HipHop is dead you nah I mean?

So like you just said, NYC is the birthplace of hiphop, how has moving to Atlanta changed your life?
It’s definitely a lot calmer, but it’s also a whole different vibe, it’s a business place here as well. Also a place of many great men, Martin Luther King, James Brown, not Atlanta but Georgia. A lotta real mothafuckers come from down here. My mom and my father are from the South, not from Georgia but from the South, so I’ve always been around growing up, so I’ve always wanted a place in Georgia.

– Talking about James Brown, on your album you have used samples, and one of them is from James Brown as well. How did the news about him struck you?
There will never be another James Brown, James Brown was the hardest working man, he worked every day, he was socially on top of it, he helped folks around the world socially and musically. He was on next level shit. He inspired Michael Jackson, dealt with Jackie Wilson back in the day. He flipped on so much man, those 747 boeing, the airplanes, the radio stations, you name it. So we just lost one of the greatest who ever did it.

– Did he inspire you as well?
Yeah, he is one of the grandfathers of rap music period.

You inspire a lot of people as well. KRS-One did a tribute for you. How do you feel about that?
Man it’s just surreal. I can’t even believe it man, like, it’s just so, you know, it’s KRS one nah I’m sayin’. It’s KRS, and to hear him say what he’s sayin’… Rappers don’t really give it up to nobody, I always gave it up to people, I don’t care what you say about me, whoever I liked I always gave it up. And I’ve never seen one of the pioneers give in to, give back or just acknowledge the young. It’s just on so many levels, it’s one of the biggest challenges to me. It’s just surreal.
KRS-One is the greatest of all time. He is the man. There’s this guy, staring at his album covers. Started his own record company, he was just ahead of the game. Even if he had his conflicts with my hood it was just a brilliant market, he sacrificed everything for the sake of HipHop, he’s put his life on the line for HipHop.

– Are there any other people you would wanna work with for future projects?
I am sure there are, but I can’t think of any at this moment.

– How was working with a lot of different producers?
That was a lot of fun. I wish I could have kept recording. But you never wanna get too many producers because u can get lost in recording or tryna find the sound or whatever. So I always try not to go after too many people, just keep people I always wanted to work with like Kanye West and producers I worked with years ago like Dr. Dre so I just wanted to make sure it worked out like that.

– Working with Kelis, how was that, do you two inspire eachother musically?
Totally, you know, totally, it’s a smooth thing, a smooth uhm…purpose, you know. Hehe.

– So we can expect more collaborations with Kelis?
Definitely. She inspires me a great deal musically. So yeah, definitely.

– How do you feel about the comparison with Jay-Z and Beyonce?
You know, people come up with things all the time, so I don’t keep up with it.

– Earlier we spoke about your move to Atlanta. Will Smith is moving to South Africa. Have you ever considered moving there, since you are so closely connected to the homeland?
I plan to be there in a couple of years.

– But we can still expect albums from you right?
Right now I am doing a lot of recording. I am recording again, so right now yeah.

– Any words for your Dutch fans?
Big up to all the Dutch people, I love the Dutch. That’s from the heart.