View Full Version : AllHipHop.com Interview With Nas

10-12-2006, 10:10 PM

Twelve years ago, youíd never catch Nas in the streets without a ton of reefer. Today, the King Poetic has turned over a new leaf, and no longer splits the leaves of his cigars. Perhaps itís a new frame of mind for a 33-year-old rapper who went from snubbing Jesus to being the same age as the Christian messiah at his death. Perhaps this maturity has created a new perspective for the Queensbridge icon. With the forthcoming Hip-Hop is Dead Nas is candid about his mature views on the music that so many critics say he advanced a decade ago. But the question remains, if Hip-Hop is dead, can Nasir Jones Ė or anybody else for that matter, revive it? Just before the last rites, Nas arrives with one mic.

AllHipHop.com: If Hip-Hop is dead, who killed it?

Nas: Corporate America and DJs, radio programmers, video/TV programming, the rappers, us. We all just had a whole bunch of fun. We had too much fun. Because you got to live your life, know what I mean. And itís a business. And business, it kills it, you know what I mean, business then kills it and s**t.

AllHipHop.com: Well you maybe out and Hip-Hop is dead, so you referring to a specific chapter or just a general, conclusive data?

Nas: I mean, it just came to me from people. I just heard people talking and I was just in the streets. So I would say the streets named the album.

AllHipHop.com: So youíre just saying the street does it, that doesnít mean that you necessarily agree?

Nas: I totally agree. Yeah itís just dead man. Iím free now.

AllHipHop.com: So youíre not making Hip-Hop anymore. What are you making if Hip-Hop --

Nas: I donít know what it is - some s**t right. Crack music, whatever. Itís f**ked up.

AllHipHop.com: Well, I mean the reason you give, then you mentioned working with a different caliber of producers for this next album. Give us a little insight as to who we can expect to hear from the albumÖ

Nas: Well, some people Iíve been working with, you know Salaam Remi, L.E.S., you know Dr. Dre, not as much but Dre. Premier, you know --

AllHipHop.com: What happened to the Premier/ Nas album?

Nas: Yeah, well thatís some s**t we want to do, you know. I think we really got to set aside some time to do it. You know, Ďcause when Iím ready to do it, Iím ready to do it at a certain kind of way and Premier got his way of doing it. We just got to really settle down because I want it to be an idea thing, like a concept from beginning to end, the theme you know.

AllHipHop.com: Okay, I see you. So I also heard that you have Will.I.AmÖ

Nas: Oh yeah Will.I.Am. Iíll definitely have.

AllHipHop.com: So you know that throws a lot of people left because thereís a lot of people in Hip-Hop and your fans kind of regard you as above ground, with underground sound, know what I mean?

Nas: Yeah, yeah.

AllHipHop.com: Do you even give a damn what people think?

Nas: Um --Yeah, well Will.I.Am is the truth. Heís the truth, man. That dude isÖ heís advanced. He loves Hip-Hop so much, he could out break-dance anybody. Heís all the way involved. Donít be surprised you catch him doing graffiti on subway somewhere. You know we donít get a chance to see that because his group is so large, you know. We donít get to see who he really is.

[B]AllHipHop.com: So what do you say to your fans who feel like you basically like sold yourself out in signing with Jay?

Nas: I signed with Def Jam. I didnít sign with Jay. You know what Iím saying? Like, Iím not signing with Roc-A-Fella. Iím signing to myself, joint venture situation with Jones Experience [Nasí new label]. And Iím actually still in with Sony. This album is a collective thing with some [people], but it was my idea to, or it was my thing to, you know help make the situation [work]. I had to go in there as a royalty act on Sony and deal with people knowing that [Sony] was a sinking ship for me, and it was my time to leave.

So you know thereísÖ you respect the Clive Davisí and a lot of other Lyor Cohenís, but who else will respect a movement of two Black men resolving something that started, this whole battle, situation for the last four-and-a-half years, where eHip-Hop's gone crazy and itíll probably kill New York rap, just from ďEtherĒ and "Takeover." Who else will respect us? They donít care if the music and the culture suffers. So if we donít stand up and come together in positions of powerÖ this is Godís plan. This is not, thereís no disrespect, but other than a non-Black executive that would honor the situation. This is not a sellout. This is everything that was intended for the truth to be expressed this time.

AllHipHop.com: Well where would you place yourself in the top MCs if you had to? Where do you think is your position in rap history when itís all said and done?

Nas: When itís all said and done they all come after me, every last one of Ďem, White or Black.

AllHipHop.com: Whoís that --

Nas: Rappers. They all come from me, you know what Iím saying? At some point in time, whether itís the shock value in these guysí verses from when I first started, and you heard them start regurgitated and different artists talk about doing things and Jesus is now heís dead, the shock value sound [referring to lyrics like, "I went to hell for snuffin' Jesus,Ē lyrics or the lyrical pattern, or itís the consciousness upbringing. Itís the balance upbringing. This all belongs to me.

And thatís a lot, a lot of times I see whatís happening with New York rappers, they donít have enough style in their personality, in what they talk about off the records, when they not rapping. When they not rapping, they like back in the days I couldnít get on say, like [disrespecting] Rakimís wife or Big Daddy Kaneís son, and Iím gonna diss him in a record. That was blasphemy. You never did a record that, now itís so messed up and New York is the kings of savvy and style. But we up here, lost and confused, disrespecting each other, thatís not how itís done. Old school, some of that old school used to hate on us. My place now is to say yíall all my kids. But Ice Cube can really say it. KRS can really say it, but Iím having fun saying it too.

AllHipHop.com: But I mean here in New York you know, this whole New York, bring back to New York, what is that about? Do you co-sign that?

Nas: Yeah, but I mean New York is New York. It ainít going nowhere. Yeah, I mean the thing is you know everybody else is having fun while everybody else is doing what they do. Up here, you know, everybody is confused; they [are] lost. You know [in the] Ď80s, we used to look up to you know a lot of different people from different walks of life. And you know everybodyÖI wear white t-shirts everyday too, but thatís an L.A. thing. You know what Iím saying. Itís more melting pot and thatís good because we all connecting with each othersí style and everything but then New York, I remember you know what we do.

AllHipHop.com: So in your opinion, to bring New York back we need to get that swagger back, basically?

Nas: To bring New York back we got to take it seriously, you know what Iím saying? They gotta take they selves seriously. Everybodyís like microwave music now, know what I mean, Ďcause itís the way to eat. When I was doing this early on, [I did Hip-Hop] because I loved it. Now, they not artists, they opportunists. So itís just a way to eat now. And thatís cool. But then of course, the music is gonna suffer.

AllHipHop.com: You mentioned The Jones Experience. So you have two label brands, along with Ill Will?

Nas: I have Ill Will for my release records, not over here in Def Jam. This Def Jam is Jones experience.

AllHipHop.com: Okay. And what about Ill Will because I know you had big plans for the label but never really --

Nas: It never came to fruition and I kind of wanted to put it to rest; itís like, because it didnít come to fruition, my dude was just part of the shine over me, getting me to do the slave s**t, know what Iím saying?

AllHipHop.com: And whatever happened to Quan?

Nas: I donít know.

AllHipHop.com: You have no idea?

Nas: No.

AllHipHop.com: So whatís this treadmill? I feel that you get linked with cats and youíre supportive of them and they just kind of like --

Nas: Itís a hard place. Itís a hard road to travel. You know itís not easy to move. You got to be like, a lot of people think they gonna getÖitís real. You canít get in this and expect you gonna be Michael Jackson tomorrow. You got to put it down. You gonna have to take some, you gonna have to put your, you know, get in shape man, and letís go at it. ĎCause you know Iím not in this for faking. You know what Iím saying. And a lot of people think like you know why didnít you sign me or why didnít you sign me? Itís like I donít think youíre the next Snoop Dogg. Do you think theyíre the next Snoop? I got it, like asking these artists, do you really think you can pack [Madison Square Garden] one day in five years, ten years. How? What are you talking about? Iím looking for someone who can grow. They donít have to do it overnight, but Iím looking for someone who really loves what they do. They take it down and you know it really come from the heart. Theyíre ready to go in and go hard.

AllHipHop.com: So, youíve been at this a long time, what would you say the biggest difference with the game now than when you got in?

Nas: It wasnít as much paper. Paper changed a lot. It wasnít as easy to get in. You know dudes got it made today.

AllHipHop.com: Well you just said it was easier for you to get in back then Ďcause it --

Nas: For me, yeah. But it wasnít a bunch of [imitations] out there. You had this guy, we had, we had everybody get airtime. Everybody got whatever happening label. Everybodyís doing it. You know you canít walk down the street without some n***a without a record label and rap.

AllHipHop.com: Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Nas: I think itís great that we all love the rap game and that we all into it. I think itís not good with the misunderstanding of what comes along being in it. You know they say like that less than 1% of n***as out here is gonna make it to where they see they selves supposed to be, and thatís kinda harsh reality.

AllHipHop.com: Word has it you have stopped smoking?

Nas: I smoke cigars. Iíve always smoked cigars. Thatís you can mature with it man, so you canít smoke a hundred blunts in one day. You know, you got to party, but every day? For what?

AllHipHop.com: A blunt for breakfast.

Nas: A blunt for breakfastÖ

AllHipHop.com: Whatís the favorite album you got?

Nas: I donít have one.

AllHipHop.com: Come on now, you have to have one.

Nas: Definitely donít have one.

AllHipHop.com: Why wouldnít you have one?

Nas: I donít know whatís on each album.

AllHipHop.com: Really?

Nas: Nah, I get confused sometimes [with] what songs are on what album.

AllHipHop.com: What would you say is the biggest misconception about you?

Nas: That Iím not in total control, of every step of the way.

AllHipHop.com: Elaborate on that.

Nas: A lot of the weed smoking was the stage that set me free. And I never messed with any of these industry cats because thereís too many, I knew how easy it was for you to be behind a jail cell over one of these flunkies, you know. One of the kookie n***as that have you all tripped up. That ainít no man s**t. That ainít even gangsta s**t [to] get tripped up off one of these goofball n***as. So the thing about it, I stayed in my haze. [My] state of mind was perking all day long because I didnít pay attention to none of that stuff.

AllHipHop.com: So how does Nas the rapper different from Mr. Nasir Jones?

Nas: I love being on stage. Itís everything to me, but sometimes people donít know when to turn it off and the way they treat you is like itís on every day. Itís all about rap, rap every day. They donít know about life and stuff like that. You know, you gotta have a quality of life. So thatís real important to me. You see dudes frowning up all the time, paranoid and theyíre [acting] 16, dude. Theyíre a grown man with kids, man.

AllHipHop.com: You smile.

Nas: Yeah. I smile all the time.

AllHipHop.com: What is your idea to stay connected with the youth?

Nas: It is what it is. Youth donít want you to dumb down, Ďcause they not dumb. So you canít, you got to do youth. You know they can understand that. [The] same way I understood the dudes that were over me when I was 12, 13 there wasnít no 12, 13 year olds rapping. They were at least four years older than me if I bought their records. It was always like that.


10-13-2006, 12:24 AM
good interview, thank you for posting this

10-13-2006, 06:36 AM

10-13-2006, 09:09 AM
lol @ the quan shit

10-13-2006, 11:14 AM
Yeah, that Quan shit was kinda suspect. I have a feeling we ain't gonna be hearing from Quan for awhile... even after he gets outta the pen.

10-13-2006, 12:32 PM
AllHipHop.com: And whatever happened to Quan?

Nas: I donít know.

AllHipHop.com: You have no idea?

Nas: No.

LOL. And that's the end of that chapter...