Nas recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary to his controversially-titled LP Hip-Hop is Dead. But as the legendary poet will tell you today, the culture is alive and well. He recently sat down with REVOLT TV to discuss the state of the music and when asked who his favorite MCs of the newer eras were, five immediately came to mind.
“J. Cole, Kendrick, Drake, Wayne, Rick Ross,” he told REVOLT’s Vice Chairman Andre Harrell during a recent sit-down where the two talked politics, racism, and Nas' music among other topics.
When asked to reflect back on some of the MCs who he loved as a teenager, the New York City stalwart cited: “KRS-One, Eric B and Rakim, Kool G Rap, [Big Daddy] Kane, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh, and Heavy D” among his favorites.
“A wide array, man,” Nas said.
Later, Harrell got Nas to paint a picture of coming into contact with hip-hop as a pre-teen.
“I remember going to the parks, at the jams,” he reminisced. “When the equipment was out there and they used to get the electricity from the street lamps. And steal the electricity. I was a kid. I couldn’t stay out there late because I was kid, maybe like 10 years old, 11 years old. Marley Marl was the name everyone wanted to see. But I think he was too big [of a celebrity], even back then, to be out in there in the streets.”
Nas said his neighbors built speakers in their apartment to spark the party.
“They made a speaker so loud and so big, they had to keep in the apartment,” the Queensbridge King said of his neighborhood jams. “It wouldn’t fit out of the door. They had to play the speaker right in the apartment; they had one of those double apartments and it used to rattle the whole building. But you know a lot of guys, I can’t even remember their names…DJ Hot Day, he was one of the first ones out there with the equipment too and he was from my block….They finally get it cut on and they turn the record on, everybody’s excited.”