Sept. 23 is no longer an ordinary day for hip hop fans in Queens, New York, it’s Nas Day. On Thursday (Sept. 23), the rapper, who recently released the sequel to his Grammy award-winning King’s Disease, was awarded with his own day in his hometown and given the key to the borough of Queens by President Donovan Richards. Franck D. Joseph, who oversees Richards’ office, took to Instagram to announce the news.
Nas reportedly received both honors after taking the stage at a charity event intended to raise money for those experiencing food shortages and “struggling to put meals on their tables because of the pandemic,” per City Harvest CEO Jilly Stephens.
According to multiple reports, the “One Mic” emcee headlined the Concert to Feed NYC at Queen’s Forest Hill Stadium and performed songs from his latest album. The proceeds from the event will reportedly go to City Harvest, the largest food rescue organization in New York City.
“Let’s make a difference, every day, for the rest of our lives,” he said during the event.
Though Nas had a “mentally and physically hard” battle with COVID-19 last year, the last few months have been great for the rapper. After winning the Grammy for King’s Disease, the Queens native partnered with Hit-Boy to release the sequel, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. He celebrated his 48th birthday on Sept. 14, and he graces the cover of Ebony magazine’s October issue, which sees him discussing the importance of investing in Black wealth.
“Being able to invest in startups and invest in people’s futures, believing in them, welcoming them into what we have to offer, for them to trust us, for us to trust them, that friendship — that’s what America is all about,” he explained. “In this country, I see the adversity, but I also see the opportunity. I see the obstacles; I also see the opportunities that have been kept from Black and brown people, poor people. That day is over.”
See Franck D. Joseph’s post about Nas’ key to the borough of Queens.