CNN recently named Nas the “Greatest lyricist of All Time.” When I first read the headline, I kind of questioned it. But the more I thought about it, the more I agree (kind of). Only because of the time frame in which I grew up. If you think about it, no other rappers from the early 90′s are still even in the rap game and still relevant.. with the exception of Hov. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t think of anyone who still counts these days. Anyway, it’s not about who’s still relevant or still putting out good music. It’s about the best lyricist. Not about the most popular, or most successful. A lot of rappers are hot, but not too many can even be considered lyricists. In a time that we’re in right now, you can admit that it’s not even about lyrics. But when you do think of lyricists you may refer to an Eminem, Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Pac, Biggie, Scarface maybe, or even Rakim. When you think of lyricists, you mostly think of older rappers that had their peak in the game-when lyrics actually mattered. So Nas you can have that one.
What did Nas actually have to say about all of this?? I think he came off as humble and as respectful to the game as he could have. The Queensbridge MC had this to say.. “It’s wayyyyyy, way, way too early in our lives. 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.” Nas also talked about how things would be if Tupac & Biggie were still around. He said “I’d probably be better if they were still around, I think I’d be a lot better. To leave us with that kind of music at that young age is exceptional. There’s no other word to say,” he said. “They were bigger than all of us, even today — their music, their sound, their topics. The way the world listened to them was a lot bigger than I would even say myself and the rest of us … I don’t think today we’ve made an official impact that those guys were just starting to make.” When asked if he could see himself rapping in 20 years, Nas said “It’s always going to be youthful expression. It’s always going to be a good time. It’s always going to be poetry, in the vein of Langston Hughes. At the same time, it’s entertaining and party and fun like Luther Campbell,” he said, “but it’s always going to just be the youth expressing themselves over the sounds that move people in the best way.”
Nas recently released his 11th studio album last year entitled ‘Life is Good.’