News: Nas Gets Ill In Lone Star State, Brings Out "The Don" At SXSW [Video]

Sunday, Mar 18, 2012 10:59PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Rap veteran Nas celebrated his 1994 Illmatic release over the weekend after gracing the stage of annual Austin, Texas music festival South by Southwest.

Reports claim Nasty Nas' SXSW weekend set was decked out in New York City-themed items.

The stage was expertly dressed to resemble a New York street corner, complete with a graffiti, a subway entrance, and an authentic-looking NYC trash can. For the many traveling New Yorkers weary on the last night of the festival, it was a little tempting to pull out a Metrocard and ride the imaginary train all the way back home. Nas was also looking to take a trip to another time and place. Much like Jay-Z's recent Carnegie Hall debut (which featured a Nas cameo), this New York-centric show splashed the wall with large, postcard-ready images of Big Apple icons like the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. The decor cemented what many had hoped: Nas would be serving up llmatic, the album that helped shape the East Coast sound. (Entertainment Weekly)

Backed up by legendary rap producers DJ Premier and Pete Rock, the rap veteran was also joined by one-time Firm member AZ.

The veteran rapper was brief with his words, simply introducing himself, "My name is Nas and tonight I'm bringing you Illmatic," before beginning "N.Y. State of Mind." Legendary producers DJ Premier and Pete Rock, who both had a hand in crafting Illmatic, manned the turntables and joined Nas in reminiscing about his early days. Rapper AZ joined Nas to assist on "Life's a Bitch," and the duo diverted from Illmatic momentarily to perform The Firm's "Phone Tap." DJ Premier kept the memories coming, teasing Nas about the first time he heard him rapping back in 1991 ("You were rapping some sick, demented s---"), which prompted Nas to perform his verse on Main Source's "Live at the Barbecue." (MTV)

The rap mogul has kept busy as of late, releasing his new "The Don" single a couple days ago.

Nas comes back with a vengeance on "The Don," the heavy-hitting single off his upcoming 10th album. Produced by Salaam Remi, Da Internz, and the late Heavy D ("Heavy D gave this beat to Salaam for me to rap to"), the reggae-flavored tune features Nasty Nas in top form, touting tough bars over a rasta hook. Welcome back "The Don." (Rap-Up)

Earlier in the same day, Nas teased fans by releasing the single's cover art.

Taking hiatuses are somewhat of a forte for Nas. After stepping back into the mindset of that hungry young rapper from the Queensbridge Projects and returning with "Nasty" in June of last year (with the video arriving later in October), God's Son seemingly set up shop and took off once again, averting his focus on writing raps for K'Naan, Rick Ross and Chris Brown (the latter we have yet to look forward to). Unveiling the cover art for his new single "The Don" today, however, indicates at a much more welcoming turn (or U-turn, depending on how you look at it). If the pinky piece is anything to go by, this forthcoming track looks to accompany "Nasty" in heavyweight company as the potential second single from the record. (Soul Culture UK)

Check out Nas' SXSW performance below:

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