News: Nas On Being Hip-Hop's Son, "I Don't Work Hard On Anything Other Than Being Me"
Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 10:00AM
Rap veteran Nas recently opened up on longevity in hip-hop and what has helped keep him relevant for over two decades in the rap game.
Nas said at the end of the day, the quality of music artists put out determines shelf life.
"So many people think they're relevant because they're still alive. That's not the case. Just because they stay alive, doesn't make you relevant. Your music should mean something, and that's what I always try to do. I don't work hard on anything other than being me, and if that resonates and they say that's relevant, that's official. I get that question from so many people, 'What makes you so relevant today when they're not relevant?'" (Muve Music)
Recently, Young Money's Drake shared the same sentiment, admitting an artist's sound is vital to staying relevant.
But when it comes to tossing off disses, Drake's not above delivering his own veiled swipes these days. On "Dreams Money Can Buy," he surveys the hip-hop landscape and decides he's sorely disappointed by what he sees. "Lately it went from top five to remain- ing five," he rhymes. "My favorite rappers either lost it or they ain't alive." He stops short of mentioning names, but doesn't back away from his declaration. "I wasn't in rap when I was idolizing a lot of these people," he says. "But times change. People don't sound the way they used to. It's inevitable. Someday Drake won't sound the way he used to. I'll do anything in my power to still sound relevant, but unfortunately Drake may not. And yes," he says with a chuckle, "I referred to myself in the third person." (VIBE)
Drizzy's labelmate Nicki Minaj recently said she hoped her career run would shadow rap mogul Jay-Z's.
"I always said there's no way I could still be doing rap [in ten years], 'cause what will I still be talking about? But now that the public has given me this opportunity to do all types of music, I might have more longevity. As long as I can continue to experiment, then I might be doing music in 10 years. I know that I don't feel like I need to be doing music in 10 years to feel fulfilled. And I don't want to be one of those people who doesn't know when to call it quits. Let's just say that." (Complex)
Back in 2010, Slaughterhouse's Joe Budden offered his take on sustaining an extensive rap career.
"[The key to longevity,] you want to practice, you always want to work on your craft and continue to get better everyday," Budden said during a Hip Hop Nation radio broadcast. "And you want to be as persistent as possible. You will run into a lot of people who are naysayers, people who will be non-believers, people who will tell you you're not fit for this, and you know, it takes a strong-willed individual to be able to block all that out and pursue your dreams." (Hip Hop Nation)
Check out a recent Nas interview below: