Nas recently spoke on his relevance outside hip-hop, revealing a new motivation to make more inspirational-based music.
Claiming he was inspired by his Grammy-nomination for Untitled, the rapper described upcoming issues he plans to address while attending a BMI (Broadcast Music Inc) event last week.
“[The nod] showed that I’m here and my voice is relevant,” Nas said. “It shows my work is appreciated…It tends to scare people and offend them, a record is supposed to do that every once in a while. We have it good here in America, we’re spoiled. We don’t realize that people are poor, don’t have food, no water in this same world we live in. Those are the things I’m concerned with and need to talk about.” (Associated Press)
Aside from performing, the event featured a variety of artists.
The night started off with performances from singer Kameron Corvet, rapper Rain, first runner up songstress Ryn Nicole and the evening’s winners, 718. The finalists were judged Manny Hailey (Keyshia Cole and Lyfe Jennings manager) songwriter/artist Sean “The Pen” Garrett Jimmy Rosemond (The Game and Pleasure P‘s manager) music executive Kawan Prather and Leonard Brooks. The crowd was geared up to see Nas — who did not disappoint. I was happy to hear “One Love,” Street Dreams,” “One Mic,” “If I Ruled The World,” “Black President,” and his verse off “My President is Black” as part of the extensive set. (SOHH Soulful)
Nas recently announced plans to release an upcoming collaboration album.
“Right now, I’ll tell you first, I’m working on an album with Damian Marley and we tryin’ to build some schools in Africa with this one, and trying to build empowerment,” Nas declared. “We’re tryin’ to show love and stuff with this album. So, the record’s…all about really the ‘hood and Africa also as well. That’s coming out real soon…Too early to tell the title or anything like that. Shout out to my man Jr. Gong, we getting it in right now.” (MTV News)
He is also set to headline this year’s Rock the Bells international tour.
Rock the Bells 2009 performances by KRS-One, House of Pain, Nas, Common, Big Boi, Reflection Eternal, Damian Marley, Tech N9ne, K’Naan, RZA, Big Boi, La Coka Nostra, Slaughterhouse, M.O.P., Slum Village, Buckshot, Evidence, Alchemist and more. It will be hosted by KRS-One, Supernatural, Murs and Pete Rock. Additional artists to be announced. The North American portion of the tour will run from June 27 to August 9. (Guerilla Union)