With his new Life Is Good album finally on store shelves, rap veteran Nas offered his take on pop meshing into the rap game as of late and why hip-hop artists should acknowledge their true value.
During a New York City album release party this week, Nasty Nas reportedly went on a rant about the state of music.
“This is music that I just put together, I’m praying will be the inspiration for my brothers that’s in the rap game. I think a lot of us are confused about who we are. It’s important that we stay ten toes down at all time. F-k pop, f-k all that sh*t. We don’t imitate pop, pop imitates us! So that’s why we go back to the gutter. We’re number one in about 5 or 6 countries around the world. And none of this is pop. Stick to your guns, do what you do….” (Miss Info TV)
Last February, Young Money rapper Nicki Minaj addressed critics who labeled some of her music pop.
“I would hope that people know at this point that I’m smart enough to know what I’m doing all the time. But I guess they still kind of waiver. I always intended on putting out something urban after ‘Starships,’ because I knew ‘Starships’ was a monster,” she explained. “Maybe it would be a problem if I couldn’t deliver records like ‘Roman Reloaded,’ but I can. I write my own lyrics. Once again, I write my own lyrics. So it’s never a problem. Whatever I feel, I can write, I can create it. So I’m good. I think people sometimes get blown away by the magnitude of the pop stuff, because the pop stuff, it reaches everywhere and then I feel like my hip-hop fans or hip-hop culture starts getting a little bit afraid that I’m going to leave. But this is who I am. I’m not going to change – I’m just adding on to my brand. And if you don’t understand that, then it’s probably why you don’t travel and you don’t see the world and I probably can’t even have a conversation with you anymore.” (“Funkmaster Flex”)
Last month, Hot 97 radio host Peter Rosenberg caught heat after publicly dissing Minaj’s “Starships” record for sounding poppy.
“Nicki’s boyfriend went on Twitter and said he was gonna punch me in the face because I don’t like a pop dance song that his girlfriend made. Word homie? That’s your favorite song? Is that your favorite song? A girly a** dance pop song?,” Rosenberg said. “I’ll tell you what Nicki’s boyfriend, you want to punch me in the face because I don’t like pop dance songs? Please go right ahead. Yeah, and make that check payable to Peter E. Rosenberg. I got you! I got you! [You gonna sue?] Absolutely!” (Hot 97)
In light of the current pop-meets-rap debate, Young Money’s Shanell aka SNL recently talked to SOHH about not catering to one particular genre.
“I’m the kind of person that just listens to music. Period. It’s kind of been a gift and a curse for me because when I do music, I do it because it feels good and it sounds good and when I’ve played certain songs for different people, they’ve been like, ‘This is really rock. This is really pop. This is really urban.’ And I’m like, ‘Really? Because when I listen to it, it sounds good.’ I think right now, in the age that we’re in, people are able to hear more than they’ve ever been able to hear. I think the music industry is starting to realize you’ve got people who like to listen to their favorite genre and I think the world is opening up to people listening to music because it sounds good.” (SOHH Guest Star)
Check out a recent Nas interview below: