Queens emcee Nas recently discussed his take on delivering a signature lyrical flow for the past 20 years and how he feels about other rappers borrowing for their own rhymes.
From Nasty Nas’ perspective, his style can only be described as classic.
“I like to stay doing me,” Nas said. “I think the style is timeless. I hear it in a lot of people and it reminds me how timeless it is, the kind of style I do. And once I hit it, and it’s right, it’s golden. If I’m a little off with it? Ahh, I can’t even listen to the song ever again. I’m just trying to perfect it so that it’s right and it doesn’t sound like I’m just doing something I [already] did. It feels fresh; like this is the first time I’m ever doing it.” (MTV)
This week, Nas opened up about the state of hip-hop and what emcees are making him step his up his lyrical skills.
..”I’m happy about music, it’s pushing me back into the studio. I just love what’s happening [in music]: I love Odd Future, [Lil] Wayne, Drake, ‘Ye [and] Rick Ross. It’s something that threatens my position. Or it makes me question what I’m going to do next. What kind of impact do I want have now that I’ve been in the business this long. It’s a challenge, it’s scary even. But I’m very comfortable. I’m excited to see what comes out of me… I’m ready.” (The Juice)
After recently remaking Nas’ Illmatic with his elmatic EP, Detroit rapper eLZhi spoke to SOHH about the rapper’s key characteristics.
“Nas is very poetic,” eL explained. “So it’s certain rhymes that you might get from Nas where he kind of like gives you scenes in his lines. Each bar might be a different scene. He may give you visuals where you can visualize these scenes. There’s certain songs like ‘New York State of Mind Part 2′ where he tells you a straight up, flat out, story. You know what I’m saying? And he takes you along that journey. That was pretty dope for that song. And ‘I Gave You Power’ was just a crazy concept. That affected me as far as the kind of concepts that I wanted to create, along with ‘Rewind,’ which was a song off [2001’s] Stillmatic where he’s telling the whole story backwards. Stuff like that is amazing to me so it definitely affected the way I move my pen.” (SOHH)
Last year, Young Money’s Drake delayed his platinum-selling Thank Me Later album to study Nas’ rhymes and perfect his debut.
“It’s gonna be bigger, it’s gonna sound happier,” Drake said comparing it to his So Far Gone album. “Yeah, it’s gonna sound bigger, it’s gonna sound victorious because that’s where I am in my life — I really studied Nas to be honest, Nas was like somebody that I used to listen to his raps and not really understand ‘how’ he did it, I always wanted to understand how he painted those pictures and his bar structure and all of that. I went back and really studied Nas, studied Andre 3000 [for this album] and I hope you like it.” (IM Flashy)
Check out a recent Nas interview below: