Renowned producer Salaam Remi recently discussed linking up with Nas for his upcoming Life Is Good solo album and revealed why Nasty has remained relevant for over two decades.
In Remi’s perspective, the Queens, New York-bred rap poet has stayed true to his hardcore audience’s needs.
“I mean, the reason why Nas is still here, after 21 years, I would give it to his instinct. There’s only three people that I can say have been around that long, and that’s Nas, Busta, and Mary. If you actually sit down with them, it’s not a coincidence why they’re still doing what they do. … People may not love every minute of what their careers are, but they’re still really clear on what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, how they’re appealing to their core, who’s been with them for 20 years, and how they’re going forward.” (Complex)
Along with longevity talk, Remi narrowed in on Nas’ self-criticism.
“Nas is his hardest critic, in general. He normally has to write something, leave it alone, and then come back to it,” Salaam added. “Most of the time, he’s not going to write it tonight and be like, “Yes.” But even right now, like, if you look at him, you can tell. Look at him now and look at a picture of him from seven or eight years ago. You can tell, like, “Alright, cool.” He’s conditioned to do what he’s on.” (Complex)
Last month, God’s Son also considered why his career has lasted over 20 years.
“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)
Back in 2010, Nas also reflected on what his music represents in an ever-changing rap game.
“A lot of people are fronting, like, ‘I’m from this. I’m from that,'” he said in an interview. “Even the so-called [socially] conscious rappers, they claim ghetto. I love jewelry. I love cars,” he said. “And part of it is because cars fascinate me. Part of it is because of what social status it represents. … So I do talk about it [on recordings]. Every gangster I’ve ever known or every street dude I’ve ever known has a heart. They know about … more than girls and booty-shakin’. And that’s who I’m here to represent. All my peers are dead, fugitives or locked up.” (Sun-Sentinel)
Check out a recent Nas interview below: