Rap mogul Nas may be destined for the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame one day but “God’s Son” recently took an opportunity to describe his undying admiration for fellow New York rap veterans Rakim, Kool G. Rap and Slick Rick.
Dishing out his love for the hip-hop elite, Nas pointed out a New York bias for making them his favorites.
“They were the illest. They were just the illest. I think when I heard Rakim say, “Marley Marl synthesized it.” that let us know that we were listening to QB music. Me being from QB, and him mentioning Marley Marl, and Marley Marl having something to do with his first record, to us, we felt like we owned it. “Eric B. Is President,” we felt like we made up the wop in Queensbridge, because the record was recorded there. When MC Shan said, “This is a place where stars are born,” it didn’t just mean people from the neighborhood. People would come to Queensbridge, because of Marley Marl, to start their thing off.” (Complex)
In relation to Slick Rick and Kool G. Rap, Nasty Nas credited their story-telling abilities for winning him over.
“Hip-hop music was educating America, and Rakim adding seven-times-seven-times-three was such a big deal. It showed you how his mind worked. It showed you the intelligent side. That appealed to me. With Kool G. Rap, his wordplay was the most incredible thing I’d ever heard in my life. Slick Rick was Dr. Seuss meets Sherlock Holmes meets the Bronx.” (Complex)
Last summer, Kool G. Rap told SOHH he would place Nas on his hip-hop dream team if given an opportunity.
“Let’s see, right now, G. Rap, Nas, Eminem,” Kool G told SOHH when asked who would be in his dream rap group. “I can’t ignore the fact that that boy Eminem is incredible. He’s lyrically incredible. Anybody that’s ever sat and fronted on this dude’s talent is like, come on, man. Stop playing me. I’m a [hip-hop] nemesis and even I can’t ignore the dude’s talent level. I would say my man Jay-Z. We’re talking lyricists right here. I’m talking real heavy weights. Not taking anything away from the cats out there because there are cats out there that are current that I like. I like T.I. and Rick Ross. But we’re talking super rap groups, so I gotta go with the heavy weight lyricists that are undeniable on anybody’s radar. I don’t care what era we’re in. You can’t take Nas being a lyricist beat away from him.” (SOHH)
Back in 2010, Nas named all three rap veterans in a Top 10 favorite emcees list.
1. “My Downfall” – Notorious B.I.G., 1997 -The lyrics are about how he’s acing the shadows of death, despite all of his success, and he’s giving it to you in a way that makes it seem so real. 2. “If My Homie Calls” – 2Pac, 1991 -He’s just saying to his boys that he’s going to be a friend no matter how big he gets. 3. “Road To The Riches” – Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo, 1989 -The way we’re rhyming now? He was already doing it then. 4. “A Bird In The Hand” – Ice Cube, 1991 5. “Paid In Full” – Eric B. & Rakim, 1987 6. “I’m Single” – Lil Wayne, 2010 -I’m recently divorced, so I feel what he’s saying. 7. “Tears of Joy” – Rick Ross, 2010 -Ross is at the pulpit here. 8. “The Moment I Feared” – Slick Rick, 1988 -It’s cinematic. He’s at a hip-hop show and ices this girl who played him, then he’s in prison getting violated by some dude. This was unheard of. 9. “Empire State of Mind” – Jay-Z, 2009 -This song is huge. It sounds like Broadway. It’s New York’s modern anthem. 10. “Queen B*tch” – Lil’ Kim, 1996 -At the time, females rappers didn’t appeal to the street, but Kim came with the vulgarity, sexuality and gangster sh*t. (Prefix Mag)
Check out a recent Nas interview below: