Nas has become the latest artist to weigh in on the much-debated controversy between Nicki Minaj and New York radio station Hot 97. Minaj's decision to pull out of a performance at Hot 97's Summer Jam 2012 concert following some criticism from radio personality Peter Rosenberg has been a hot topic in hip hop since Sunday [June 3]. Like Lauryn Hill, Kendrick Lamar and a few other artists, Nas supports Nicki's decision.
"I've been there before and things like that happen every couple of years," he told The Rap Up. "I guess this is the second time something has happened like that between the artist and the radio station. We don't always agree and the nature of hip hop can be aggressive and get real gangsta on you now and then. That's just what it is. These things happen."
Lil Wayne pulled the plug on Nicki Minaj's headlining performance after radio host Peter Rosenberg dissed her song "Starships" while hosting a pre-show festival that featured performances by Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T. and A$AP Rocky. Rosenberg reportedly said the warm-up performances featured "real hip hop" and fans shouldn't expect to hear any "Starships." Clearly referring to Minaj's pop-flavored hit, the comment was not well received by anyone in the Young Money camp. Lil Wayne promptly tweeted, "Young Money ain't doing Summer Jam."
Nas, who had a similar situation with Hot 97 while he was beefing with Jay-Z in 2001, says that he understands why Nicki would be upset.
"I think it was just really messy. When you're in the heat of that moment, no one has time to inform anybody, but we spoke after briefly and it seemed like it was a crazy situation for her to handle. When put in that position, it's no easy thing and I guess I was in support of her, in support of Hot 97. I've been there before, so at the end of the day, it could be fixed. it's one hip hop family, let's unify it."
The Queensbridge MC also explained how the surprise Lauryn Hill performance came about.
"Nicki had asked me to come out during her set and so I figured that would be a great way to go into my show. I only wanted to bring out Lauryn during my set, so she was with it. That's my sister," said Nas. "I don't really keep in touch with anyone except my family. Artists, we're too busy to be in touch, but we've seen each other through the years and it's just love."
As previously reported, Minaj addressed the Summer Jam controversy Monday night [June 4] on Funkmaster Flex's radio show.
Lauryn Hill has also defended Nicki's decision to boycott the show.
"We have to find a better way to commercially exploit music, while giving artists their proper respect," she wrote on Twitter. "This cannot be done while taking their contributions for granted, or trying to control the scope of their growth and power through threats and fear tactics. We can do better than this, there is a better way, or else ‘we’ (the proverbial we) find ourselves in danger of being hypocrites!!!"
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(Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)