Hip hop isn't dead. In fact, it's alive, well and thriving according to hip hop legend Nas, who eulogized the genre on his 2006 album Hip Hop Is Dead. According to veteran MC, some of the credit for the revival can be given to young artists like Harlem's Azealia Banks and Philly's Meek Mill.
"I f--k with that '212,'" Nas told The Rap Up about Azealia Banks' first single. "She has incredible star power, you can see it already. I think we need that. To come across the total package in this game, you need more than just a hot 16 and not everybody is blessed with the total package. She has it."
The Queens MC also says that he's watching out for the fast rising Maybach Music star.
"I got my eyes on him [Meek Mill]. He's the next one to take this s--t over. I'm rooting for him," said Nas. "There are no more street orators in the game, who are fresh off the block and can tell us currently what's going on. So you gotta appreciate him. We have to support Meek Mill's movement because he's talking about real life and if we don't support that, then what are we doin'?"
Nas recently joined Meek in the studio to work on the up-and-coming rappers' debut album, Dreams & Nightmares.
"It's amazing," Nas said of the album. "I say out of everybody that's new I listen to him and I feel like he's doing what we need. I'm dying to just kill it on his album."
He also went on to share his affinity for Maybach Music Group head Rick Ross, whom Nas also collaborated with for his own Life Is Good album.
"I respect Ross' business acumen and I respect his music," Nas shared.
Nas' Life Is Good is due in stores July 17.
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(Photos: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images; Karl Walter/Getty Images for Coachella; John Ricard/BET)