It’s been almost 10 years since Nas proclaimed “Hip-Hop Is Dead” on wax. A lot has changed in the culture since then though.
In honor of time passing, Nas was asked whether he still believes hip-hop is in a casket during an appearance on HBO’s Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons. It seems like he’s had a change of mind thanks to Kendrick Lamar, Drake and J. Cole.
“Better,” the Queensbridge native replied when asked if hip-hop is in a better or worse place. “Because it gave birth to Kendrick and J. Cole. Drake and a few other great, great artists … They inspire me. Drake said something on his first album about me. In the liner notes. And J. Cole made an interesting song about me. And Kendrick has said some really positive words. He gave me a shout out when he won his Grammy. So, they inspire me.”
In 2010, Nas seemed willing to change his infamous stance on the genre he made his name in. During an interview with the Wall Street Journal he stated hip-hop “died several times, but I do believe in the heartbeat of it right now.”
Also during the interview Nas was asked about his legendary beef with Jay Z. Looking back on it, he says it was a “healthy rap rivalry” and expanded on how things can spiral out of hand when media attention is heavy. He was also asked what he would tell Biggie and Tupac if he were warped back to 1995.
Check out the full Nas interview segment with Bill Simmons below.
(Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images for Hennessy)