Nas' new major cloth interview with DJ Khaled has some real gems in it - people are rightfully focused on his story about being too high to record with Biggie in the studio - but I was also fascinated by Nas listing his all-time favorite albums.
So many people pump the brakes and stutter step when asked for a list like that, understandably so. When you have the kind of influence Nas does, you don't want to leave anyone out. But I really respect that God's Son didn't hesitate at all. He just Steph Curry-style pulled up from 40 and took his shot.
- Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
- Erik B & Rakim Paid in Full
- KRS-One Criminal Minded
- LL Cool J Bad
- Kool G Rap Wanted: Dead or Alive
- Big Daddy Kane Long Live the Kane
- Ice Cube Death Certificate
- Slick Rick The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
- Scarface Mr. Scarface is Back
- A Tribe Called Quest People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
Nas goes on to say that he appreciates what a lot of new artists are doing - including Future, Kendrick, Cole, Drake, Meek Mill, Chance the Rapper, Yo Gotti and his Mass Appeal artists - but it's great to hear him so unabashedly rep late '80s and early '90s hip-hop (and have Ice Cube sneak in there to represent for the west coast). After all, that's the hip-hop that surrounded him and inspired him to be great.
So forget all the debates and hip-hop elitism talk, that's more played out than Nascar jackets. Instead, use his list as a guide, an opportunity to learn your history and discover some great music in the process. No judgments, just dopeness. Personally, it makes me realize I need to get much more familiar with Kool G Rap's catalog - I'm on it... How about you?
By Nathan S, the managing editor of DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.