This December will mark 10 years since Nas proclaimed "Hip Hop Is Dead" with the release of his eighth studio album.
In an interview with MTV several months before the album's release, the veteran emcee explained the motivation behind the album's title: "I think hip-hop could help rebuild America, once hip-hoppers own hip-hop. ... We are our own politicians, our own government, we have something to say. We're warriors. Soldiers."
So, 10 years later, does Nas still feel the same way? Have hip-hop's frontline soldiers helped to rebuild America through their music?
On Wednesday evening, the Queens native was a guest alongside Kevin Durant on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with host Bill Simmons. During their interview, Simmons asked Nas if hip-hop is in a better or worse place a decade after his bold proclamation, to which he replied it's better “because it gave birth to Kendrick, J. Cole, Drake and a few other great, great artists.”
While Nas giving credit to Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole—who we remember let Nas down but was granted forgiveness—shouldn't be surprising, neither should the credit he dished out to Drake. Nas might be a living lyrical miracle, but he's also a fan of non-lyrical music. Earlier this year, he revealed his fandom of Future and said the ATL hitmaker is "pushing flows forward."
Hip-hop is unquestionably in a unique place at the moment, and social media furor surrounding "mumble rap" artists like Lil Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert is a very real thing, but like Mick Jenkins said earlier this month, "if you believe hip-hop is dead you're not really looking."
Meanwhile, we already know Nas' next album is done, but sadly Simmons didn't ask the legendary emcee if Kendrick, Cole or Drake will be making an appearance. C'mon Bill.
You can watch the full episode here.
By DJ Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.
Photo Credits: Instagram