This is an article I wrote for this months real groove magazine. Go get that shit here.
It's hard being Nas. Living amongst no roses. Killer coppers coming through in helicopters. Ex-wive's suing for child support. Life's a bitch that you've got tattooed on your arm forever and nobody bought your last album. Still though, Nas doesn't give a shit. He's an icon. He's the most important lyricist of our generation. Forget that album with Cleopatra on the cover. Forget that song he did with puffy and the clip with him wearing Eddie Murphy's outfit from Delirious. Forget Belly. (You probably already have) Forget Tupac throwing his toys and forget Jay Z fucking his baby muma. None of that's important. So he fucked up a couple times, so what? Tell me you haven't ever worn a pink suit. Act like you wouldn't do a song with Foxy Brown. Show me a rapper that Tupac did like. Now shut the fuck up and go and listen to 'It Was Written'. Listen to 'Stillmatic'. Listen to 'The Lost Tapes'. These are some of the most creative records ever. Listen to the 16's on songs like 'Project Windows', 'I Gave You Power', 'Last Real Ni**a Alive' 'Drunk By Myself' 'Fried Chicken' 'Can't Forget About You'. These are the blueprint for that 'Blueprint' bullshit. These are albums that do for modern hip hop music what Highway 61 Revisited did for rock in '65. They encourage imagination. They push the limits of lyricism. They prove hip hop is art. Tell me the last time a Lil Wayne album did that? Nas is the most important influence on creative lyricism within hip-hop ever. Without question. Even with a donkey's ear for melody, a marketing team with the I.Q of an oyster and an album catalog that looks like Anfernee Hardaway's stats sheet. He's the Dylan of rap. He's the black Ginsberg. He's like, half man half amazing.Fuck Jay Z.