Nas says ‘hip-hop is dead’ was ‘mostly’ about New York rap

Anytime you label a genre as “dead”, there is sure to be a big backlash from its supporters. We see this happening nowadays with R&B, but fifteen years ago Nas tried to put this label on rap with his 2006 album hip hop is dead. As expected, the title received a lot of criticism, but the rapper was not deterred by the comments because it arrived unchanged and with a lot of delay. Fast forward to today and the album, and its concept, were the focus of discussion on a recent episode of Nas’ Spotify podcast, The Bridge: 50 years of hip-hop. It featured an appearance from Jeezy who spoke about his feelings towards the album title.

“When he did hip-hop [Is] Dead, I thought he was talking about us,” Jeezy said. “I wanted to be the front guy and say what I said. At the time, you must be thinking, I’m just moving on. I just see my first legit money. I’m just starting my shows. And then you had the Don in New York that said ‘hip-hop is dead!’ In response, Nas clarified his intentions with hip hop is dead.

“I didn’t think about that part,” admitted Nas. “I didn’t think some people would think I was talking about them.” He added, “I’m mostly talking about New York! Mainly New Yorkers. I talk to everyone, but I haven’t explained it enough.

The episode comes as Nas prepares to go out Magic, his third consecutive project produced by Hit-Boy. It follows this year’s King II disease and 2020s The King’s Disease.

You can listen to the full episode of The Bridge: 50 years of hip-hop with Jeezy here.

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