Nasty Nas really needs no introduction. From "Illmatic" through "Streets Disciple," the legendary New York lyricist always remains one of Hip Hop's most gifted writers.
These are the transcripts of an interview with Nas aired July 31st, 2005 on DJ Hyphen & J. Moore's "Sunday Night Sound Session" on Seattle's KUBE 93.3 FM. For more info. on DJ Hyphen click here.
MVRemix: Congratulations on your last album Street’s Disciple doing big things, double album in stores now. Can you tell us something about the next project you’re working on and when you got it coming out? Like a title?
Nas: The next project is coming out late October, maybe Halloween. We’re trying to pick the date, either Halloween or like two weeks after that. Early November. Title of it right now is “Nasdaq: Dow Jones.” You know just making my power moves. You know with this last one actually on Sony Records, so far. Completing a chapter, getting ready to get into the new one.
MVRemix: So who do you have lined up to do beats? There are rumors that you might be doing a whole album with Primo… Who’s doing beats on this next one?
Nas: This next one is definitely LES, Salaam Remi, Premier’s on there, definitely. Hi-Tek is on there. A lot of names, a lot of big names that I ain’t gonna ever get a chance to work with really that are going to do some things now with and I’m just trying to figure out which songs I’m gonna to keep on the album.
MVRemix: Can you maybe let us know two of the largest non-musical influences on you that connect to the music? Things outside of music that impact your music… Family, religion, whatever it may be.
Nas: I would say it would be my parents, mom and dad you know. Mom is definitely a big, a big superwoman. She held down the crib and in the projects with me and my little brother, you know she held us down, and my father had a big thing about doing your own thing. Since we were kids, just do your own thing and be your own boss. Definitely go to my parents.
MVRemix: What do you think personally is the most influential song you’ve created in your catalogue? The one that has the most impact on you on a personal level.
Nas: It would have to be this last album “Street’s Disciple,” it’s gotta be like the whole vibe of it. It’s just really personal for me, that’s what this new record is like. It’s always going to be about me and stuff that’s happening around me but I think the “Streets Disciple,” the whole joint… “Bridging the Gap” with my father, the “Get Married” record… the “Daughter” record just me and my little one… The whole thing has been real personal.
MVRemix: How is married life?
Nas: I suggest it to all people that’s coming up in the world, you need a partner in crime you know what I mean? You could be married to the streets to a certain point man, but if you can’t marry, just take your time don’t rush in to it but I would definitely recommend it to everybody, all young people in the world; coming of age into adulthood, you definitely need a strong foundation.
MVRemix: Who is your primary influence lyrically? The one lyricist or emcee in Hip-Hop past or present?
Nas: It changed from times to when years changed. It was from Rakim or Kool G Rap, Cool J, MC Shan, KRS One, N.W.A. - you know it’s just everybody… It’s one hit wonder dudes that really inspire me too. A lot of kids that put out one record and you never heard from them again. They maybe had one style that was really crazy. Then up to date it’d be Pac, B.I.G., I think we all followed them because they left such an impact lyrically in how they just swang it; it was really inspirational. I think we’re all stuck on Pac and BIG. Other than that, I appreciate the stuff that Eminem’s done. I’m liking the last Talib [Kweli] project, Stylez P, Jadakiss, of course. I’m really crazy about Jada right now.
MVRemix: I’ve got to ask about the man you signed, the one you had on the “Just A Moment” single, Quan, what’s up with him? How’s the album going? When’s that due out?
Nas: He just signed so he’s in the lab. He’s puttin’ songs together right now as we speak. He’s on his grizzly gettin’ it together. We getting’ ready to get his record together and I’m real excited about him, man. He’s a really versatile cat.
MVRemix: Are there any other emcees that you’re working with? I know there’s rumours about Saigon, and there’s actually a rumour about you and AZ actually doing a full length album together…is that maybe down the line somewhere?
Nas: I’m with it man you know. I mean we’ll get in the studio and knock it out. There’s a lot of new artists that I’m really feeling. There’s a new singer I’m feeling man. It’s really early to talk about him - this brother named Tre Williams, but I’m really thinking he might be the next one to sign. As far as lyrically, I’ve been watching a lot of DVDs, and I puttin’ my ear to the street, there’s a lot of new up and coming New Yorkers that are getting ready to be the new renaissance of New York rap; I really feel it. So I’m lookin’ at them.
MVRemix: We really appreciate you giving us a few minutes backstage at the Summer Jam. Thank you.
Nas: I’ll come back up here anytime you want me man. I’m excited about the new record, I’m excited about my man Quan, it’s going down, thanks for having me.
"Sunday Night Sound Session" with DJ Hyphen and J. Moore airs every Sunday night on KUBE 93.3 FM (Seattle) from 11 PM PST - Midnight.