Nas’ failed opportunity

I wouldn’t have watched any of the Grammys at all, but my lifestyle is such that a) I had already seen literally everything else that was on cable last night, and b) I was a bit too intoxicado to get any reading done. So I kept flipping back and forth between them and a few other things, including The Wire, which I might have to write about this week, provided nothing else interesting happens. (And obviously there’s a strong likelihood of the latter.)

Unfortunately, I didn’t think to tune in to any of the coverage of the red carpet that ran on some other networks, like CNN, which I guess didn’t have any real news to cover. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were both interviewed on 60 Minutes, which aired on CBS right before the Grammys, and that’s what I ended up watching. On the outside chance that anyone gives a shit, Obama came off better than Hillary, but neither of the interviews was particularly interesting.

So it wasn’t until today that I saw that a) Nas was at the Grammys, b) him and his wife Kelis had on shirts with the dreaded n-word on them, and c) he was interviewed on the red carpet by motherfucking Joey Fatone from N’Sync, i.e. the straight one, who was reporting for CNN. If you haven’t seen this shit already, you might want to check it, though I’m sure it’ll be showing up on this site later on today or tomorrow, as is the case with most hip-hop-related videos.

Nas and Kelis on the red carpet

The white girl from CNN asks Nas about his shirt and what the response to it has been so far on the red carpet. Nas responds that so far people have been surprisingly open-minded, which I took to mean that hardly anyone really gave a shit. This might not bode well for the commercial prospects for his forthcoming album, since regardless of whatever his views are, obviously his aim is to stir up some shit and hope people are confused enough to buy his album, like they did with Hip-Hop Is Dead.

What if everyone just ignores him?

Part of the problem could be that, as long as it’s been since he announced that his next album would be called the dreaded n-word, he’s yet to come up with a compelling enough soundbite to expand on the issue, when pressed to do so by the media. In the clip above, he launches into this whole spiel about people being discriminated against, the war in Iraq, and what have you, but it isn’t necessarily clear what any of this has to do with the price of tea in China.

He also tries to tie the name of his album in with this year’s historic presidential election, which is a pretty good idea, I think, marketing-wise. It’s not unlike what Jay-Z tried to pull with American Gangster. Granted American Gangster performed even worse sales-wise than motherfucking Kingdom Come, but I’m pretty sure that’s because no one really liked either the album or the film, which I’ll admit I haven’t seen. (And yet, here I am mentioning it in a post.)

My fantasy woman from CNN tries to press the little homey on who he’s supporting in the election, but instead of saying Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton, or Ron Paul, or whoever, he says which ever candidate will abolish this “thing” that will rescind black people’s right to vote 23 years from now. Which must be some shit he read about in one of these BS chain emails, a la the Jena Six. I’m assuming there is no such “thing,” but who knows? TPAR?

If I was Nas, I would’ve found some way to work Barack Obama’s name into it, even if I wasn’t planning to support the senator, if only because that would have meant instant publicity. The t-shirt bit alone obviously wasn’t enough. I haven’t even seen that shit being discussed anywhere other than a few hip-hop outlets. Meanwhile, I can just see the headlines, if there had been some Obama angle: “Rapper in ‘Nigger’ t-shirt endorses Barack Obama.”

That shit would have been all over the place.

  • http://pitlanta.blogspot.com Maurice Garland

    ha, failed aint the word….more like squandered…big fuggin deal he decided to name his album “Nigger”…I dont even know why people are even entertaining the thought that he’d have anything “intellectual” to say…what hasn’t been said about the n-word? The last time I saw “nigger” put to good use was on the Dave Chappelle skit…sad, I was really sitting there waiting for him to say something of value…and was let down…then again, I’ve been let down by his last two albums, so I dont even know why Im shocked…

    anyways…Ice Cube rockin the nigga hat to an award show back in the day made a stronger point, and he didnt even have to say nothing…

    • http://xxlmag.com Bol

      >ha, failed aint the word….more like squandered

      Shh…

      People might think I didn’t spend that much time on this.

    • http://www.myspace.com/yfloremix Flo

      Hell yea homy, I def 2nd that
      I expected him to have given an Obama speech about his shirt (and album title) but was let down…horribly

      • Cass’

        Last I remember, Nas didn’t support politicians

  • JAY STONE

    Rapper in ‘Nigger’ t-shirt endorses Barack Obama.”
    _______________________________________
    classic

    America Gangster is classic fatboy

  • yo

    word, always enjoyed your blogs the most.

  • b-ease

    he says which ever candidate will abolish this “thing” that will rescind black people’s right to vote 23 years from now.

    I thought Nas was kind of a dumbass, but that quote confirms beyond doubt. He definetly read that in an email. Like 5 years ago.

    Obama got lobbed some softballs on 60 Minutes last nite, and I thought he came off slightly arrogant. The Wire is definetly losing that gritty, documentary quality that made it so unique. It even looks like it’s filmed on a better camera this year. Still the best show on TV, but that’s not saying much considering how shitty TV is.

  • http://xxlmag.com kane corleone

    He passed in my book.Called all u mu’fuccas Niggers….. even the white people.He took a shit in a lot of peoples cornflakes, now bitch how it taste?

  • moresickaMC

    he was talkin about ignorance and discrimination asswipes.

  • b-ease

    America Gangster is classic

    No. It is not. Movie or album.

  • TheMailMan

    “He also tries to tie the name of his album in with this year’s historic presidential election, which is a pretty good idea, I think, marketing-wise. ”

    You can’t be serious! A good idea…fa real? That is stupid as hell. Nas should just make some dope records.Leave Obama out of that conversation!…Bol……Homie..please defend that comment..I am interested in knowing where that came from…

    http://www.myspace.com/yelawolf

  • BIG O

    true he didnt come off sounding the most intelligent in the interview.but i think him naming the album nigger is a brilliant idea.i dont know if anyone actually remembers but on hip hop is dead its not like it was hust the name of his cd he actually explained himself in a smart and comprehensible way.nas hasnt rapped about the same shit as other rappers for damn near 10 yeears so you know he isnt just going to be on some ignorant shit.

    hey bol would you honestly be writing about it if the name of his cd was niggas is ballin or nigger get money all day.you probably wouldnt.you would think it was the hottest shit in the world i 50 cent’s new cd was niggers from ny stack money.its funny how even black people fear the intelligent negro

  • BIZZLE

    I SAY NIGGER 100 TIMES EVERY MORNING WHEN I WAKE UP..IT KEEPS MY TEETH WHITE.

    • nellz

      thats hilarious.

    • http://www.first.com First

      That’s some funny shit!

    • I REIGN SUPREME

      “I SAY NIGGER 100 TIMES EVERY MORNING WHEN I WAKE UP..IT KEEPS MY TEETH WHITE.”

      ^^ Now that’s funny. But on the real I think NAS whole thought process on this N****R thing is dumb. Here you have a black man for the first time in history making an attempt to run for the highest office in politics and you have this dumb sh*t taking place. Its hard for an intelligent black man to truly get any respect, when you have dumb stuff like this taken place. You can not justify calling your self A N****r!!!!!!!

      • obiously slow

        i dont get it, can someone please explain?

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    u a faggit ass nas’ t shirt, bol

  • Josh

    Why the hell didn’t my comment post? I was posing as TPAR!

    • Worley

      Bol is TPAR. Underwriter I’m still suspicious of you. Sunday where ya at?

      Bizzle I know you ain’t up here recycling Paul Mooney jokes.

      Nas is on the right track. I trust he will articulate his position much better on the album.

  • http://www.myspace.com/chronikill ROX ONE

    Rapper in ‘Nigger’ t-shirt endorses Barack Obama.”
    _______________________________________
    classic

    ^agreed…. LOL..

  • http://hiphoponmymind.blogspot.com DJ Daddy Mack

    Why do u post things on shit u know nothing about?

    “Half of being smart is knowing what your dumb at.” -EbenGregory

  • Pierzy

    NaS is still more interesting than anything Wayne could wear, even if it were a picture of him sucking on Birdman’s bird…man. Anyway, I think it’s impressive that NaS got on CNN at all considering how terrible MCs are doing in the mainstream media these days. And “American Gangster” is a classic in both forms of the film and the album…

  • Zo

    So what’s gonna happen when “White People” start wearing the shirt??? Hummmmm……

    • c. gabi

      Interestingly enough,

      I saw some random white chick walking in behind him and Kelis with a “N*gger” tank top on….

  • http://www.theclassiks.blogspot.com H. IMPERIAL

    NAS IS THE MAN….GIVE RESPECT 2 THE BEST M.C.

    http://www.imperialfilmworks.com
    http://www.myspace.com/imperialfilmworks

  • http://xxlmag.com Kane Corleon

    So what’s gonna happen when “White People” start wearing the shirt?
    ____________________________^^^^^

    Mu’fuccas is gonna get stomped the fuck out!!!!,and that teeth white line is from Paul Mooney funny as hell.rofl

  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    I’m not so sure about that 23 years left for black voters bit.

    Every time somebody brings it up, it is shot down by so many credible sources that it makes you feel like an ass just for believing it. Maybe it is true, but it sounds a little crazy.

    I swear I’ve heard that black voter conspiracy over and over, and it’s always a changing date. Weren’t we supposed to lose the right to vote before 2000? Then right after? And now it’s 23 years from now?

    I hope it has some factual basis, or else it’s looking like Nigger will be built on a false premise. I respect Nas as one of the greatest, but he can’t afford to look like a whiner anymore.

    Jay is corporate. Wu-Tang is in shambles. Puffy can’t keep good artists. Boot Camp is still underground after all this time. Busta can’t sell, even with four videos and Dr. Dre’s help. Tribe isn’t concerned. Mos and Talib are stuck in the “media darling” zone.

    Truth be told, Nas might be all that NY has left, which is somewhat scary. Let’s hope he hones in on his nigger message.

    • Pierzy

      This is very well said…nice work

  • Dash

    I heard that Sonny Black was the reason his album got pushed back…indefinitely…

  • Dub Sac

    Yeah, I’ve been waiting to hear a good explanation of why he called his CD Nigger. In the XXL interview last month, he said he wanted to make it harmless so that no one bats an eye, but then talked about how white people can’t use the word cause it’s still so potent. Which is it, man? Do you want it to be harmless to hear but inflamatory to say? Does that accomplish anything? It seems like he thought up the idea and threw it out there before really thinking it through. Just spitting out fragments of ideas that don’t build into a coherent argument

  • Explains What Nas Meant By 25 Years

    The Voting Rights Act (VRA) expires every 25 years. They reauthorized it in 2006 – it expires in 2031. However, if the VRA ceased to be law, blacks would still have the right to vote; it’s guaranteed in the Constitution. The VRA was needed in the 60s when states had all sorts of poll taxes, literacy requirements, and tricks to prevent blacks from voting. Today, it’s unlikely that anyone would try that, and besides, that’s been found to be unconstitutional as well. What WOULD change if the VRA was not law is this: under the current system, if blacks are a sizable part of a state, city, or county, they often have the right, depending on certain complex conditions, to have districts drawn in which they are a majority, thereby ensuring that some blacks will get elected to the Congress, City Council, school board, or what have you. That may cease to be law in 2031. In fact, there’s a chance that the Supreme Court may find that part of the VRA unconstitutional in a couple years. – Tray.

  • Tone

    im sure nas will explain it perfectly on his album because if he doesnt it will be badddd dont u think this is alot of pressure naming ur album nigger and knowing people are going to look for what u mean i think its coo funny how it would play out in a store with a white person tryin to buy it they have a video for that actually

  • STREETS IS WATCHIN

    I heard Sonny Black sent some of his goons at nas, so he might not even release the album with that title..he’s bluffing!

  • gamma

    Hold UP,NaS is still more interesting than anything Wayne could wear, even if it were a picture of him sucking on Birdman’s bird…man. LMAO!
    WHY ARE YALL BASHING THIS DUDE BEFORE THE ALBUM EVEN COMES OUT HE’S NOT STUPID THAT SHIT IS REAL AS FUCK IMA BE A NIGGA THEN LET ME BE A NIGGA HE WAS THE REALEST NIGGA AT THE SHOW HE DRESSED HOW HE FELT IF YOU THINK IT WAS FOR ATTENTION THAN YOU MUST NOT HERD A NAS RECORD AT ALL HE ALWAYS HAS RACIAL ISSUES IN HIS SONGS LISTEN TO STREETS DECIPLE OR I AM OR STILLMATIC NONE OF US KNOWS WHAT HE’S THINKING CUZ WE DONT THINK LIKE HIM WHEN THE ALBUM COMES OUT THEN JUDGE NAS AINT HOLYWOOD FUCK A IMAGE THAT DUDE IS FOR THE HOOD DO YOUR RESEARCH ON NAS MAN I COULD GO DEEPER BUT YALL AINT WORTH IT!

  • JD

    i got a feeling this album isnt gonna be great. im gonna be a nigga downloading Nigger

  • u should know better

    check this out man..,i was flipping through channels as i do when there isn’t shit on.so i see this dude nas on CNN with the word nigger on his shirt and a flat assed chick on his side.make sense seeing that dudes that fuck chicks with flat asses phrase the word just like that.now this dude said the dumbest shit i heard in years…,and i live in Charleston SC Geechee capitol..so i hear dumbshit come from out of niggaz mouthes every day..how fucking dare you talk to C fucking N.N with nigger on your shirt and flat ass chick on ya side,when we got a black man running for president.. like aint you that nigga who supposed to be smart and understand the underline ignorance in this county..nigga is you stupid..is that flat ass chick on you side stupid…damn nigga you fall off that hard…now just the esthetics’s of this shit is off but when they ask why black man…why do u have nigger on you shirt..this nigga proceeds to spit that famed shit he i is famous for..how da fuck is that the explanation you give C fuckin N.N do you know we at war do you know who Obama is you bama ass retard..and get that bitch kellis some butt implants…that shit is unacceptable

  • fuck outta here

    you know whats worst than a ignorant nigger, a nigger who know he a nigger an proud off it…im black but i aint no nigger, i got niggaz they my niggaz im they nigga but i aint no nigger fuck that nigga nas…how a nigga leave used condoms in ya shit an a couple years later yall cool..naw that nigga lost his voice with me

  • http://benjurr.wordpress.com/ Benner

    Nas is an airhead, but I love him (nh). I wish he would just sit down with some intelligent people (see Michael Eric Dyson) and have them help him write lyrics. That could be revolutionary. Which is a hell of a lot better then what it probably will be which is confusing (as Bol said)

    Good job Bol, I like reading your stuff

  • Tyler

    1st and formost. . BoL, not even 2 months ago U were happy to spread your fat rumpcheeks and slowly sit and spin on Mrs. Clinton’s strap-on. . What happen between now and then dude? “Obama came off better than Hillary, but neither of the interviews was particularly interesting.”
    Stay on her dildo dude cause we don’t want your kind over here, U uncle Tom.

    2nd: How in the fuck do U keep this so called job and U haven’t heard Kingdom Come or atleast seen American Gangsta? U must not ever leave your ma’ dukes basement cause U would get killed in the streets my brotha’ and I wouldn’t be able to run all these trains on your mom with a couple of my hard dick homeboys so I guess U stayin’ down there is a blessing.

    Lastly, yea’ Nas is right about ‘dat voting law. It’s not really a law that black people get to vote. It’s like a bill or something that comes up every couple of years and the current President at the time has to re-sign it for us to be able to vote for the next couple of years. I know Regan signed it once. . and I think this Bush re-signed it but the point Nas was making is that it is not truly a law and he was bringing it 2 your dumbass attention. It should be a law for us 2 vote. Instead of like some fucking cable bill you have to pay every month.
    Know your history my brothers and sisters. And BoL, put that ding dong sandwich down and run a lap around the house.

  • Tyler

    BoL, oh yea’ U can stratch one of those questions above cause I figured out how U keep your job. The word is, U eat a mean ding dong sandwich dude. I ain’t hatin’. 2 each his own.

  • Pingback: Nas’ failed opportunity | interesting videos

  • Teflon Don

    hey bol would you honestly be writing about it if the name of his cd was niggas is ballin or nigger get money all day.you probably wouldnt.you would think it was the hottest shit in the world i 50 cent’s new cd was niggers from ny stack money.its funny how even black people fear the intelligent negro

    dat ish had me rollin for the last 10 minutes

  • Lxet

    ^- so0o not that serious!
    Tyler.. i wonder what you fascination with “ding dongs sandwiches” has to do with the blog. stay on topic my dude. You took his “opinion” really personal.. lol..

  • http://www.jameslambjr.com Melanin Manson

    With this sad excuse for publicity seeking, Nas tortures us all with his sad misunderstanding of provisions in the Voting Rights Act. His regulation of the N-word into a fashion brand commodifies the dehumanization of African Americans, without shame or good sense.

    How droll. Such an amazing waste of talent. It seems his one-time rival and current benefactor Jay-Z ultimately proved accurate in his dismissal of Nas’ career. (“Had a spark when you started/ but now, you’re just garbage…”)

  • http://www.myspace.com/maxprofit Max Profit

    What!??! You never seen American Gangster?

    Man you are a real square!

    You should be up to date with the culture before you comment on it.

  • Tyler

    Lxet says:

    ^- so0o not that serious!
    Tyler.. i wonder what you fascination with “ding dongs sandwiches” has to do with the blog. stay on topic my dude. You took his “opinion” really personal.. lol..

    Ur not the Boss of me. Get off my Ding Dong Sandwich Bitch! Unless U want a bite. . In that case. . See BoL.

  • KLETEWOOD

    NAS is the “NIGGER GUY” from Southpark!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghD3mbToCaE

  • ship

    i lost a lot of respect for nas after watching this clip…i used to think he was one of the most intelligent rappers in the game, at least on the mainstream side of things but that was just some incoherent bullshit

  • http://www.picturemedia.co.za I RUN THIS..

    Nas hit a home run with this “Nigga T-shirt” thing of his. Look, i think all he wanted was to spark a debate and guess what..all of us are debating this shit..lol..So all in all, mission accomplishd..Nas wins..

    Now lets see if anyone that comments after me doesnt mention the words “Nas”, “Nigga” and “New album”…

  • Fernando

    Nas is a joke. Top flight NY rappers are just terrible right now. Most of them either use publicity stunts or their reputation to sell albums instead of actual good music. And if they arent trying to capture their old glory, they end up rapping about womens clothing or the lates fruity drink.

    Kanye is officially annoying. His albums are terrible and he must have been fed a steady diet of Gerbers & Praise growing up because the guy is way to in to himself.

    And whats with the Album of the year nominations? Ti vs. TIP??? Kingdom Come?? Who the hell bought those albums or even talks about them? The Grammy’s are probably the worst barometer for what is worth a damn in Hip Hop.

  • Bol U fat A blk Shrek

    I posted a defamed Bol post, and Fat bass deleted it.

    Suck nutz

  • KLETEWOOD

    I can see it now….when the album drops, white folks are gonna head over to Tower Records and ask the sales person, “Can I get Nas’s new “Nigger” album”?

    Someones gonna jump over the counter and slap that white dude for saying the word “nigger”.

    How the fuck can you drop an album and title it something you can’t even say in public.

    Atleast Tupac had “Strictly for my niggas”.

    Stupid fuck.

  • Rizzop

    “You can not justify calling your self A N****r!!!!!!!”

    You guys are true idiots. He never called himself a nigger. He is once again taking power from the word. He never created the word, HATE did, and to throw that shit in white america’s face is a good thing. If ya’ll dont think you still get called nigger under white folks breath you are deaf dumb and blind. The whole way this world is run was for the sole purpose for minorites to fail, and anything that can bring that to light is a good thing. If ya’ll aint realized is that its 200 fucking 8 and this is the first time a “nigger”(maybe??) has a shit at running the country! Racism is still very relevent in this world and cant be dealt with until it is thrown back in the very people’s faces that made it that way….Shout out to NAS for addressing a subject that people are scared too…cuz they might get shot. I though hip hop was freedom of expression folks???

  • stoneyisland

    There’s an old saying that basically goes “what happens in house, stays in house” by officially making it cool for white people to say nigger is letting shit out of house. As a African American I dont like the words used in front of or around ANY white person. ANy intelligent black person should feel the same. Now I will admit around black folk I have and probably will continue to use it in the proper context (playing the dozens or just kidding around) but to use the word in front of white people is a disgrace and I will never buy or support anything that gimic rapping ass Nas has anything to do with and that brothers and sisters is REAL TALK. Fuck Nas the new age uncle ruwkus.

  • http://www.myspace.com/thakidmd THA KID MD

    It saddens me that all of yaw who seen the CNN interview don’t have a clue to what NAS is talking about.

    1. Nigger=ignorance

    so he’s basically saying that everyone at one time or another has been looked at as a NIGGER.

    I know i got an education and can understand but alot of yaw cats gotta stop listening to these other rap artist and pick up a book and than you could understand where Nas is coming from.

    AGAIN; EVERYONE HAS BEEN LOOKED AT AS A NIGGER ESPECIALLY BY THOSE IN POWER!!!!!!!! SO NO MATTER WHAT YOUR RACE IS YOU ARE A NIGGER!!!!

    He said it simple and plain, you wear the shirt because youre showing people that were all NIGGERS so it shuld lessen the blow of using the word, yet it still has the old sting to it that we could never forget. He’s only trying to tell u the definition of the word.

    2. If a white man defined NIGGER as being ignorant than that means they are Niggers too…lol (because there are white people that are ignorant)

    AGAIN; EVERYONE HAS BEEN LOOKED AT AS A NIGGER BY THOSE IN POWER!!!!!!!! MEANING= everyone who’s not in power is getting looked at as a pawn instead of a King. So were all NIGGERS till we gain power to live how we’ve dreamed.

  • The Nicker

    ^^^^I can see it now….when the album drops, white folks are gonna head over to Tower Records and ask the sales person, “Can I get Nas’s new “Nigger” album”?^^^^

    Exactly . . . as if a high enough percentage of entitled white kids weren’t stealing rap music off the interwebs already, no way they copping that album in person.

  • The Known Unknown

    everyone’s sweating Nas like his album wont be better than Your favorite rapper’s. Yall kill me so what he called his album “NIGGER” feel the movement or step da hell aside. Nas is going outside the box, and why is is all of a sudden he’s pressed on album sales. Nall not at all. His work already reflects a mastermind, he’s just doing him. Instead of being pressed on the Title, check the material, yall sound like a bunch of country republicans. Nas is going to shine regardless he doesn’t need a publicity stunt try 3 classics, And a countless number of real emcees he’s sparred with “not LIL Wayne”. His material is always dope, mabye a little too deep for if your brain is still on a 5th grade level, but He’s the realist MC left. Respect that or just don’t buy the album, life goes on, but hating will never stop. HIPHOPFOLIFE

  • http://YAHOO.COM JACKO

    didnt our ancestors fight this already? why do we feel we need to keep pushing the issue like we all on some plantation? its about time we take what dr. king and others taught us and move foward and make an impact in this world (like we been doing) and stop looking at others to speak for us. people already died for that…

  • http://www.otrfan.com concerned hater

    Kelis’ new joint: Nigette, dropping in the ’09

  • Alex

    I kind of see where he’s coming from, but yall act like he was supposed to be dropping heavy shit on us, on an interview to the fucking Grammys!

    I can see if he actually had like an interview somewhere and he really had the opportunity to explain himself, but shit, he was on his way to the Grammys..trying to keep it light.

  • Sin-cere

    Nas doing his thing. I love the marketing plan and more improtantly the debate. all you uncle tom niggas can suck a dic.

    Of coarse Nas album will be good if not great wit something of vital inteligence.

    Nigga ablum will be ‘stricly for my niggas’ ‘niggas for life’ so ‘nigga please’.

    Pac,NWA, Ol Dirty all had albums with Nigga title so relaxs. Most all rap albums say nigga at least 10 times on album and know one has problem until nas names his album nigga. backward as nigga…

  • http://xxl biggame

    someone,anyone,anywhere PLEASE slap nas

  • DJIMFAMOUSG`

    NAS FOR PRES-2012 LOOK OUT,LOL FUCK IT NAS ALBUM WILL BE DOPE HE’S ON POINT,ITS ABOUT THE MUSIC NOT THE MARKETING

  • that nigga

    he says which ever candidate will abolish this “thing” that will rescind black people’s right to vote 23 years from now. Which must be some shit he read about in one of these BS chain emails, a la the Jena Six. I’m assuming there is no such “thing,” but who knows? TPAR?
    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Sorry, this is fact. Do your homework fatboy.