Nas and Jay-Z were once embroiled in one of the most epic feuds in hip-hop history. But the two have since not only reconciled, but also collaborated, and Nas recently proved that he’s not afraid to speak highly of his former foe.
“Hip-hop has a savior in Jay-Z,” Nas said during a sit-down chat with Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg while at SXSW last week. “Let me tell you why. As a business man… The fact that he’s doing what he’s doing is a [wake up] call for all of the Gods and Earths to wake up and understand—this generation is bigger than what we can even fathom. And he is one of the only ones out of the whole community that we grew up with from the Run DMC days, who’s taken his shit seriously. Taken his shit very seriously. That’s powerful. And you gotta respect that.”
Although just five years ago he named his album Hip Hop Is Dead, Nas went on to show love to the state of the game.
“We died to get where we at,” he continued. “This generation of hip-hop, we’re making a stance; we’re saying what we gotta say. We didn’t graduate Harvard, we didn’t graduate Princeton—nothing against them, they good schools. We’re setting trends. Niggas is tastemakers, whatever the fuck that means. We’re that, and then some. Because we’re all one, it don’t matter [if you’re] Black, White, Asian, Saudi.”
In addition to the lengthy talk with Rosenbger, while down in Austin, Nas also perfomed at the Red Bull Thre3style Party and ACL Live. Last week, the queens MC also dropped his new single, “The Don,” off of his upcoming album. —Adam Fleischer