Rap fans, who love sports, got a great treat last night (July 11), when they tuned in to see none other than Nas serve as the musical guest of honors at ESPN’s annual 2012 ESPYs ceremony.
Nas, rocking a dapper black tuxedo, bow-tie, shades and a gold watch with a full band behind him, set the ambiance by performing three cuts off his Life Is Good album, providing the score for the prestigious sports awards ceremony live from Los Angeles.
So, what did Nas think about performing in front of the many in attendance at LA’s Staples Center and the thousands more watching on television at home? The Queensbridge native told XXL that after the years of support that pro athletes have given him through the years, it was a great feeling to reciprocate.
“Amazing night and honor to be in the building with all those men and women,” said Nas in an exclusive statement sent to XXL. “They have always supported me and last night was about me supporting them.”
In front of sports superstars such as the Eli Manning and Justin Tuck of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants to the NBA’s Steve Nash and NFL’s Tim Tebow, Nas ripped into performances of “Nasty,” “The Don” and “Summer On Smash,” the latter which had Swizz Beatz join him on stage.
God’s Son had a blast in front of the athletes, but was especially inspired by one—Eric LeGrand.
The former Rutgers football player was paralyzed in a 2010 game after suffering severe spinal cord injuries. He rolled onto the stage via wheelchair to accept the prestigious Jimmy V Perseverance Award during ESPN’s annual awards show.
“My dream is to get back on my feet and walk again and inspire millions of people out there in this world,” LeGrand told the crowd.
Nas was touched by that.
“Eric LeGrand is one of the most courageous people I’ve ever heard speak,” Nas added in the statement to XXL. “He defines the words “never quit.” I was inspired last night. [Former Tennessee women’s basketball coach, who is now battling Alzheimer’s disease] Pat Summit was incredible as well. WOW!”—Mark Lelinwalla