Nas sparked an ageism debate in Hip-Hop last year after dropping King’s Disease III, with artists like 21 Savage branding the Queens icon “not relevant,” and Boosie stating most Nas Fans are dead.
However, the elder statesman quickly neutralized the chatter with a new song, linking with 21 on “One Mic, One Gun.”
During a new interview on The Late Show, 49-year-old Nas revealed that he draws inspiration from young rappers. The NYC icon, who released 4 studio albums in the last three years, admitted that while the lyricists his age have slowed down, he’s been “bit by the bug.”
“I’m really trying to figure out what my next move is,” he explained to Stephen Colbert. “I feel like a lot of hip-hop artists my age are not putting out a lot of material, so I can’t look to them as reference. They kind of slowed down — for whatever reasons, I understand it’s a tough thing — but I got bit by the bug, man.”
One such artist inspiring Nas is his King’s Disease collaborator, Hit-Boy, who executive-produced the trio of albums.
“I collaborated with this cat Hit-Boy who’s like the best, and he’s produced all of those albums — King’s Disease I, II, III. We’re kind of inspiring ourselves at this point. It’s really interesting,’ he added.
When asked what it is about Hit-Boy that inspires him, Nas replied, “Youth. He’s younger than me. I’m hooking up my jumper cables to him—and this is reciprocal because he’s getting some kind of wisdom from me. We’re just a perfect match.”
Meanwhile, elsewhere during the interview, Nas revealed he saw Hip-Hop’s “potential” to become a global phenomenon back in the 80s. Check out the conversation below.