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Nas Talks To CNN's Don Lemon About Chicago Youth


Cable News Network took some time out to speak with Nas about his community stand after the violent beating death of Chicago teenager, Derrion Albert. As previously reported, Nas tried to relate to the youth involved in the homicide by penning an ‘Open Letter To Young Warriors’. Now just days later Young Escobar made an appearance on CNN to talk further about the situation with correspondent, Don Lemon.

The casual meeting between the two appeared as though it would be another opportunity to talk about Nas’s compelling opinion on the tragic situation, but unfortunately for him the network had other plans. The media giant didn’t miss the opportunity to fire a few shots at the artist and emphasized some of the most violent lyrics he’d ever written. They opened up the segment with a playback of “Shoot Em Up” from his Nastradamus album and displayed the lyrics to the chorus that say,

“Shoot em up, just shoot em up, what…kill kill kill, murder, murder, murder.”

Following that Lemon cut to the chase and asked him about glorifying violence in his music. Obviously on the defensive, he answered saying:

“I feel it’s the obvious thing for the media to kinda point out one of the most violent lyrical records that I made….I made a lot of records about children…not a lot but I made records about children, about struggle and those are never the songs that are talked about. There’s no love for these songs. There’s only attention put on the songs where there’s violence in it but the reality of it is, I’m only speaking about reality.”

When asked by Lemon if he would consider changing some of his lyrics, he stayed true to himself and stayed 100% honest saying:

“Never.  Never. Music comes from life. I write about what I see. I write about what I live. I write about what I see other people live and I use a little bit of imagination to talk to them.”

Continuing on his rant, he eventually made the most quotable statement of the night when he so boldly said,

 “A rap song influencing violence in the 21st century is a joke.”

A joke Nas? Really?

The correspondent continued grilling the MC for the rest of the interview, even asking a valid question about why Chicago lyricists like Kanye and Common haven’t spoken out on the situation before ending the conversation.

Check out the interview here.


Comment Comments: 2 Tags Tags: cnn, kanye, don lemon, derrion albert, nastradamus

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  • Brazy_Lou

    Nas makes Many Positive Songs …..

  • Boothism

    Great post, glad you commented on this. I think a lot of people missed it and the ones that saw it (outside of the core hip hop community familiar with Nas‘ work) kinda took it at face value that Nas is just another thug MC. The thing is that the interview was slanted against Nas from the beginning. CNN used a few basic media and PR tricks to set this up and make Nas look like an A$$. I broke down the situation on a post on my site. Check it out if you’re interested in media criticism. http://boothish.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/the-problem-with-the-cnn-don-lemmon-nas-interview You’re doing some good work on this blog. I’ll be checking back. Keep it up. -k