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College professor, scholar and academic Michael Eric Dyson interviewed Nas on MSNBC’s The Ed Show and had a wide ranging discussion on topics like Barack Obama’s job performance, politics rap lyricism and musical longevity. As far as how Nas been able to stay on point despite his debut album, Illmatic, being released almost 20 years ago, the Queensbridge rapper had a relatively simple answer.

“I’d say passion,” explained Nas, whose latest album, Life Is Good, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart.. “Me being an insane fan of Hip-Hop music since I was a kid and just really wanting to carry the torch and really move people since I was a kid—since I first dreamed of being in this music game. I’m just humbled by it all man. It’s truly is amazing.”

Dyson went on the call Nas the most “above ground underground” rap artist and marvel at his ability to still be seen as a “rapper’s rapper” despite his mainstream success.

“I think people can relate to just a normal guy,” said Nas. “Yeah, there’s some flash with the things I do. That’s rap music. It’s about bragging and talking about things that the average person doesn’t have or live. But I think people see the regular guy in me and they hear it in my music. I humanize myself all the time in the music and I think goes a long way.”

Watch the full segment below.

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Photo: MSNBC

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