Although Nas may have begun his career in the early 90s, the 39-year-old Queensbridge rap veteran seems to have a handle on the digital age’s fast moving trends. Younger listeners may not know Nas’ earlier work before the days of social media, but his current work and involvement in that sphere has gotten their attention. Showing supreme self-awareness, the  Life Is Good rapper penned an article for technology website TechCrunch in where he explains his involvement with social media and how his new company, 12Society, will play a part in that vast landscape.

Nas has charted on the Billboard 200 list many times before, but he was especially appreciative of hitting #1 this July considering online piracy has plagued the music industry for well over a decade now.

“When piracy hit the entertainment industry, artists were distraught and began distrusting their own fan bases. In truth, it was a response borne from confusion rather than logic. The passion the fans had for what we were creating never went away; we just had to evolve to survive in the new digital world,” wrote Nas.

The typically reserved Nas has kept true to the theme of evolution, considering how much he opened up in a series of promotional radio interviews ahead of his eleventh studio album Life Is Good this year. He explained further the necessity of this.

“A huge aspect of that evolution is offering a glimpse into your lifestyle — being more accessible. The power that Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram offer is immense. Being an artist today is not only about being creative in what you produce, but finding creative ways to show people what you’re doing,” he added.

Speaking of that creativity, Nas is the co-founder of 12Society; joining star MLB pitcher Tim Lincecum, NBA big men Kevin Love and Blake Griffin, music/TV exec Nick Cannon and retired NFL star Michael Strahan in an innovative effort to connect with their widely varied fan base. The high-concept site asks members to pay a monthly fee and a box of clothing and lifestyle items curated by the 12Society board, as it were, will get sent to the members. The items will reportedly retail at a much higher rate than the $39 monthly fee to join.

Check out Nas’ interview in full over at Tech Crunch.


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Photo: Bernard Smalls/Hip-Hop Wired

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