Nas is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his album Hip-Hop Is Dead, kind of. The Queensbridge rapper feels that he did more harm than good with the album and title.
When Nas proclaimed that Hip-Hop was dead in 2006, a lot of people agreed with him. Lyricism was disappearing from commercial rap and everybody and their mama seemed to be getting a record deal off “ringtone rap.”
But Nas was actually wrong as hell. Albums like Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor, Clipse’s Hell Hath No Fury, Busta Rhymes’ The Big Bang, 9th Wonder and Murs’ Murray’s Revenge all dropped that same year. Granted, there were a slew of mixtapes with mediocre rap that may have came out that year too, but Hip-Hop was still breathing good for the most part.
Nas also offended a lot of veteran Southern rappers who assumed he was aiming his comments towards him as well. A decade later, Nas is seeing the err of his ways. In an interview with Mass Appeal [the media company he owns] Nas talks about the inspiration behind the album and its aftermath.
“In retrospect, I missed the mark by miles,” says Nas. “I didn’t want to pick people apart. I felt it was for a younger artist to do. I felt like it would be dope if I could say something like hip hop is dead that would make some of the young guys realize not only can you follow what’s happening today, but you can go back into the history.”
Watch the entire interview below.