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Queens rap icon Nas sat down with Harvard Poetry Professor Elisa to discuss the poetic aspects of his seminal single “It Ain’t Hard To Tell.” The segment is part of the Poetry In America series which aims to bring poetry “into living rooms and classrooms around the world.”

For the uninitiated, Nas explains the nuances of his “grapefruit, troop,” “criminal slang” and what it means to dominate break loops, among other matters.

Peep Nas’ face when Professor New (which would be a dope name for an MC) likens “menstrual cycles” back to the “break loops” he mentioned in the song. That’s the beauty of ill bars, you may hear something for the first time no matter how many times you’ve listened to the same song, years later. In this case, it happened to Nas on his own work.

Still think Hip-Hop isn’t poetry? Watch their discussion below.

Photo: screen cap