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Nas Names “Hip-Hop’s Best Lyricists” For Rolling Stone Playlist

Veteran emcee Nas has been tapped by Rolling Stone Magazine to provides his list of “Hip-Hop’s Best Lyricists.” as a part of the feature series themed around artists and their playlist.

In the feature, 50 different artists select a themed list and provide their picks for the overall for that particular list.

Although being cited as stating that Hip-Hop was dead, Nas breaks down for fans what he truly meant by the statement and how he feels about music now.

“When I said ‘hip-hop is dead’ a few years ago, I felt we’d gotten away from the great wordplay and storytelling,” Nas said in the interview. “There’s a place for the party Shyte and a place for the gangster Shyte. I focus on the guys that are always pushing themselves forward.”

Among those selected for the series are Cee-Lo with a selection of the best of the Dirty South, Drake provides a Jimi Hendrix list and ?uestlove with a Prince list.

Check out Nas’s picks below including his own personal reason for picking one of Lil Wayne’s hits.


1. “My Downfall” – Notorious B.I.G., 1997

The lyrics are about how he’s acing the shadows of death, despite all of his success, and he’s giving it to you in a way that makes it seem so real.


2. “If My Homie Calls” – 2pac, 1991

He’s just saying to his boys that he’s going to be a friend no matter how big he gets.


3. “Road To The Riches” – Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo, 1989

The way we’re rhyming now? He was already doing it then .


4. “A Bird In The Hand” – Ice Cube, 1991

5. “Paid In Full” – Eric B. & Rakim, 1987

6. “I’m Single” – Lil Wayne, 2010

I’m recently divorced, so I feel what he’s saying.


7. “Tears of Joy” – Rick Ross, 2010

Ross is at the pulpit here.


8. “The Moment I Feared” – Slick Rick, 1988

It’s cinematic. He’s at a hip-hop show and ices this girl who played him, then he’s in prison getting violated by some dude. This was unheard of.


9. “Empire State of Mind” – Jay-Z, 2009

This song is huge. It sounds like Broadway. It’s New York’s modern anthem.


10. “Queen Beyotch” – Lil’ Kim, 1996

At the time, females rappers didn’t appeal to the street, but Kim came with the vulgarity, sexuality and gangster Shyte.