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    31 Comments     Thursday, May 1st, 2008

    KING Legacy: Nasir Jones, Part Two

    In part two of the first-ever KING Legacy Q&A, Nas addresses his feuds with Tupac and Jay-Z and answers the eternal question, “Are you the best ever?” Story by Thomas Golianopoulos

    Your concerts today are pretty eventful; you have an extensive catalog. There are fans chanting for “Ether.” What are you thinking when they chant for it?
    Awww, man… People come to the shows and start to go through eras with me, and that moment right there is the greatest rap battle of this generation. So of course they’re going to chant that shit.

    When did you decide to stop performing “Ether”?
    After the first year, there was no need to be out there yelling people’s names and cursing them out and shit. In 2003 I brought KRS-One out to Summer Jam, and he told me he don’t like doing “The Bridge Is Over.” I understood. You’re out there saying people’s names that you’ve since reconciled [with]. You’re talking about another person that’s alive, and for the crowd it’s exciting, but for the one who’s saying it, that’s some shit.

    It’s probably tougher for MC Shan.
    I think it’s tough for KRS-One because you’re out there saying fighting words. It’s fucked up. If there’s no beef, that’s fucked up.

    At your show in New York City last December, Busta Rhymes came onstage and said you’re the best ever. Are you the best ever?
    Busta’s my nigga. It’s very humbling. I had to stop my head from swelling up after he said that to me. But it’s a great feeling to have anyone acknowledge, especially someone as great as Busta.

    So, do you think you’re the best?
    [Laughs] Um, [long pause] I don’t know. I don’t know nothing about that word. At times, I do. Yeah, definitely there are some times I do, but I don’t like that word. If I complete an amazing record, I’m like, “I got this. Niggas can’t fuck with me.” That’s the attitude you have because, at that moment, you know niggas can’t fuck with you. There are some great motherfuckers out there, so I’m going to watch what I say. There are some amazing niggas out there.

    Do you think there is a best?
    Right now in rap, nah.

    Lil Wayne and Jay-Z continually say they’re the best. But you’ve rarely, if ever, said it in a song. Why?
    I said, “Niggas is this and that. I’m just the best.” But Pun told me to say that. He was like, “You got to say that. Fuck that.” It was on Fat Joe’s record, “John Blaze.” Me and Pun were in the studio having a ball, and I’m writing my rhyme, and Pun leans over and says, “Just say, ‘Niggas is this and that. I’m just the best.’ Just say that.” He was not letting me go without saying that. I’m sure I’ve said it another time.

    Have you ever been bodied on a record?
    I’m always kind of nervous of that to some degree. I don’t know. On “Fast Life,” Kool G. Rap was so out of control. I was nervous to be on a record with him.

    Did that thought cross your mind on “Black Republicans” or “Success”?
    Nah, that wasn’t even an idea with that. It was just a glory moment. It wasn’t like, “I got to outrap this nigga here,” or nothing like that. It was like we were having fun. We weren’t even thinking about it.

    Most people wouldn’t believe that.
    I’m just basing it off the vibe and the way we were getting down and just having fun. Nobody was sitting there, like, “We got to make this shit incredible.” It was like, “Let’s go.”

    Have you talked to Jay-Z since he left Def Jam?
    Yeah. Homie’s chilling, man. He’s plotting.

    That’s it?
    That’s it.

    It was a five-second conversation? “How are you, Jay?” “I’m plotting.”
    Basically. Plotting.

    On “Success,” how did you get away with talking about Jay?
    What do you mean?

    “Worst enemies want to be my best friends…” Can you see how people can take that as a diss?
    But could you see how Jay couldn’t relate to that in his own life with his own situation? Everything in Jay’s rhyme, I relate to. “Is this what success is all about?/A bunch of bitch niggas running around with big mouths.” I feel that every day. I’m sure he can relate to “Best friends want to be enemies like that’s what’s in.” We can both relate to one another’s verses. It’s about success.

    Then you say, “I walk into the lion’s den and take everybody’s chips.” It sounds like you’re saying the worst enemy who wants to be your best friend is Jay-Z. And “walking into the lion’s den and taking everybody’s chips” is you signing a lucrative deal with Def Jam.
    Yeah, that’s how a lot of people looked at it.

    So was that line about him?
    Of course, of course. But that’s what’s big about him. We don’t get into the studio and just start rapping about fantasy shit. We talk about shit that’s real. It’s not like a blow to nobody; it’s real. I don’t think he would have expected me to say anything less.

    Going back some years now, did you expect Pac to call you the ringleader on Makaveli?
    Yeah, honestly, I didn’t expect no less at the time. Pac now is Black Jesus in a sense; Pac is Lennon; Pac is Marvin. So, hell yeah, I love the fact that he starts his album off and says that about me. Hell yeah. I loved him before he died. I loved him before he said anything.

    Did Biggie ask you to team up against Tupac?
    Yeah, he called me. He said, “Let’s get together.” He said that everyone was a little nervous about it, but he was calling me about getting busy.

    Why did nothing happen?
    Getting me and Big in the same room wasn’t easy. I had just dropped my record, and my schedule was crazy. Biggie was in Miami recording Life After Death. It was just timing. We were supposed to get together and talk more, so who knows what would have happened.

    Well, you guys were taking shots at each other.
    On a song I did on my second album, Tupac thought it was about him, but it was really toward Biggie.

    “The Message”?
    [Nods] From the first lines all the way to “One life, one love, there can only be one king.” That was specifically going in that direction. The whole fucking song, really. Tupac was not even on my radar for going at him.

    Tupac thought it was about him because of that line, “I got stitched up and left the hospital that same night.”
    Nah, this is Queensbridge activities I am rapping about. I’m with dudes who have bullets in them, who just left the hospital, [and] we ride around smoking weed. So this is in my raps. We were in New York going at it. We weren’t even thinking about no other place—Cali, Georgia, nothing.

    I didn’t think you were going at Biggie.
    He did.

    What did he say to you about it?
    “Your reign on the top was short like leprechauns.” [Laughs]

    Did you think you would still be making albums in 2008?
    Did I ever see myself on a 10th album? No, because there weren’t long careers for rap dudes back when I did my first shit, especially in New York. You had your Dana Danes, Slick Rick, Beastie Boys, Rakim, Run-DMC, Kool G, you had your superstars; then you had your underground dudes who would survive for two albums. I always saw myself as the more polished underground cat. I didn’t see it really going past the first album. I did not see it. The plan was to get out of the P’s. That was it. Get out the P’s, set up a little something for the homies, go to school, try to learn how to write some other shit, novels, screenplays or figure out what you want to do in life. At the time, we didn’t see any of our generation go platinum until Biggie. Him and Bad Boy showed me how to do it. I just thought it would be one record. At most, two.

    Finish this sentence: Nas is like…
    A father, a husband, a son and a brother. I’m all of those, to the true sense of every word.

    Click here to read the first part of Thomas Golianopoulos’s interview with Nas.

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    This entry was posted on Thursday, May 1st, 2008 at 11:24 am and is filed under Features. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

    31 Responses to “KING Legacy: Nasir Jones, Part Two”

    05.1.08 at 4:15 pm

    StarG says:
    Good stuff Thomas….

    05.1.08 at 4:40 pm

    Nah Right » Blog Archive » KING’s Nas Q&A Pt. 2 says:
    [...] Link: KING Legacy: Nasir Jones Pt. 2 [...]

    05.1.08 at 6:01 pm

    nzagy says:
    never thought i would have to come to a “naked girls” magazine to read a very good interview.
    Nice job.
    P.S – nice girls as well.

    05.1.08 at 6:11 pm

    KING Interviews Nas at SNICKA.com says:
    [...] KING Legacy: Nasir Jones, Part Two addthis_url = ‘http%3A%2F%2Fsnicka.com%2Fblog%2F2008%2F05%2F01%2Fking-interviews-nas%2F’; addthis_title = ‘KING+Interviews+Nas’; addthis_pub = ”; [...]

    05.1.08 at 7:00 pm

    cliff says:
    that king of ny shit is and was bullshit. im tight we never got jay, nas, big, big l, and big pun all on the same track. aside from that, great interview.

    05.1.08 at 7:17 pm

    Omega says:
    Dope interview. NaS kept it one hunned, can’t do nothin but respect the truth. Good read.

    05.1.08 at 8:32 pm

    Big PAc says:
    good shit

    05.1.08 at 11:22 pm

    Lorenzo says:
    My name is Lorenzo and I live in Dallas Texas and have been for the pass 28 years. The first 20 years of my life was in Philadelphia Pa. North Philly to be exact. Any body that knows Philly knows that North Philly is a real ghetto, then and now. I want to speak in a reasonable manner, which I have done on this subject many many times, however when you as a Black man recognize how bad the mental condition is in many of our people, as demonstrated by NAS and many other beloved Black people it makes you want to take this situation to another level. Unfortunately I’m talking about a level that’s a lower level, rather than a higher level. I’m about to go there for the first time. Let me say something to this motherfucker Nas, and other ingnorant sounding motherfuckers just like him or very simular to him. Either this brother just does’nt know, or just does’nt care about the historical plight and struggle of Black people in America. I loved and love Tupac before I ever knew he was a rapper, as I am in love with Black people. Nas says he LOVES Tupac, and respected the man. Tupac is physically dead but his work keeps coming out. Tupac was and is the greatest rapper of ALL time if you ask me. Tupac came out with another album after death in June of 2007, at least that’s when I received it. I had already believed that Tupac was evolving when he died, and would have stopped using the “N” word, coming to the realization that it is wrong for Black people just as Richard Pryor did after his trip to Africa. The album from June 2007, cut number nine had Tupac and Snoop Dogg re-do “Gangster Party” with no profanity or the “N” word in the lyrics. I stopped using the “N” word in 1979 out of respect for Black people at the age of 19. Now I’m with an organization that wants Black people to merely show self-respect pride and dignity in a public display. The “N” word is rarely heard in person by non-Black people, except for the non-Black people that profess to be just calling themselves the “N” word. I suspect that some of these times it is really being said to get away with disrespecting Black people without having to suffer the normal repercussions. Blacks need to have a “VERBAL BLACK CIVIL WAR”. All eyes are on us. Lorenzo P.S. check out the site http://www.theunitedvoices.org My intentions are good and my words are from the heart and out of Love for Black people. PEACE

    05.1.08 at 11:42 pm

    King Legacy : Nasir Jones part.1 & 2 « Essays on BAP-ism says:
    [...] KING Legacy: Nasir Jones, Part Two [...]

    05.2.08 at 5:00 am

    Genral says:
    @ Lorenzo i feel you son but your way off point. Nas didn’t make people say Nigger – he just wants a discussion about it. You on the other hand seem to want people to bury the issue and the wider discussion that needs to take place. HipHop is Dead was not only a statement it forced people to analyse what they considered HIpHops core princples and if the current state is dead? It’s a discussion – the truth is poeple (maybe not you) but alot of people (esp Americans) just don’t like to think. Anything that makes them think about an issue that has no obvouis solution angers them – they don’t understand it and would rather not think about it. Nas is bred for plan. Don’t ask nas to censor himself – if you don’t want to think about the topic stop using the word and boycott music that features the word – sound extreme? – well the only other option is listen to arguements and think how we as a people can take this forward.
    “fighting in public infront of these arrogant facsists” You are a nigger too – don’t forget that. @Omega – well said. The interview was Real Grown Men Talk.

    05.2.08 at 9:47 am

    Kev Lomax says:
    “One life, one love, there can only be one king.” In an interveiw in the Source magazine a few months before Stillmatic and the now legendary “Ether” dropped, Nas said this line was a reference to Jay-Z. No big deal, I love Nas, it’s just funny how rappers constantly change their story to make it revelant to whatever they’re talking about now.

    05.2.08 at 11:39 am

    KUNG FU » Blog Archive » NAS INTERVIEW PART 2 says:
    [...] STILLMATIC NAS PT 2 « THIS SUNDAY AT THE LEGION… [...]

    05.2.08 at 11:41 am

    Nas had beef wit biggie not pac? « Coffee shop magazine’s Weblog says:
    [...] To read the full interview, visit King-Mag.com. [...]

    05.2.08 at 1:55 pm

    reason says:
    NICE ARTICLE KEPT IT REAL

    05.2.08 at 3:19 pm

    Ambassida says:
    Great article. In response to Lorenzo. You Ignorant. Its like Nas said in Hate Me Now, (“People fear what they don’t understand, Hate what they Can’t conquer. Guess it’s just a theory of man Became a monster”). Brushing the problem off just makes things worst. He aint glorifying the word. He is exposing the word. If he Labled the Album Sean Bell would that be too Extreme. Open ya eyes. We need to address these topics, not run from it. One love. God Bless!

    05.2.08 at 3:52 pm

    Nas Q&A In King Magazine « Urban Music says:
    [...] So, do you think you’re the best? [Laughs] Um, [long pause] I don’t know. I don’t know nothing about that word. At times, I do. Yeah, definitely there are some times I do, but I don’t like that word. If I complete an amazing record, I’m like, “I got this. Niggas can’t fuck with me.” That’s the attitude you have because, at that moment, you know niggas can’t fuck with you. There are some great motherfuckers out there, so I’m going to watch what I say. There are some amazing niggas out there. Source [...]

    05.3.08 at 8:33 am

    Brian (King Mag myspace) says:
    Nas is the fucking mannnn!!!

    05.4.08 at 8:11 pm

    CLASSco.KID says:
    fuck it, nas is the best cuz the way i see it the rap game has all these different flavours and each flavour got a raper who is the best in the respected catogories but the catogory that nas represents dosent even have a member that can fuck wit it and i aint talking bout no played out gangsta rap or cell phone music it str8 up rap skills

    05.5.08 at 12:55 am

    Harlem Ed says:
    Nas…I met ur dad @ St.Nick Pub…very nice man…seen ur man Stoute@ Sofrito’s on 57th street…April 08….u were shooting ur video with Chrisette Michelle on 6th ave…. I was with my wife and daughter on ur left screaming and blasting the music..going 5 miles an hour…I know you had do to that shit over…I was so happy to see my idol. You r the best f@#$%^k rapper in our lifetime….luv Jay-z….but no one has versitility you were born with. U R totally blessed with a gift from the man up ABOVE. GOD….godson…I will meet u one day. I’m getting closer kid.
    You are Jordon of ball….Picasso of art…..the rich pryor of comedy….maya and alice of author. Bless u son. Harlem ed

    05.5.08 at 5:17 am

    Rama22 says:
    Good reading. Nas #1 of the GOAT.

    05.5.08 at 6:13 pm

    diamondstinger says:
    I love Nas. He’s the best in my opinion. However, I feel that he is a little naive about the political moves of Jay Z. (He should’ve had me as an advisor instead of Kelis) Jay has signed up every talented rapper in city of Philadelphia, and essentially shut them up, waiting for him to decide whether or not to retire. I think Nas would have fared financially and politically better as being Jay’s enemy. Jay Z is evil.

    05.7.08 at 1:02 pm

    michael says:
    we should be looking for the second best, number one position is taken NAS IS THE BESTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT. wts up NIGERIA

    05.8.08 at 4:28 pm

    » KING Legacy: Nasir Jones - KING-mag.com says:
    [...] Click here to read Part Two var staf_confirmtext = ‘email sent’ #stafBlock { position: absolute !important; z-index: 100000; display: none; width: 200px; } #stafForm { background-color: #cc9900; border: 1px solid #993366; padding: 5px; margin:0; } #stafForm h2 { margin: 0; } #stafForm input, #stafForm label, #stafForm h2 { font-family: ‘Lucida Grande’, Verdana, Arial, Sans-Serif; font-size: 1em; color: #222222; } #stafForm input { width: 90px; height: 15px; margin-top: 5px; border: 1px solid #ccc; } #stafForm label { float: left; display: block; width: 90px; line-height: 16px; } #stafClose { float: right; margin-right: 5px; } x [...]

    05.26.08 at 9:43 pm

    De Mon says:
    That’s real talk youngsters… get your knowledge and know how up. Where ya books at? Go read something? Raise up you heard? Nas has been on top, no matches him lyrically. Most times he’s over most peoples head, in a positive way. 1.

    05.27.08 at 11:53 am

    Yusuf Bello says:
    amongst the greats “nas” is simply the the greatest. the greatest of them all.

    05.27.08 at 11:58 am

    Yusuf Bello says:
    just the best

    06.18.08 at 10:46 pm

    Young God says:
    Ur verses schooled me through the hood. I did not have a big brother,uncle,cuz, or my pops to guide me through the streets. THATS REAL HIP HOP!
    GOD BLESS THE GODS!

    07.29.08 at 10:54 pm

    Shaolin Soldier says:
    yo in my mind i think nas is the greatest. next to pac big L b.i.g and krs one… u can tell in his music that he is real.. hes real to the hood.. where he came from.. keep doin your thing my brotha… peace

    08.7.08 at 7:34 pm

    hasan bando says:
    nas is still the realist nigga alive i will always buy all his albums

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