Nas says ‘Hip Hop Is Dead’ was “mainly” aimed at New York rappers

“I didn’t think that certain people would think I’m talking about them,” Nas said

During the latest episode of his podcast The Bridge: 50 Years Of Hip Hop, Nas clarified the target behind the title of his eighth album, ‘Hip Hop Is Dead’

The topic came up during a conversation with Jeezy, who initially took offence to the record’s sentiment as it landed during his own rise to fame in the genre. 

When the album came out back in December of 2006, Jeezy told Philadelphian radio station 100.3 The Beat: “I don’t think hip-hop is dead at all. It’s just a new day and time, it’s a new story, it’s a new movement. I’ma respect his craft; he ain’t gon’ respect mine?”

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In the new podcast episode, Jeezy elaborated to Nas’ co-host, Miss Info: “When he did ‘Hip Hop [Is] Dead’, I thought he was talking about us. I wanted to be the front guy and say what I said. At the time, you gotta think, ‘I’m just getting on. I’m just seeing my first legitimate money. I’m just getting my shows going.’ And then you got The Don in New York saying, ‘Hip-hop is dead’!”

The album was controversial with a suite of rappers across the US and abroad – particularly for its title track, on which Nas rapped: “Everybody sound the same, commercialise the game / Reminiscing when it wasn’t all business” – but as Nas explained this week, his ire was aimed mostly at those hustling in North America’s east coast.

“I didn’t think that certain people would think I’m talking about them,” he said. “I’m talking about mainly New York! I’m talking to everybody, but I didn’t explain it thorough enough.”

Though Jeezy was initially miffed at Nas’ choice of concept for his 2006 record, the pair avoided beef when Nas and Jeezy convened over the phone, the former asserting to the latter that he meant no ill will.

Take a listen to the full episode below (the topic of ‘Hip Hop Is Dead’ pops up around the 15-minute mark):

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Today (December 24) saw Nas drop his 15th album, ‘Magic’, with less than half a day’s notice. The nine-track effort follows the August release of ‘King’s Disease II’, which itself arrived 12 months after 2020’s ‘King’s Disease’. Though it doesn’t continue that series in title, ‘Magic’ was minted in collaboration with Hit Boy, with whom he collaborated on both ‘King’s Disease’ albums.

Nas previously spoke about making a third album with Hit-Boy shortly after the release of ‘King’s Disease II’. At the time, he said the pair had no plans for another joint project but he would be up for working with him again if the idea was right. “I feel like the next thing I do, if I was to work with Hit-Boy on the next thing I do, I think that we might do something that is going to be magical,” the rapper said.

“I think what we have is magic. And I think the next thing we do would have to be the next page. And that, to me, excites me, that possibility […] I think if we do another one, I’m excited about that idea, but you know, we’re celebrating this one now.” He also called Hit-Boy his “Quincy Jones”.

In October, the duo teamed up once again for the single ‘Big Nas’, which was released as a preview for Nas’ MasterClass series on hip-hop storytelling.

The pair recently earned two nominations at the 2022 Grammy Awards, receiving nods for Best Rap Album (for ‘King’s Disease II’) and Best Rap Song (‘Bath Salts’). Earlier this year, ‘King’s Disease’ won the trophy for Best Rap Album at the 2021 Grammy Awards.

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