Nas has dedicated numerous years to the industry, accumulating a wealth of experience through challenging lessons. In a recent interview, he shared those lessons with young up-and-coming street rappers.
In an interview with Billboard released on Friday (April 4), Nas offered some wise advise to hot-headed youngsters who proverbially shoot first, and ask questions later.
“The streets are the streets. We listen to music from people directly from those circumstances,” he said. “Young people making the hit records are telling you what’s happening: education, disease, miseducation. Life is a tough test.”
He continued: “As they get successful, they have to come into their senses on their own. When you look at hip-hop’s history, you see all the companies and empires that fell because of stupidity. If they see that, they have to realize they are the next one if they don’t change. […] It’s their decision and their maturity level, and when they are going to figure it out because time is ticking — the next thing you know, you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. I just pray for them and hope for the best because talking to them is one thing, but they have to be ready for it. Sometimes they have to learn on their own.”
However, Nas’ advice isn’t limited to just younger rappers.
In the same Billboard interview, he encouraged his fellow veterans of Hip Hop to follow his lead when it comes to delivering music at a high level this deep into his career.
“I want more people to join me from my era; release your records and work hard on them shits,” he said. “I want to hear how people feel, and I want to hear their art. I don’t want to hear the trends, I want to hear the art. Express it, do it and be free. That’s what I’m trying to give to the game now.
“I don’t pay attention to anything except what I’m doing at this point because I’m having so much fun that I don’t even look up to see what’s going on. I could say that I never had this amount of fun, but I’ve had a lot of fun in my life in the business. But this feeling is unmatched.”