Emilio Rojas Nods To Nas & Kurtis Blow, Imagining If He Ruled The World (Audio)

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“If I Ruled The World” is a powerful idea. That is precisely why Kurtis Blow made a hit out of it. Nas followed, honoring Kurtis and the America single 11 years later, on 1996’s It Was Written. Now, 19 years later, Emilio Rojas takes the underlying makings of both songs, and releases “Imagine That,” featuring DeVo D.

Rojas’ official single from the upcoming L.I.F.E. is quite clear in its direction. “There are so many things going in the world right now that I felt compelled to at least try and address some of the issues,” said the Rochester, New York MC in a press statement. “The original Nas record [‘If I Ruled The World’] came at a crucial moment – it really put a focus on a lot of the problems plaguing the urban community at the time. My goal with this song was to do a broader, modern play on the concept while paying homage to the original. I really want to be a part of the dialogue that leads to change.”

Touching upon immigration, police brutality, corporate bailouts, and drug addiction, the timeless idea addresses a new set of problems (that were also relevant in ’85 and ’96).

Related: Emilio Rojas and Joell Ortiz Rap About Growing Up with Nada…and Overcoming (Video)