Nas Still Carries Rhymes In His Pockets. Greatness Is Never Done (Video)
In 2002, Nas released the Alchemist-produced song “Book Of Rhymes.” Within, the Queens, New York MC rapped bits and pieces from stored composition books of verses. Whether or not that moment was staged or real, it appears that Nasir Jones still literally carries his rhymes with him. More than 25 years into his career, he still has lyrics to go.
Fashawn is one of the artists signed to Mass Appeal Records, a label that Nas has invested in and helped curate. The Fresno, California MC tells HipHopDX what he witnessed in his “Something To Believe In” collaborator while in New York City.
“[Nas is] a lot more excited to work. He’s excited to be in the studio, excited to work with his artists. He’s excited to see his businesses flourishing,” says the creator of the acclaimed Boy Meets World debut. “It’s a different Nas than [the version] I grew up knowing. I didn’t know him personally then but just through his music he gave us so much. He’s still relaxing and calm, still probably smoking blunts in the back of the [Rolls Royce] Ghost. [But] I can see the excitement in his eyes and I talk to him I can tell he hasn’t lost one ounce of love for this shit. He’s still going forward with this Rap shit.”
Detailing what exactly he witnessed, Fash’ says, “[When] we was in the studio in New York, he flew me out to come work with him in the studio. First of all he changed outfits real quick like Superman because I saw him at the hotel [and he had on one outfit], he went from just some regular outfit [then he changed clothes] and [it was like] he went from ‘Nasty Nas’ and then he came in as ‘Escobar.’ He had the leather, the fur, and I’m like, ‘Okay, this is really Nas.’ He pulled out some notepads from his pockets and just threw rhymes on the console and I’m like, ‘That’s how you roll, still?’ That made me proud just to know that a millionaire, probably soon to be a billionaire, still rolling around with rhymes in his pockets.”
Nas has been in renaissance form for more than six months. In addition to his role in producing some of the visuals and sonic backing to Get Down and The Land in the last year, Nas launched a tear beginning with “Nas Album Done” for DJ Khaled’s most recent #1 album. This month, Nas spit a strong verse care of “Powers That Be” on Rick Ross’ Rather You Than Me.
As for Fashawn, the close affiliate of Evidence, Alchemist, Exile, and Murs confirmed his upcoming project, Manna. Notably, the MC tells DX that he sees no lines of distinction between mixtape and album. He made his Mass Appeal debut in 2015, with The Ecology. In addition to the aforementioned collaboration, that effort was executive produced by Nas.
Last month it was revealed that Nas has partnered with BET for biographical series, Street Dreams.