Nas Names 5 Of His Favorite Rap Songs In Celebration Of Hip-Hop’s 45th Birthday (Video)

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This past Saturday, Hip-Hop celebrated a significant milestone. August 11, 1973, marks the day that DJ Kool Herc (aka Clive Campbell) rocked a benchmark party in the rec room of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. As a result, many Hip-Hop Heads, scholars, and even tech giants honor that day as the culture’s birthday. Hip-Hop turned 45 over the weekend, and plenty of fans and artists celebrated.

Nas has been a longtime advocate for Hip-Hop and Hip-Hop history in his lyrics, film and TV work, and more. Speaking recently with Mass Appeal, the NASIR creator was asked to list his 45 favorite Hip-Hop songs. “Top 45 Hip-Hop songs? Man, I could pick 50 just, right now. But I’ll give you five that just come to my head.”

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In the studio, Nas begins: “‘Rebel Without A Pause’ by Public Enemy, no-brainer. Eric B. & Rakim – ‘Eric B. [Is] President.’ ‘It Takes Two’ by Rob Base & E-Z Rock,” he says, honoring E-Z Rock’s 2014 passing. He continues, “‘Children’s Story’ by Slick Rick. Wait, ‘Mona Lisa,’ Slick Rick. Wait. ‘La Di Da Di.’ Yeah,” he decides, landing on a Doug E. Fresh collaboration.

Nas closes out his list with a Queens celebration.“It’s either ‘Sucker MC’s’ by Run-D.M.C., ‘It’s Like That,’ by Run-D.M.C., pick any Run-D.M.C. – ‘Peter Piper.’ ‘My Adidas.’ I’ma go with ‘Sucker MC’s’ by Run-D.M.C.. That’s one of the most important records. Ever. Ever. Ever.” Nas closes out with MC Shan’s breakthrough, “The Bridge,” produced by Marley Marl.

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Shan and Nas worked together on “Da Bridge 2001,” alongside Cormega, Mobb Deep, Tragedy Khadafi, Capone, and Millennium Thug. On “Classic,” Nas collaborated with Rakim (as well as KRS-One, Kanye West, and DJ Premier), in addition to presenting his “unauthorized” biography on 2004’s “U.B.R.” God’s Son featured on Slick Rick’s post-prison LP, The Art Of Storytelling. He appeared on Run-D.M.C.’s final album, Crown Royal. Additionally, Rob Base joined Nas on one of his “Where Are They Now” remixes 12 years ago.

Notably, all of Nas’ picks are from the 1980s.

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Having released his Kanye West-produced NASIR earlier this summer, Nas recently confirmed he’s at work on an album with production by RZA and Swizz Beatz.