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