Nas isn’t slowing down. The 49-year-old rapper has been in the game for over 30 years and has still been dropping a steady stream of projects, including his latest, King’s Disease III.
When asked by Stephen Colbert who inspires the rapper, he said he isn’t pushed to create by his peers because a lot of them aren’t actively sharing new work.
“I’m really trying to figure out what my next move is, and I feel like a lot of hip-hop artists my age are not putting out a lot of material, so I can’t look to them as reference,” Nas said around the 5:50 minute mark. “They kind of slowed down—for whatever reasons,” he continued. “I understand it’s a tough thing, but I got bit by the bug, man.”
“I collaborated with this cat Hit-Boy who’s like the best, and he’s produced all of those albums: King’s Disease I, II, III. We’re kind of inspiring ourselves at this point. It’s really interesting,” Nas added.
In the last two-and-a-half years, Nas has released three King’s Disease installations, executive produced by himself and Hit-Boy. In between King’s Disease II and III, the Queens rapper shared Magic, also produced by Hit-Boy. The first King’s Disease project, which arrived in 2020, won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, becoming Nas’ first Grammy.
When Colbert asked Nas what Hit-Boy has that inspires him, the rapper said, “youth,” with a laugh. “He’s younger than me. I’m hooking up my jumper cables to him—and this is reciprocal because he’s getting some kind of wisdom from me. We’re just a perfect match.”
King’s Disease III arrived in November and debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200. This Friday, Nas is gearing up to play his first-ever show—for one night only—at Madison Square Garden in honor of the album.
Watch Video of Nas explaining why his age mates in therap hip hop business don’t inspire him no more.
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