Hip Hop

Nas Says Pop Smoke Was A “breath of fresh air” For Hip Hop

Rapper Nas says while the present artists are churning out music, it isn’t precisely impressionable stuff that makes him come for a second listen.

While speaking to the Financial Times about his business ventures, he also spoke about the present era of rappers. According to Nas, while there are many rappers, their music has not accomplished the feat of “keeping him up at night,” as he reflects on the lyrics.

“I appreciate what’s out there, but there’s no one keeping me up at night. I hear a new rap record and think it’s great, but I don’t listen to it the next week.” He did concede, though, that he was caught by the late Pop Smoke’s rhyming style and was even open to trying out Pop Smoke’s Drill Beat style.

“We were happy to see that young king come up. He was a breath of fresh air. The drill movement in London, Chicago and New York is really exciting.”

Pop Smoke was killed in 2020 after gunmen broke into a house he was renting in Los Angeles and shot him several times. He was only 20 years old. Since his death, the rapper has continued to enjoy chart success with his album “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” earning a 17th week at the No. 1 place atop the R&B/ Hip-Hop Albums. No other rapper has achieved this since 1990.

Meanwhile, Nas just recently released his 2020 King’s Disease album nominated in the Best Rap Album category for the 2021 Grammy Awards. His comeback after 30 years in the business is remarkable with the Grammy nomination, and if he wins, that would also be his first Grammy.

His music has been rated by fans, both young and old, who refer to it as a classic masterpiece and other such adjectives. However, according to Nas, making good music requires major effort and dedication.

“The business is hard and not many artists make it. But as long as you keep your soul, so long as you are happy knowing you contributed something positive to the atmosphere, then you can’t lose. No one gets out unscathed, you know. There’s going to be some turbulence, but you’re here to make music, change lives and help people,” he said.

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