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Veteran emcee Nas has been tapped by Rolling Stone Magazine to provides his list of “Hip-Hop’s Best Lyricists.” as a part of the feature series themed around artists and their playlist.
In the feature, 50 different artists select a themed list and provide their picks for the overall for that particular list.
Although being cited as stating that Hip-Hop was dead, Nas breaks down for fans what he truly meant by the statement and how he feels about music now.
“When I said ‘hip-hop is dead’ a few years ago, I felt we’d gotten away from the great wordplay and storytelling,” Nas said in the interview. “There’s a place for the party sh*t and a place for the gangster sh*t. I focus on the guys that are always pushing themselves forward.”
Among those selected for the series are Cee-Lo with a selection of the best of the Dirty South, Drake provides a Jimi Hendrix list and ?uestlove with a Prince list.
Check out Nas’s picks below including his own personal reason for picking one of Lil Wayne’s hits.
1. “My Downfall” – Notorious B.I.G., 1997
The lyrics are about how he’s acing the shadows of death, despite all of his success, and he’s giving it to you in a way that makes it seem so real.
2. “If My Homie Calls” – 2pac, 1991
He’s just saying to his boys that he’s going to be a friend no matter how big he gets.
3. “Road To The Riches” – Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo, 1989
The way we’re rhyming now? He was already doing it then .
4. “A Bird In The Hand” – Ice Cube, 1991
5. “Paid In Full” – Eric B. & Rakim, 1987
6. “I’m Single” – Lil Wayne, 2010
I’m recently divorced, so I feel what he’s saying.
7. “Tears of Joy” – Rick Ross, 2010
Ross is at the pulpit here.
8. “The Moment I Feared” – Slick Rick, 1988
It’s cinematic. He’s at a hip-hop show and ices this girl who played him, then he’s in prison getting violated by some dude. This was unheard of.
9. “Empire State of Mind” – Jay-Z, 2009
This song is huge. It sounds like Broadway. It’s New York’s modern anthem.
10. “Queen B*tch” – Lil’ Kim, 1996
At the time, females rappers didn’t appeal to the street, but Kim came with the vulgarity, sexuality and gangster sh*t.
In a Rolling Stone interview, Shady opens up his 2004 album, losing his best friend, and temptation to use again.
In keeping with his recent trend of expansive interviews, Eminem sat down with Rolling Stone magazine to discuss a myriad of topics, among them his 2004 release, Encore.
“Around the tail end of Encore, the songs started getting really goofy,” said Em of the album, which was his first solo release to garner anything less than near-universal acclaim. “‘Rain Man,’ ‘Big Weenie,’ ‘Ass Like That’ – that’s when the wheels were coming off. Every day I had a pocketful of pills, and I would just go into the studio and goof off.”
Shady, revealed he is currently working on Dr. Dre’s long-awaited Detox, also broached the difficult topic of his best friend Proof, who was gunned down in 2006. “The best way to describe Proof would be a rock. Somebody to confide in, somebody who always had your back. At this point, it’s difficult to find people I know I can trust. I still have certain friends like that, but when you lose one, man… it hit me pretty hard.”
Em admitted selfishness on his part in the grieving process. “I wasn’t the only person grieving – he left a wife and kids. But I was very much in my own grief. I was so high at his funeral. It disgusts me to say it, but I felt like it was about me. I hate myself for even thinking that.”
The interview centers on the rapper’s heavy drug abuse, which nearly ended his life in 2007. When asked whether he is ever tempted to use drugs, Eminem replied, “Honestly, no. For one thing, I try not to be in a position where I could be tempted. I’ve performed in a few clubs where there is drinking and s***, but I think even if I’d never had a drug problem, at the age I’m at, I wouldn’t want to [use] anyway. I feel like this is the time in your life where you stop doing that stuff. Time to grow up.”
As for Eminem’s sober date? “4/20. Ironically.”
The Rolling Stone issue with the exclusive Eminem interview is available for purchase now.