Nas is one of the most celebrated lyricists in hip hop and, at one point, was New York’s prodigy child and lyrical poster boy. Known for his infamous battle with Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella records, Nas is definitely a rapper that has cemented his place in history. He was a rapper, songwriter and, most importantly, a storyteller whom other artists envied over. However, although Nas is mostly known for his music, he has also starred in a few films.
In 1998, renowned music video director Hype Williams directed a classic cult film entitled, Belly. The fantastic motion picture even starred two iconic New York rappers, one being Nas and the other DMX. However, their on-set experience was tense, to say the least. In a 2022 interview with Desus & Mero, Nas (real name Nasir Jones) recalled his time on the set of Belly alongside DMX and reminisced about their relationship as both artists and friends.
Speaking on their friendship the Queensbridge rapper explained, “We formed a brotherhood. I didn’t have to see him, or he didn’t have to call me, but when we saw each other though, it was that! Even working on the film, we cried.” Elaborating on how the late rapper made him cry, Jones divulged, “We were at the Tunnel doing a scene, and I was like, ‘You feel that, bro?’ He was like, ‘Yeah.’ And he’s crying, and now I’m crying. He was talking with that, ‘Grrr.’ I was like, ‘This man’s energy is something else.'”
Speaking from the heart, the ‘Ether’ rapper explained that DMX (real name Earl Simmons) was highly respected in the hip-hop community. Highlighting the extent to which Simmons was revered, Jones firmly stated, “People need to understand, DMX had more love than most rappers would ever see. People said when he passed, ‘Where was the love when he was alive?’ You gotta be kidding me! He had more love than 98% of rappers would ever have!”
Outlining all his achievements, Nas declared, “He walked through any hood, sold millions of records, he had an incredible movie career. Kids ain’t doing that today! I wish he was still here with us, but in this life, he saw more love than 1,000 rappers put together.” Nas, to this day, showed great respect for the late rapper and enjoyed getting to work alongside him. You can watch the Desus & Mero interview in the video below.