Queensbridge legend Nas (real name Nasir Jones) has had a career of ups and downs— the Illmatic musician first came to prominence in the early 1990s, but during the 2000s, began to fade unexpectedly. However, after a decade of irrelevance, in the 2010s, the lyricist started to make a comeback.
Unfortunately, Nas (real name Nasir Jones) no longer looks to rappers his own age to keep him inspired in the booth. During an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jones explained that he doesn’t see his former peers releasing high-quality music consistently.
When asked about acts that motivate him to release high-calibre projects such as King’s Disease III, Jones responded, “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.”
Explaining that while others have gradually stopped, he has ramped up, Jones continued, “They kind of slowed down for whatever reasons; I understand it’s a tough thing, but I got bit by the bug, man.” From Jay-Z to Eminem, many of hip-hop’s most renowned lyricists have turned their attention to business ventures outside of music. However, Nas has been travelling in the opposite direction.
Speaking about his career-defining partnership with Hit-Boy, with whom Nas has released four projects, Jones revealed that the producer’s youthful energy is what inspired him in the booth.
Opening up about his King’s Disease series, Jones explained, “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.” He also described him and the multi-platinum producer as a “perfect match.”
In 2020, Nas released King’s Disease, which earned him his first Grammy Award and since then, he has released a whopping five projects. King’s Disease II, Magic, King’s Disease III, Magic 2 and Magic 3. You can watch Nas on The Late Show below.