Nas goes about creating songs in a “different way” now that he’s older.
The 47-year-old rapper released his latest record King’s Disease earlier this year – his 12th studio album. And while he’s still as popular as ever, Nas admitted in an interview that he doesn’t try and compete with his younger rivals.
“With (2006 album) Hip Hop Is Dead it was a whole different time, but it’s definitely connected to what I was saying about rap being all about clout and stuff,” Nas told NME.com. “But today’s game doesn’t faze me; it’s different. I’m in a different place. I have a different job when it comes to making music. It’s strange because I’m the same me, but I’m older. So there’s different ways of going about things and different things that I care about. But the clout thing stands out because it’s show business.
“It’s Muhammad Ali when he’s mouthing off, which changed boxing and made him more entertaining. It’s 2Pac when he was going wild on people, which creates entertainment. So I get that part of it, but I don’t care for it when it’s only that. When it’s only clout. When there’s no real purpose behind the record other than trying to get streams. I wish artists would try not to do so much clout [chasing] because the people notice it and it’s corny. But at the same time, who am I to say anything? Everybody carry on.”
On his song Ultra Black, Nas includes a line about young rap star Doja Cat – rapping: “We going Ultra Black / Unapologetically Black / The opposite of Doja Cat.”
And reflecting on the attention the diss received, Nas added: “Well, I’ve been away, so, of course, I mention someone’s name that’s popular and people are gonna talk about it. I hear people do it all the time but no one makes a big deal of it. Maybe it’s because I don’t put out records a lot, so they’re like, ‘Whoa!’
“I don’t really know the world that these stars live in anymore. I’m rapping the same way I did when I was on the block, but now there’s a new world and what I say can take off with social media and I can’t do anything about it.”