Nas: I Don’t See Enough Emcees Who Are Brave Enough To Address Social Issues (VIDEO)
During the 90-minute discussion moderated by Lehigh University professor James Peterson, Nas spoke on members of the culture not taking a greater responsibility to rap about topics that touch on social justice issues.
I don’t see enough emcees who are brave enough to be honest. I would like to see more of that. There’s a lot of good stuff, and there’s a lot of bad in rap. The socially conscious stuff can come off sometime as preachy, so a lot of people tend to stay away from it. It ain’t their bag. That’s not what they do. But still they kind of have some artistic responsibility to do more than what’s the latest trend.
There’s party music. There’s more intense music. There’s techno style rap. There’s a lot of different people experimenting with rap music, and that’s great. [When] I got in to, of course, it was different…
Imagine me trying to come in that rap game at 19 years old. It was impossible. I had to do something that mattered, or I would not have gotten that respect from [the rapper at the time]. If I didn’t get that respect from them it was over. But now it’s a lot easier.
A part of it about being easier that I like is there’s more poor kids making money, so I love that. I would like to see people remember it’s an art form because the better we all become we push each other to make the whole art form better. Then we won’t have to worry about who won the Grammy.
Watch “A Conversation with Nas and Michael Eric Dyson” below.