Nas is on a serious mission to tighten the bonds amid black artists in hip-hop culture.
When the conversation of hip-hop legends who are known to push the culture forward comes up, Nas is a pretty frequent mention. Through endeavors such as his hip gourmet chicken and waffle spot Sweet Chick, to his mighty record label Mass Appeal Records, along with making constructive investments in tech startups, the Queensbridge lyricist has developed conditions that will supplement the longevity of hip-hop culture. Pushing the earthy narrative of the quest for freedom and power.
This past weekend, Nas took to Instagram to share the news about his latest guest verse, DJ Esco‘s “Walk Thru” featuring Future, dubbing a lengthy earnest caption encouraging unity in hip-hop culture among black artists. “Today’s game is as big as it gets. It seems like nobody gettin along tho,” Nas writes. “It’s a big enough game to do what you do and let ya talent speak for itself. This new cat over here says something bad about Pac. This older guy gets mad at the new guy. Or ‘Nas ain’t hip hop. Migos and Future are Hip Hop’ Neil Diamond x Jack White have a Concert coming up together. Gettin it done.”
It is no secret the battle between the generations in hip-hop has influenced the longevity of the culture. And for hip-hop, on a grand scale, while being the highest grossing genre in the world, some of hip-hop’s most treasured acts from beloved eras have failed to reach career durability. The Illmatic maker continued to tackle his quest for unity by making an example out of white musicians, highlighting their ability to embrace all of most music generations, “White musicians have that freedom and are praised for coming together… more power to them and I’m a fan of it. why can’t black artist do that and make it cool? We are all artists, let’s all evolve together. Walk With Me. WALK THRU.”
The longtime battle between the OG/veteran hip-hop generation and the new school generation has played a major role in hip-hop’s current case of discord. Old school emcees often argue that new school rappers severely lack creativity and miscarry the clout of lyricism which has given birth to new rap styles like mumble rapping. Such style is marked as a failure to the tradition of the hip-hop emcee. Legendary emcee Rakim Allah recently spoke about how young rap fans should know the difference between hip-hop and rap, and while noting young artists should express themselves, the God MC also made it clear that he is from the school of lyricists. “My thing is, you have to let young artists be young artists. I was once a young artist. It’s just to make sure that the people understand the difference between hip-hop and rap. I have no problem with rap, but I’m from more of the lyricist school.”
In response to the OGs, new school rappers justify their customs by labeling OG rappers as “irrelevant” and “outdated” deeming their opinion void. New school rappers have placed a strong sense disregard towards OG rappers, developing the “angry old rapper” narrative. Mumble rappers often express that instead of judging them, OG rappers should stand as pillars of advise. Risen trap rapper 21 Savage stirred up debate when he penned a letter to the entire old school rap generation saying he would rather an OG emcee “make a change” instead of constantly base judgment. He concluded the letter by informing OG rappers to stop using new school rappers as a “scapegoat” when it comes to the condition of the culture.
Nas’ call for unity among black artists is justified in light of preserving the greatness hip-hop culture has offered the universe. Clearly, he is leading the call by example as seen through his bond with Dave East. And yes, this is coming from a rapper who made the phrase “hip-hop is dead” popular in the old-school rap-loving world. It is a statement that has followed the chronology of hip-hop and rap into overall music history. The only way a culture can maintain its prominence is if those who practice, live, and breath it support its development and preserve its values.
Today's game is as big as it gets. It seems like nobody gettin along tho. It's a big enough game to do what you do and let ya talent speak for itself. This new cat over here says something bad about Pac. This older guy gets mad at the new guy. Or "Nas ain't hip hop. Migos and Future are Hip Hop" Neil Diamond x Jack White have a Concert coming up together. Gettin it done. White musicians have that freedom and are praised for coming together… more power to them and I'm a fan of it. why can't black artist do that and make it cool? We are all artists, let's all evolve together. Walk With Me. WALK THRU.