It’s been 24 years since Nas released his debut album “Illmatic,” a project that is still considered a classic. The hip-hop lyricist has been a trailblazer for the industry, and these are Ten Reasons Why Nas Is One Of The Greatest MC’s.
1. He’s a Brilliant Storyteller
Storytelling is a poetic device that separates the greats from everyone else. Scarface, Slick Rick, The Notorious B.I.G. and Nas are arguably the greatest storytellers in hip-hop. Nas’ greatest strength is his window-view style – the ability to put the listener on the scene.
2. His Body of Work is Incredible
Nas’ albums are critically celebrated and commercially successful. His music inspires other rappers. For example, Lupe Fiasco’s The Cool was inspired by It Was Written. Even without a Top 10 hit single, every Nas album has been certified gold or platinum.
3. He Bodied Jay Z
Nas battled a peak-form Jay Z and won. Jay Z proved to be an impressive opponent and “Takeover” would have ended other people’s careers. In the end, Nas emerged from the fires virtually unscathed. In fact, he only grew stronger and reasserted himself as a hip-hop great.
4. He Commands Respect
The greatest reward in art is the admiration of your peers. And Nas has that, too. He’s commonly referenced in a positive light by other rappers. When MTV asked hip-hop artists to name their all-time greatest emcees, many of them mentioned Nas. Even past foes Jay Z and 50 Cent named Nas as one of the greatest.
5. There’s a Movie About His First Album
Some people will never have a movie made about their life. This dude had a movie made about his first album. The Erik Parker movie, Time Is Illmatic, peels back the curtain on Esco’s creative process. It chronicles his childhood, his influences–from his jazz musician dad to the crime-infested NYC scene that served as the backdrop for his groundbreaking debut.
6. He Influenced a Generation of MCs
“Name a rapper that I ain’t influence.” – Nas, “Ether”
Nas has influenced a host of MCs, including Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and more. Cole even dedicated his track “Let Nas Down” to the Queens MC.
7. One Word: Illmatic
Nas helped shape hip-hop history with his debut, Illmatic, arguably one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.
You can see Nas live at Auckland’s Spark Arena alongside Ms. Lauyrn Hill – Saturday 16 February. Tickets on sale from HERE.