Rap veteran Nas may credit himself for saving hip-hop at times, however, God’s Son recently gave props to one-time music rival Jay-Z for helping the culture remain relevant and alive.
Nasty Nas, it is Jay’s focus on taking his craft seriously both as an emcee and businessman which has helped inspire hip-hop artists.
“Hip-hop has a savior in Jay-Z,” Nas said during a sit-down chat with Hot 97′s Peter Rosenberg while at SXSW last week. “Let me tell you why. As a business man — the fact that he’s doing what he’s doing is a [wake up] call for all of the Gods and Earths to wake up and understand — this generation is bigger than what we can even fathom. And he is one of the only ones out of the whole community that we grew up with from the Run-DMC days, who’s taken his sh*t seriously. Taken his sh*t very seriously. That’s powerful. And you gotta respect that.” (XXL Mag)
Back in 2010, Nas said Jay had an inevitable knack of being an elite emcee.
“[Jay-Z] is the one that smacks everybody in the face that’s out there and wanted to say what he wasn’t and what he couldn’t do. The challenge is that people always count you out and even when you have a hit record and put out a hit album, you’re gonna have people dissing you. I think he’s showing you: I won’t be stopped ever. And that’s motivation for everyone else.” (VIBE)
Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter will become the first solo hip-hop artist to headline Carnegie Hall on Feb. 6 and 7, playing a pair of charity concerts benefitting the United Way of New York City and Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. Carter made the announcement at Carnegie Hall Thursday alongside key execs like Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall, Gordon Campbell, president-CEO of United Way of New York City and Dania Diaz, executive director of the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. Tickets for the shows will begin with a private sale geared toward corporations and high net-worth individuals, ranging in price from $500 to $2,500 apiece. A public sale will tentatively kick off on Jan. 30 to minimize ticket scalping. (Billboard)
When Jay-Z was president of Def Jam, he signed The Roots to the label and told them to maintain their sound and integrity, even if it meant fewer sales. “(Jay-Z) didn’t want to be known as the bad guy that killed The Roots,” Questlove said. I told Jay, “Like man, that would be nice to have all my records debut at No. 1 and stuff.” But he’s like, “Yeah, but you’re just looking at that. I got to deal with beef with this cat and that cat. Every year some rapper’s going to take a potshot and I got to take the gloves out the closet and start training.” … And (Jay-Z) sees me as an artist making my dream come true. Like, he wants to be seen as a true artist, not the richest guy in hip-hop. Meanwhile, I would like 13 zeros in my account.” (CBS News)