Rapper Nas recently sat down with Rolling Stone for an exclusive interview, to talk about his Amy Winehouse Inspiration Award,’Rock the Bells” foundation which he has been part since first performing with at the hip-hop festival in 2005, being friends with NBA ballers, Kanye west and more! More details below………
Oh man, I came out there to enjoy the festivities in London, went to the game. I was called to participate at the after-thing and do my thing on stage. That was a great honor to be there with all those guys, hang out, and it definitely made my summer more amazing.
Are you friends with a lot of the players?
I know Carmelo Anthony – he’s a good dude – and LeBron James. Kobe Bryant, I haven’t been able to see him in awhile. It was good to see him; I got a lot of love for him. I’ve known him for years and years. We didn’t see each other in years, so it was great to catch up with him.
It was also announced that you’re going to be honored at the first Amy Winehouse Inspiration Awards. Having been friends with her, does that mean something extra to you?
It’s a great honor to get an award named after a true artist. The Amy Winehouse Inspiration Award is one of the ways she still shows love, even in spirit, to fellow musicians and inspiring people. Life is so unpredictable. Let’s enjoy her memory and celebrate her life at the same time.
What brings you back to Rock the Bells every year?
I like what Chang brings to the table. He really rides the hip-hop music. You don’t get a chance to see a great show like Rock the Bells with artists that you haven’t seen in years, underground artists and some of the most popular contemporary hip-hop artists all in the same place. It gives you a feel of a Coachella or Lollapalooza and it’s all hip-hop. So I’ve been working with them for a while and recently became a business partner with Rock the Bells.
As an artist, how does it inspire you to be onstage with both your peers and the new artists?
That’s what it’s all about. If I was ever to be a guy who threw a tour together, it would be this type of tour. It wouldn’t be anything pop; it would be everyone who claims hip-hop gets down on the stage, so you get the best show in the world. I couldn’t do it no other way.
Who are the one or two acts you really need to see onstage there in future years?
I’d like to see Run-DMC. I’d like to see the Beastie Boys still, with all respect to my man [Adam Yauch] who passed away. I’d like to see NWA and I’d like to see Kanye West.
I see it’s there; it’s definitely there, but I’m not involved. I have a team that’s involved with it, so I don’t know anything that’s happening on social media unless it’s a quick laugh. And usually some of it is, but if I do something on there, my team does something and it creates a positive reaction then that’s all good, but I don’t care either way about it.
You said it’s the devil for the way it puts everything out there. And I can now find from a quick search on Google that you dedicated “Bye Baby” to Kelis in London and that becomes a news story.
As far as social media, this album was going to be this album and before social media, it was a word-of-mouth thing. So the only difference is there is social media, [which] is word-of-mouth digitally – faster, broader. It’s the same thing, though. To me, word-of-mouth is everything. I’m old school.
Plus, It’s been a huge summer for Nas, who just celebrated his sixth Number One album, Life Is Good.