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NAS
ABOVE IT ALL - PART 2

KRON:
Every time you come out, Nas takes us where no other MC has gone before. Where does our Journey take us to on I Am... The Autobiography?
NAS:
Well, it sorta takes you back into Illmatic. It gives you a little feeling of It Was Written. But then again there's a whole new Ideology that I'm focused on. A whole new way I look at my whole Life. As far as progress, a whole way I look at my career now and how it's different the way I look at the Rap Game in general. Like, I respect people who's bein' entrepreneurs and takin' the shit into they own hands like Master P, Def Jam, E-40, Roc-A-Fella, Puffy Combs, and everybody. You know? Everybody! I'm respectin' that mode. We movin' into a new Millenium. We watchin', you know, savage police still kill off our people in the streets. They still sellin' slaves in Afrika. There's still a ignorance about Peace in the world. It's so much things that we gotta accomplish, and now that Rap Music has taken it to the top and makin' millions of dollars, we the ones that gotta take charge now. So this "Generation X" is us. So now it's like we can't sit back and complain about it, we gotta be the Politicians now! We gotta lead from Rap and not only turn to Music Stars or Basketball Players, but we gotta also convert into Politicians. And take control of some Power, have some Collective Work shit with Judges; we gotta be down with our Judges. We gotta be cool with the District Attorneys. We gotta be all on the same page or else they gon' continue try to wipe us out.
KRON:
Word! What does it mean for you at this point in your career to do outside stuff like appear on other people's joints whether they're small guys or large guys, star in the movies which I'm sure Belly isn't gonna be the last one, or to make collaboration projects like The Firm?
NAS:
What's the question?
KRON:
The question is what does it mean for you at this point in your career to do all the other outside things besides being Nas the MC?
NAS:
Well, what I'm doin' now is just Producin'. I got a group; my Niggaz. They comin' out- Bravehearts. We got my Nigga Nature comin' out on Ill Will Records- named after my Man who was murdered in `92 the same time my lil' Brother was shot- Jungle. But he's still alive- he got shot in his legs. So we makin' it happen for my Man, Ill Will. That label's gon' put that out. But we gon' start the Queens Bridge Compilation comin' out with The Movie. The whole movie, we did it. Featuring MC Shan and Mobb Deep, the whole Queens Bridge Legacy but through my eyes.
KRON:
Takin' it back to the Foundation?
NAS:
Yea, that's what's comin' out on Ill Will Records. So we workin' that and then we workin' on Screenplays for a new Movie to come late next year. That's where my head's busy. And also, I got another album comin' out called Nastradamus in October.
KRON:
Is that like a Part II of I Am...?
NAS:
I Am...
KRON:
OK, the last few questions I have are just simple, "If you wanna answer and dispel a few rumors". If not, it's cool. I won't even use it. But he (pointing to Animal who is snapping away at his shudder-piece) wanted to ask how old was Foxy when you first met her and how did you two hook up musically and artistically?
NAS:
Really, I be sleepin' on everybody's age. I never really know her age. But at the same time she was young. And we met in early `95 and we planned to get a Crew together and do The Firm. That's why you hear her first rhyme, she says on "I Shot Ya", `I roll with The Firm/ Mafioso crime killed him', `cause that was our Crew. But when I did the deal my record company was pressurin' me to do my album when I did The Firm deal. So we didn't get a chance to put that album out until `97 because she got Hot and started workin' her album, and I had to work on It Was Writtem. So The Firm had to wait. And that didn't get a chance to come out until `97.
KRON:
When we were in New York, we heard you on Hot 97 say that at one point you were gonna be a Bad Boy. What's that story about because a lotta people don't even know.
NAS:
I mean, that just goes to show this is a Big Business in a small world. Because I'm sure there's a lot of artists that knows a lotta people. We all came up alot. There's been a lot of groups that coulda winded up rhymin', comin' out with me. But in the beginning I met a lot of people comin' up. And Puffy & B.I.G was two people that I met that was up & comin'. I remember when MCA was shittin' on Puff. He would wear the suits up there and we'd wait for him downstairs while he'd try to shoot the Bad Boy Mission to `dem. And they wasn't hearin' it! And he'd come downstairs and be like, "Man, Fuck them!" We'd go out to his crib in Mt. Vernon and he'd change into the street clothes. We'd go hang out and he was still constant with his dream. And I had already finished my album so I said, "Man, I gotta do my thing." So I just put out my album. Meanwhile, after I had the success that I got which I thought was the limits, here comes Bad Boy blowin' shit up just like Puffy said he was gonna do. Which just shocked the shit outta me! So that's how that went down and that was around `92-`93.
KRON:
Word! What does it mean for you at this point in your career to do outside stuff like appear on other people's joints whether they're small guys or large guys, star in the movies which I'm sure Belly isn't gonna be the last one, or to make collaboration projects like The Firm?
NAS:
What's the question?
KRON:
The question is what does it mean for you at this point in your career to do all the other outside things besides being Nas the MC?
NAS:
Well, what I'm doin' now is just Producin'. I got a group; my Niggaz. They comin' out- Bravehearts. We got my Nigga Nature comin' out on Ill Will Records- named after my Man who was murdered in `92 the same time my lil' Brother was shot- Jungle. But he's still alive- he got shot in his legs. So we makin' it happen for my Man, Ill Will. That label's gon' put that out. But we gon' start the Queens Bridge Compilation comin' out with The Movie. The whole movie, we did it. Featuring MC Shan and Mobb Deep, the whole Queens Bridge Legacy but through my eyes.
KRON:
Takin' it back to the Foundation?
NAS:
Yea, that's what's comin' out on Ill Will Records. So we workin' that and then we workin' on Screenplays for a new Movie to come late next year. That's where my head's busy. And also, I got another album comin' out called Nastradamus in October.
KRON:
Is that like a Part II of I Am...?
NAS:
I Am...

KRON:
OK, the last few questions I have are just simple, "If you wanna answer and dispel a few rumors". If not, it's cool. I won't even use it. But he (pointing to Animal who is snapping away at his shudder-piece) wanted to ask how old was Foxy when you first met her and how did you two hook up musically and artistically?
NAS:
Really, I be sleepin' on everybody's age. I never really know her age. But at the same time she was young. And we met in early `95 and we planned to get a Crew together and do The Firm. That's why you hear her first rhyme, she says on "I Shot Ya", `I roll with The Firm/ Mafioso crime killed him', `cause that was our Crew. But when I did the deal my record company was pressurin' me to do my album when I did The Firm deal. So we didn't get a chance to put that album out until `97 because she got Hot and started workin' her album, and I had to work on It Was Writtem. So The Firm had to wait. And that didn't get a chance to come out until `97.
KRON:
When we were in New York, we heard you on Hot 97 say that at one point you were gonna be a Bad Boy. What's that story about because a lotta people don't even know.
NAS:
I mean, that just goes to show this is a Big Business in a small world. Because I'm sure there's a lot of artists that knows a lotta people. We all came up alot. There's been a lot of groups that coulda winded up rhymin', comin' out with me. But in the beginning I met a lot of people comin' up. And Puffy & B.I.G was two people that I met that was up & comin'. I remember when MCA was shittin' on Puff. He would wear the suits up there and we'd wait for him downstairs while he'd try to shoot the Bad Boy Mission to `dem. And they wasn't hearin' it! And he'd come downstairs and be like, "Man, Fuck them!" We'd go out to his crib in Mt. Vernon and he'd change into the street clothes. We'd go hang out and he was still constant with his dream. And I had already finished my album so I said, "Man, I gotta do my thing." So I just put out my album. Meanwhile, after I had the success that I got which I thought was the limits, here comes Bad Boy blowin' shit up just like Puffy said he was gonna do. Which just shocked the shit outta me! So that's how that went down and that was around `92-`93.
KRON:
Now here's probably a touchy one because a lot of the Press is taking it and making it into something that it shouldn't be. But what is the deal between you and Cormega, and Nature? What's going on?
NAS:
What happenned was, when we was doin' The Firm a lotta people was upset that... My thing is I would pick Soldiers. Whoever wanna do they thing is gonna do they thing. And I wanna put `em out so we can Represent. I have no time for people who lolligaggin'; sittin' around Not-making-it-happen. I like to Make-it-happen! What happenned was a lotta people were upset when I was bringin' in Niggaz like Noreaga. Or not just Noriega, but just all the Niggaz that I wanted and dreamed would happen with The Firm- Like Foxy had her own way she wanted it to be. You know, little shit like that. Cormega had his way, and AZ had his way. But what happenned was Mega really was like, saw it a whole nother way. And when it didn't happen his way he didn't wanna be involved with it. So when he didn't wanna be involved with it, I had to get somebody that was gonna do it. So I just ran it to one of my Queens Bridge Soldiers. There's a lotta Niggaz out there that flow. And Nature had replaced him, and Nature had dissed him onthe Clue tape an' shit. And they had fought; they saw each other in the Projects and fought about it. And then now Mega took it upon himself to come back and make somethin' else on a different tape, comin' at us an' shit and rhymin' at us and shit like that. Which I expected him to do `cause he felt hurt. And since then we never really kicked it. It's really been bad-blood. But the whole thing is Yo, I seen Queens Bridge come up from Marley Marl, MC Shan, Shante', Trag & Kool G, Juice Crew; they was Pioneers. My thing is to keep QB goin'. So as long as we keep it goin', the other shit is Dead.
KRON:
OK on this I Am... album, word is the more Commercial shit is gonna take a back seat in order for that Street shit to take the steering wheel of Nas's vehicle. You got two singles out right now, right? One of `em, "Nas Is Like" that was done with Primo, which is strait Street. Then the other one is with Puff. Could you speak upon the development of those tracks as singles?
NAS:
First of all I'd like to address the term "Commercial". When Nas is Commercial it's Hot! Because when Nas is Commercial, Nas Represents the Street and The Struggle, and Survival. So when I become Commercial that's a plus for the whole Hip Hop Game. When Street Music becomes on top stations and sells millions of records, they call that "Commercial". So that's one thing; Nas Represents what's Real. Second of all, what was the other question?
KRON:
Speak on the Singles; the one Primo did & the one Puff did with you. Talk about the Puffy track.
NAS:
Well it's finally happenned. We been talkin' about it since `92-`93; about workin' together, and it's never happenned. Me & B.I.G. used to go at it like it was a friendly competition. But on the New York scene, on the Streets of New York, they always put us against each other on some, "Who's that Nigga?" type shit. But we used to Love each other. It's like me & Puff, we didn't build our thing for that. But we always wanted to work together and respected each other's talents. And Puffy had a great deal with changin' Hip Hop and bringin' it to Great Heights. Him along with B.I.G.. So he kinda coined the phrase "Hate Me!" or "Playa Haters". So when we came up with the hook, he fit it perfectly. Nobody could do it- I need to make a Big record. And when I gotta make a Big record, I'ma use every element that I could do. But at the same time, everybody did they part. Puffy gave me his part and I'll play my part, so nobody loses their own character.
KRON:
How do you feel when Kids nowadays have replaced the names Rakim, Kane & KRS, with B.I.G., Jay-Z, & Nas when arguin' who's the nicest MC?
NAS:
I mean, it's all been Prophesy Man. I mean, Rakim and them set the Mode, and now we just followed thru. And now we're the new Generation of that. I know I work hard and all those other individuals worked hard to be all they could be. That's what it is. We live and die for this shit. You know Biggie & 2Pac, they died for this shit. Soldiers: they died for us to continue. That coulda been me killed. That coulda been Jay killed. That coulda been anybody killed. They died for the progression of Hip Hop like Martin Luther King & Malcom X, or Jesus Christ (died for The Struggle). That's how Great those people were to me, and still are to me. So I've always been Lovin' Hip Hop and rollin' with it just like everybody else. So the Blessing is to be like that. Manifest Hip Hop!
KRON:
So my last couple of joints would be A) how come it's taken this album so long to come out? Everytime we look up the date keeps changing. And B) What exactly is taking you out to L.A. that fate would have us hook up like this?
NAS:
First, the album got changed again to April 6th. It's only a week later so I hope Niggaz don't get mad. But it's just really been a lot of thought-out plannin'. First it was gonna be a double-album. I had to change that shit! Then my shit got bootlegged on the street so bad, I had to record some new records at the last minute. And just that Love from the Street, I love it though; if they bootleggin' my shit like that, I'm hearin' all over the place they got my joints. It's just Love from the Streets. So I had to go press some new joints at the last minute. Just preparation and comin' out with the full blast; makin' sure everybody around's comin' out so they can listen to what I've got to say. And what was the other shit?
KRON:
What brings you out to L.A. right now?
NAS:
Doin' some of my video for "Hate Me Now". I'm goin' to do some of that right now. Hype Williams is directin' it.
KRON:
One more rumor question is, folks think that you're Willie Esco. Or that you're the Esco of the Willie Esco. What's your relationship or affiliation with Esco?
NAS:
Basically we was gonna do Esco clothes and we heard Niggaz bit the name. So we stepped to them Niggaz and they turned out to be Madd Cool! And they gave me some point-type of situation in the company. Now I'm tryin' to get more, like tryin' to go toward half of the joint. But you know, they bein' fair to me and lookin' out because of my name, and we're workin' together on this. If it's some extra ends for me, Word. I really don't have the time right now to focus on making clothes. But those guys are real good guys. They design true clothes and shit, so they just hit me off and just makin' it happen. Whatever, it's just another Hustle.
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