Tag Archives: Nas

Today In Hip Hop History: Nas Dropped “If I Ruled The World(Imagine That)” Single Feat. Lauryn Hill 28 Years Ago

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On this date in 1996, Nas released the monumental “If I Ruled The World” single featuring the illustrious Lauryn Hill, which appeared on his sophomore album It Was Written on the Columbia label. If I Ruled The World was a remake of Kurtis Blow’s 1985 hit with the same name, which spawned from the Krush Groove movie soundtrack.

Produced by Trackmasters, If I Ruled The World was sampled directly from Whodini’s “Friends” song and was actually the very first song that Lauryn Hill performed outside of The Fugees camp.

Commercially, If I Ruled The World was a mainstream success, reaching number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, while it also peaked in the top 20 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. In total, the single reached the top ten in eight countries. It received a nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 39th Annual Grammy Awards. “If I Ruled the World” also became Nas’ first platinum single, receiving its certification in June 2021.

Salute to NAs, Ms. Hill, The Trackmasters, Hype Williams for the video, and everyone else responsible for helping make this a piece of Hip-Hop history!

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Today in Hip Hop History: Nas and Damian Marley Dropped Their ‘Distant Relatives’LP 14 Years Ago

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On this date in 2010, Queensbridge king Nas and reggae royalty Damian Marley dropped their collaborative album Distant Relatives on the Universal Republic/Def Jam imprint. 

This Hip Hop/reggae collabo album was the first of its kind, with its release coming after Nas’ controversial Untitled album and Marley’s landmark Welcome To Jamrock LP. The production was very organic and exempt of super producers except for Jr. Gong and Stephen Marley, having Marley explain , “We’re trying to have a sound that’s reminiscent of both of us, but not exactly like either… A lot of charity albums come off corny. We want this to be something you’d play in your car.”

The album did daily well commercially, entering the Billboard 200 at number five and selling over 125,000 in its premiere month. Distant Relatives also served as a refreshing alternative that was a vehicle of consciousness to younger listeners captivated by the more popular gangster-themed music. Features boasted the likes of Joss Stone, Junior Reid, Lil Wayne, and others. 

Salute to Damian and Nas for this pivotal piece of Hip Hop history! 

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Ghostface Killah and Nas Unite And Cause “Scar Tissue”

Ghostface Killah, the Wu-Tang veteran, and Grammy Award-winning rap icon Nas have teamed up for a monumental collaboration that transcends three generations of hip-hop excellence. Their latest track courtesy of Mass Appeal, “Scar Tissue,” sees these consummate artists effortlessly riding atop a sinister beat with unparalleled precision.

Excitement peaked earlier this week when Ghostface took to Twitter to announce his forthcoming album, “Set The Tone,” set to be released under Mass Appeal. The news spread like wildfire online, with the viral tweet unveiling “Scar Tissue” as the album’s lead single. Fans couldn’t contain their anticipation, flocking to the comments section to share their enthusiasm. And with good reason – when legends collaborate, the result is nothing short of genre-defying.

Ghostface Killah has solidified his status as one of the most culturally significant artists across generations, with a legacy that speaks for itself. Yet, the legendary rapper continues to raise the bar for hip-hop with each verse he delivers.

Source: UndergroundHipHopBlog.com

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Nas Announces His 18th Album Prod. by DJ Premier, Releases Lead Single “Define My Name”

Grammy-award-winning icon Nas, celebrates the 30th Anniversary of his 1994 debut album, Illmatic, with the release of new single “Define My Name,” which is produced by DJ Premier; who also produced three tracks (“N.Y. State Of Mind,” “Represent,” and “Memory Lane” (sittin’ in da park) on the timeless classic.  “Define My Name” is now available!

“Define My Name” is not only a celebration of Illmatic’s born day, but also the announcement of a new beginning for the legendary artists, one that fans have dreamed about & anxiously anticipated for years; as Nas & DJ Premier have also revealed they will be releasing their landmark collaborative album later this year. 

Source: UndergroundHipHopBlog.com

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Today In Hip Hop History: Nas Released The Controversial Visuals For ‘Hate Me Now’ 25 Years Ago

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On this day in Hip Hop history, Queens legend Nas released the video for his hit single, “Hate Me Now.” Although the song may be a fan favorite, the video came with a lot more controversy than any music video should. Shot by Hype Williams, the video features the crucifixion of Christ with Nasir himself playing the role of Jesus. Diddy, who was then known as Puff Daddy, was featured on the track, was also cast as one of the criminals on a cross beside Nas.

Conflict arose on April 15, 1999, when the video was premiered on MTV’s TRL. Diddy, who is a devout Catholic, had requested his image on the cross be removed from the cut of the video that was to air nationally. Whether it was an honest mistake or done intentionally is unknown; but, the fact of the matter is the request was ignored and the full video was broadcast across the country.

The events that followed could be deemed as outlandish by some. Diddy’s reaction to the lack of consideration of his religious views turned violent when he stormed into Nas’ manager, Steve Stoute’s office with several bodyguards and allegedly attacked Stoute by smashing a bottle of champagne on his head. The assault led to a suit that was settled out of court.

When asked about the incident and the inspiration for the video Nas explains,

“There’s a play in New York where a Black man played Jesus, and caught a lot of flak. I think, even the mayor at the time, Giuliani, was against it. So my thing was I wanted to be crucified like Jesus in the video, to get back at all those people that don’t want to see a Black man doing his thing. Me and Puff got hammered to the cross, but after Puff expressed his religious beliefs and spoke to his pastor, he wasn’t ready to take that stance, so it was really my idea anyway, so we took his part out. For some reason, I think Steve Stoute let it fly with Puffy still being crucified to the cross, so there was that fight at the office, where Puff jumped on Steve or some s*it like that. Both of them were friends of mine, so I squashed the whole thing, and it’s all in the past. Just growing pains. We were all growing up. That brings back a lot of memories. Even when I throw it on onstage now, it still kills.”

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Today In Hip Hop History: Nas’ Third LP ‘I Am’ Turns 25 Years Old!

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Released by Columbia Records, Nas’ third album, I Am, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album sold 470,000 copies in its first week and was certified double platinum in the United States. The album was nominated in 2000 for Best Rap Album at the 43rd Grammy Awards.

Originally intended to be a double album titled I Am…The Autobiography, the album was arguably Nas’ most honest and poetic project at the time. Although the additional tracks were scrapped due to bootlegging of the original sessions, the intention for the theme and tone of the project can still be felt on the released single-disc LP.

Nas’ cover art has always been an iconic staple of his work. Usually consisting of his face superimposed over his native Queens, each cover has served as a visual representation of Nas as an artist. Famed portrait photographer Danny Hastings shot this particular cover. To create the image of Nas’ face in the Pharaoh mask in a pre-Photoshop world, Hastings made a clay mold for Nas’ face (which, in fact, almost killed him when clay got lodged in his nostrils, nearly suffocating him).

This album wasn’t only popular in the United States. I Am… made appearances on music charts in Australia, Canada, Norway, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The two official singles from this project claimed spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Nas Is Like..” peaked at #86, and “Hate Me Now” climbed a little higher to take the #62 spot.

After the release of this album, Nas released seven more solo albums and two collaborative projects. Nas continues to perform and is known as one of the most prolific rappers of his or any generation. Take some time today to listen to this album appreciate the career of a living legend.

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Nas’ $5B Proposal to Rival JAY-Z for NYC Casino License

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In a bold move that could reshape the landscape of New York City’s entertainment scene, rapper Nas has unveiled a $5 billion proposal to transform Resorts World Casino New York City into a state-of-the-art casino complex in his hometown of Jamaica, Queens.

Partnering with Resorts World Casino, Nas aims to revitalize the neighborhood while creating new opportunities for local residents. The ambitious project includes plans for a multi-functional casino featuring a 7,000-seat capacity entertainment venue for hosting events and concerts. Additionally, the development will encompass park space, housing, hotels, restaurants, and upgraded transit options to JFK Airport and Manhattan, promising to generate an estimated 5,000 union jobs.

“This is an ambitious project that will give new opportunities to the hard-working families who call Queens home, attract top-tier talent, and build up the next generation of leaders,” Nas expressed during the unveiling, as reported by Rhyme Junkie. “It’s an honor to be here, to be a part of this with Resorts World, realizing the future, seeing what this can be and what it will be.”

The announcement comes as Nas’ proposal competes with fellow hip-hop icon JAY-Z’s bid for a NYC casino license. JAY-Z, through his entertainment company Roc Nation, has partnered with SL Green and Caesars Entertainment to propose a boutique-style casino at the iconic 1515 Broadway office tower in Times Square.

“New York is the epicenter of culture. We have the opportunity to create a destination at the heart of the true crossroads of the word,” JAY-Z stated in a press release. “My partnership with SL Green and Caesars has all the promise and commitment to economic opportunity, growth, and enrichment for the community and everyone that visits the Empire State.”

The competition for the coveted casino license underscores the potential economic impact and cultural significance of these projects. Nas and JAY-Z are not only vying for the license but also aiming to shape the future of entertainment and hospitality in New York City.

“When we stood here more than a dozen years ago to break ground on Resorts World New York City, our vision extended well beyond that already-ambitious original plan — today, that vision can soon become a reality,” remarked Robert DeSalvio, president of Genting America East, in a statement.

As both Nas and JAY-Z present their visions for the city’s entertainment landscape, the decision on the casino license remains in the hands of New York City officials. With their respective proposals, these hip-hop moguls are not only competing for a business opportunity but also aiming to leave a lasting impact on their communities and the city at large. The stakes are high, and the outcome will shape the future of entertainment in the Big Apple.

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Jill Scott, Lil Wayne, Nas, Victoria Monét and More Set for Roots Picnic 2024

Jill Scott to Star in 'Mahalia!' Biopic Executive Produced by Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah

The acclaimed Roots Picnic festival, a beacon of musical excellence and cultural celebration, is back for its 2024 edition, promising an unforgettable two-day experience. Presented by GRAMMY® Award-winning hip-hop icons The Roots and Live Nation Urban, the event will occur at The Mann in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA, on June 1-2, 2024.

Launching the excitement, Roots Picnic alumni presale tickets will be available starting Tuesday, February 20th at 10 AM ET, followed by general on-sale beginning Friday, Feb. 23rd at 10 AM ET.

The festival lineup boasts an impressive array of talent, with GRAMMY® Award-winning legend Lil Wayne headlining alongside The Roots, treating audiences to a journey through decades of hits and a special tribute to Lil Wayne’s hometown of New Orleans, featuring guests PJ Morton and Trombone Shorty. Joining the bill is powerhouse Jill Scott, captivating audiences in her hometown with her soulful style.

The festival’s spirit of collaboration continues with performances from Victoria Monét, André 3000, Gunna, Sexyy Red, Tyla, Smino, Babyface, Adam Blackstone featuring Fantasia & Muni Long, Cam’ron, Nas, Wale, Robert Glasper featuring Yebba, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, and more.

Roots Picnic 2024 promises to be a cultural landmark, bringing together generations of artists and fans for an unparalleled celebration of music and community. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary event in the heart of Philadelphia.

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Today In Hip Hop History: Nas’ Iconic ‘Illmatic’ Album Turns 30 Years Old!

Nas Illmatic

30 years ago today, Nas dropped his debut LP, ‘Illmatic.’ Released by Columbia Records in 94′ Nas recorded the album at Chung King Studios, D&D Recording, Battery Studios, and Unique Recording Studios in New York City. Produced by DJ Premier, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., and Nas himself, the bangers on the album will be embedded in Hip Hop culture as classics merely based on their production alone.

The album sold 60,000 in the first week and debuted at number 12 on the US Billboard 200 chart. On January 17, 1996, the album was certified gold by the RIAA. In 2001 it earned a platinum certification after shipping 1,000,000 copies in the United States alone.

Lyrically, Nas delivered certified street verses on ‘Illmatic’ that influenced the majority of the ’90s and is regarded as one of the greatest LPs of all time by critics and major publications globally.

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Today In Hip Hop History: Nas’ Iconic ‘Illmatic’ Album Turns 30 Years Old!

Nas Illmatic

30 years ago today, Nas dropped his debut LP, ‘Illmatic.’ Released by Columbia Records in 94′ Nas recorded the album at Chung King Studios, D&D Recording, Battery Studios, and Unique Recording Studios in New York City. Produced by DJ Premier, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., and Nas himself, the bangers on the album will be embedded in Hip Hop culture as classics merely based on their production alone.

The album sold 60,000 in the first week and debuted at number 12 on the US Billboard 200 chart. On January 17, 1996, the album was certified gold by the RIAA. In 2001 it earned a platinum certification after shipping 1,000,000 copies in the United States alone.

Lyrically, Nas delivered certified street verses on ‘Illmatic’ that influenced the majority of the ’90s and is regarded as one of the greatest LPs of all time by critics and major publications globally.

The post Today In Hip Hop History: Nas’ Iconic ‘Illmatic’ Album Turns 30 Years Old! first appeared on The Source.

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