Thursday, August 7, 2008

Nas speaks on 'Sly Fox' and why Hip Hop Lives (FC) - Let’s start with the song from your latest CD targeting Fox News called “Sly Fox.” What prompted you to make that song?

NAS: I kept hearing terrible things about FOX News. I never trust media outlets, so FOX News—when I heard bad things about them—I expected it to be real. But they didn’t really get on my radar until last year when I was supposed to do a concert for Virginia Tech University. Bill O’Reilly had three shows on me—he’s trying to do what he did to Ludacris and take away Ludacris’ Pepsi deal. So he had three shows on it. And, I said, “All right. I’m going to get him back,” you know? “I’ve got something to say too. I’ve got listeners the same way you got listeners”—except my listeners are more of a threat in today’s world. His listeners represent the Old Word, the old Republican, the old way of thinking about America. That is played out. And he doesn’t even know that most Whites don’t even think the way he thinks. But he has his ratings, right?

FC: Right.

NAS: So, I just said this is my way at getting back at him, [by] doing a song. It just so happens that the same time my album dropped, FOX News tries to be playful with “Obama’s Baby Mama” and all this. If I didn’t know who FOX was before, I really know who they are now and hopefully, some of my listeners can feel me.

FC: You have a voice, you have fans, you have people who listen to you and they’re influenced by what you say and you are using that to bring light to issues that you feel are important. That’s good, but some of rappers say, “Well, my music doesn’t have a message. I don’t necessarily have a social commentary. I’m not trying to tell anybody to do anything, you do what you want to do,” Why do you think it is important to use your voice in that way?

NAS: Hmm. Well, the ones that say they don’t have a message and all that, they’re gangsters, man. Let them be gangsters. Let them do them. I support them. Not everybody wants to have that responsibility. Not everyone is thinking like that. A lot of people’s lives are simple, you know what I’m saying? I tend to see things and I’ve always questioned things since I was young. I question things. And when I see things that are unjust, I react. I may be a little bit more extreme than a few of the other artists, that’s just me, it’s who I am. So all my music has something about me. I’m not a “specialist on race matters.” I just have an opinion, I just have an experience to talk about. So, if one album is about one thing, then that’s what I’m thinking about that year, and that’s what I’m thinking about musically. It may not be the best chart-topping album, but, as long as I can sleep at night knowing that’s what I really wanted to represent, cool. Then I’m good.

I’ve been sprinkling little pieces of my opinions on all my albums, but this one was just more dedicated to it. God has been good to me just allowing me to be here. I know a lot of people that couldn’t make it here. So today what I want to talk about is how I see things. I’m not coming down on a lot of people this year. That was “Hip Hop Is Dead.”

Read the full interview @