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BILLBOARD NAMES NAS’ NY STATE OF MIND AS #2 GREATEST HIP HOP BEAT OF ALL TIME

Billboard recently published a ranking of the 10 greatest hip hop beats of all-time. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message,” Produced by Ed Fletcher, Clifton “Jiggs” Chase and Sylvia Robinson, took the top spot. Coming in at #2 was the Nasir Jones and DJ Premier collaboration on “NY State of Mind” off of Nas’ classic Illmatic. Here’s the description below.

DJ Premier is arguably the best hip-hop producer of all time, and this may he his finest beat, and the one that represents him the best. He was raised in Texas before moving east, but his mid ’90s work — particularly on Nas’ flawless Illmatic debut — basically exemplifies the classic New York underground sound that folks like Joey Bada$$ idolize to this day. It’s been called “boom bap,” and the drums that start this classic Nas highlight (arguably the best album opener of all time) could very well be the inspiration for the term. It features also another Premier signature — one of his weird, unidentifiable monotone chirps, sampled from who knows where — and then the piano riff fades in, as sinister as the darkest Queensbridge stairwell. There’s no escape from the street scenarios it inspired Nas to describe — or this unforgettable beat once it gets into your nodding head.

You can check out the rest of the list here.

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NAS – OBEY YOUR THIRST DOCUMENTARY

Nas shared his story with The FADER x Sprite. “Growing up in Queensbridge, hip-hop was the most amazing thing I’d ever heard,” says Nas in the Obey Your Thirst documentary, made by The FADER and Sprite. “There was nothing more important to me than having a voice. I wanted to make a big impact on this art form. I wanted to open up a doorway for another generation.”

Considering that these are words coming from one of the most revered rappers of all time, behind one of the most beloved albums of all time in 1994’s Illmatic, it’s safe to say that Nas has succeeded in making his dreams a reality. But how did he make it all happen? In the video, Nas gives up-and-comers some advice, insisting on following your vision regardless of what other people say: “Why do something that’s not you? Trust in yourself and always push the envelope.”

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DJ RHUDE & DAYDOG – NAZ: THE FLYEST ESSENCE MIXTAPE

Nas and AZ’s chemistry in the booth is undeniable as evidenced by their body of work over the years. Despite said chemistry, the two arists have never collaborated on a full length album despite the fans pleas for it. While it probably may never happen, Datwon (Vibe EIC) and I brainstormed about putting together a mixtape as a way of imagining how an album between the two could sound. As a result Naz: the Flyest Essence was born. Featuring beats from The Alchemist, Pete Rock, Large Pro, Sid Roams, Midi Mafia, Salaam Remi and many more.

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NAS SPEAKS ON CHARLESTON CHURCH SHOOTING

The tragic shooting in Charleston, SC where a 21-year-old white man by the name of Dylann Roof took nine innocent black lives with a shooting at the Emanuel Church has sent shockwaves through the nation. Nas addresses the shooting, racism and mental illness with Vibe.

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N.O.R.E. DISCUSSES ENDING HIS BEEF WITH NAS

Remember when Nas and N.O.R.E. has beef? It’s been so long since that was actually a thing. Well, it’s not anymore. In an interview with VladTV, 1/2 of CNN explains where their friendship went wrong and how 2DopeBoyz was the catalyst in mending their relationship.

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NAS’ DOCUMENTARY ON BREAKERS AND RAPPERS IN UGANDA DEBUTS ONLINE

Back in 2013, Nas signed on to executive produce the documentary on hip hop’s global influence titled “Shake the Dust.” Director Adam Sjöberg chronicles the stories of rappers, DJs, and b-boys across Uganda, Yemen, Colombia and Cambodia. The 85-minute documentary is narrated by Ugandan b-boy Karim as he takes us through hip hop’s powerful influence across the world.

“What these kids are doing around the world reminds me why I fell in love with hip-hop and how important it is as a creative and constructive outlet,” Nas previously said about the project. “After hearing Adam’s vision for this project and hearing the stories, I was incredibly excited to help bring the film to global audiences who need to hear this surprising message of empowerment.”

The documentary is now available on Vimeo on Demand and will begin a limited theatrical rollout in on American soil starting on May 15 at the TCL Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. Check out the trailer and below are the dates and locations for the theatrical run.

5/15-5/21 – TCL Chinese Theater, Hollywood CA
5/23 – 5/2 – Clinton Street Theater 2522 SE Clinton St Portland OR
6/11 & 6/14 – Film Bar Phoenix AZ Theatrical
6/18 Only – SIFF Film Center 305 Harrison St. Seattle WA
7/18 Only – Julydoscope Houston TX

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DE LA SOUL FEAT. NAS – GOD IT

Lord have mercy. Nasty Nas pops in for a couple of words on a track that will not be making De La Soul’s Kickstarter funded album. If this is an appetizer, we can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeve with this album.