I'm not a very big fan of NAS, though some of his older material is quite powerful in it's own right.
From a report by Reuters' Hillary Crosley:
NEW YORK (Billboard) - Seated in a quiet corner of New York restaurant the Spotted Pig, Nas is drinking a glass of rose. He's dressed comfortably in jeans, Velcro-fastened sneakers and a white T-shirt featuring the image of a poster from Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier's "Thrilla in Manilla" fight. His black Rolls Royce is parked outside and he's awaiting a few cigars from his driver.
In here, the noise surrounding the rapper's new Def Jam album, formerly known as "N--ger," has faded, but Nas is still happy to discuss the grand implications of it all.
NAS drew fire from Fox's own thuggish-ruggish superstar, Bill O'Reilly, when it was announced that he would perform at Virginia Tech at a benefit the following semster after the shooting there in 2007.
Now, it's no shock to anyone that has listened to 'gansta' rap that it can and is quite violent. Some people would argue that this is the root cause of violence in urban society while others would indicated that it is the main factor in the degredation of women in society. While everyone on all sides would love to have a tangible person(s) to pin the blame on, it is important to realize that NAS, and many "artists" like him are no longer the powerful street poets that they once were.
Long gone are the days when NAS, or Jay-Z, or 50 Cent were considered untainted by the corporate system. They are no longer individual voices that speak for the common man. They are, by and large, marketable facets of the music industry. They are compensated well for there violent imagry. They no longer are part of what HIp-Hop is about. They are traded as easily as Vivendi stock - nothing more than another 0 before the decimal in "L.A." Reid's bank account. But, despite the fact that so much of their creative soul has been syphoned away, they occassionally have moments where that fleeting creative flame burns as bright as day one.
"Sly Fox" from NAS' re-titled ablum "Untitled"
It appears that some people are insisting that this piece is somehow a slight against NAS. They are only partially right, as it would be nice to see that the above clip is indicative of NAS returning to his roots with his records, not trying to conform to a stereotype that the record companies are trying to perpetuate, being cutting-edge rather than cut-and-paste.