Nas’ greatest contribution to rap continues to celebrate its 20th birthday. The Queens rapper sat down with PBS’ Charlie Rose to discuss how first album Illmatic changed the hip-hop landscape. “Being a new voice, automatically, it was beyond my control,” he says. “It was a new way to talk about things and it changed things.” He says that he is still a growing artist that evolves with the times.
Illmatic even inspired a documentary by artist One9 and writer Erik Parker. Mr. Jones admits he was hesitant to participate in the project but later gave in because of the creators’ determination and vast archives. Nas also spoke on growing up in Queens, how Frank Sinatra inspired him and the definition of “gangster rap”. Have a seat with the sit-down above.