Anytime you label a genre as “dead,” there’s sure to be a sizeable amount backlash from its supporters. We see this happen nowdays with R&B, but fifteen years ago, Nas attempted to place this label on rap with his 2006 album Hip-Hop Is Dead.
As expected, the title received a lot of criticism, but the rapper was undeterred by the comments as it arrived without change and much delay. Fast forward to today and the album, as well as its concept, were the center of discussion during a recent episode of Nas’ Spotify podcast, The Bridge: 50 Years Of Hip-Hop. It featured an appearance from Jeezy who spoke about his feelings towards the album’s title.
“When he did Hip Hop [Is] Dead, I thought he was talking about us,” Jeezy said. “I wanted to be the front guy and say what I said. At the time, you gotta think, I’m just getting on. I’m just seeing my first legitimate money. I’m just getting my shows going. And then you got the Don in New York saying ‘hip-hop is dead!’” In response, Nas clarified his intentions with Hip-Hop Is Dead.
“I didn’t think about that part,” Nas admitted. “I didn’t think that certain people would think I’m talking about them.” He added, “I’m talking about mainly New York! Mainly New York. I’m talking to everybody, but I didn’t explain it thorough enough.”
The episode arrives as Nas prepares to release Magic, his third consecutive project produced by Hit-Boy. It follows this year’s King’s Disease II and 2020’s King’s Disease.