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The last big rap release of 2006, Nas’s Hip Hop Is Dead sought to make a powerful statement. “Everybody sound the same, commercialize the game / Reminiscing when it wasn’t all business” . Coming in an era increasingly dominated by Southern rappers such as Lil Wayne, TI and Jeezy with hits Crunk and Snap flooding the airwaves – many took the album as an affront to hip-hop.

Several rappers feel targeted and dispute the rapper’s opinion

Ludacris, Outkast’s Big Boi and Jeezy are among the many Southerners who have taken offense at the track, the latter telling Philadelphia’s 100.3 The Beat radio station : ” I don’t think hip-hop is dead at all. . It’s just a new day and a new time, it’s a new story, a new movement. I will respect his art, he will not respect mine? “

Jeezy also delved into the Hip Hop Is Dead debate during the episode, recalling both his disappointment and his challenge when Nas’s album came out amid his own rise to rap stardom.

“  When he did Hip Hop [Is] Dead, I thought he was talking about us. I wanted to be the lead guy and say what I said. At the time, you had to tell yourself that I was just starting. I just saw my first legitimate money. I was just starting to put on my shows. And then there’s The Don in New York who says hip-hop is dead! “

Jeezy’s outspokenness won him nothing but the admiration of Nas, who said, “  It was huge of him to say something; I respected him. “ The two are then reconciled to the phone and became good friends, joining forces on the piece  My President in 2008.

Nas explains the meaning of the process. New York was exclusively in the crosshairs

It turns out that Nas’s review was actually aimed at those closer to home. In the latest episode of his Spotify podcast The Bridge and that of Miss Info: 50 Years of Hip Hop – with Jeezy as a special guest – the rap icon revealed that Hip Hop Is Dead is largely directed against his new rap peers. Yorker.

“  I didn’t think some people were going to think I was talking about them,” he admitted. “Oh no, I’m mainly talking about New York! Mainly from New York. I talk to everyone, but I haven’t explained it thoroughly enough. “

If Nas didn’t name names, mid-2000s New York rap was defined by rappers like 50 Cent, Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, Fabolous, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo and Cam’ron, Jim Jones and Juelz Santana of Dipset, who all helped usher in a new modern era in the holy land of hip-hop.

Nas defends himself

In truth, Hip Hop Is Dead was never intended as a critique of southern rap, but was meant to be a rant about the rap game and its slips. According to the legend of Queensbridge the murderers of hip-hop are among others commercialism, the lack of appropriation of the industry, the inability of young fans to quote Big Daddy Kane, The White Tee  ”by Dem Franchize Boyz ?.

”  You’d be a fool to think that I’m talking about how the South killed hip-hop,” Nas told Pitchfork in 2006. Let’s not forget he also rallied around the Dirty South – as well as the other greats. regions of rap – on “Hip Hop Is Dead”. 

On the album’s 10th anniversary in 2016, Nas admitted in retrospect that he had “missed the boat.” 

“In retrospect, I missed the mark for miles,” he said. “  I didn’t want to take people to task. I felt like it was up to a younger artist to do it. I thought the title was enough; to say it’s dead was to say ‘I don’t know where to start, I don’t know where to start’. But at least I’ll call it that and we’ll see where it goes from there ”.

Nonetheless, the album was a commercial success, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with over 350,000 first week sales as it moved towards platinum certification. Watch Hip Hop Is Dead again below.

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