When you declare a genre “dead,” expect a significant amount of pushback from its adherents. We see this with R&B these days, but with his 2006 album Hip-Hop Is Dead, Nas sought to apply this label to rap fifteen years earlier. The title drew a lot of flak, but the rapper was unfazed by the criticism, and it was out without any changes and with a lot of delay. Fast forward to present, and the album, as well as its concept, were the focus of Nas’ Spotify podcast, The Bridge: 50 Years Of Hip-Hop, on a recent episode. Jeezy made an appearance and talked about his feelings over the album’s title.
“I believed he was talking about us when he did Hip Hop [Is] Dead,” Jeezy remarked. “I wanted to be the center of attention and say what I wanted to say.” You have to think to yourself at the time, “I’m just getting started.” I’m only now seeing my first real money. I’m just getting started with my shows. Then you’ve got the Don in New York declaring ‘hip-hop is dead!'” Nas responded by releasing Hip-Hop Is Dead, which revealed his objectives.
Nas said, “I didn’t think about that portion.” “I didn’t realize some people would assume I was referring to them.” “I’m primarily talking about New York!” he added. Specifically, New York. I’m talking to everyone, but I didn’t go into enough detail.”
The episode airs as Nas prepares to release Magic, his third Hit-Boy-produced album in a row. It comes after King’s Disease II, which was released this year, and King’s Disease, which will be released in 2020.