Does today remind you of the era you came up with in the ’90s?
NAS: Yes, and it’s the first time since that time that that’s happened. This is a special time right now. I’m happy I can see it. Just hearing Cole saying he got me on Hip Hop Is Dead means a lot. The fact that I’m seeing him, Kendrick, Drake and the dudes that’s out there… I was just talking to Diddy, and he was like, “Yo, do you see what’s going on right now? It’s happening again.” He was excited.
J. COLE: It’s fucked up to say this, but it’s true—when we was kids, there was a lack of respect for the niggas that molded you. We ain’t know better, but we definitely lacked our homework. I had to go back and do homework on KRS, Kane, Kool G Rap. They fizzled out and weren’t really relevant to us. You might see Rakim come back with another album, all the older heads will be like, “Oh shit!” And the younger kids were like, “Nigga so what?” disrespectfully. But I love to see now that “Let Nas Down” and “Made Nas Proud” is important. Like, you’re just as important to them as me because they know how important you are to us. The fact that you’re still relevant, your pen is still crazy and you still making great music—that didn’t happen before. The legends are carrying over. Jay is still relevant. Nas—not just relevant, but y’all niggas is still on top. It’s crazy.
Check more pictures and interview questions at Vibe.
Check below for the behind the scenes video form the short.