Earlier this year, Nas landed his sixth number one album on the Billboard 200 album sales chart when Life Is Good sold 149,000 copies during its first week of release. Nas has gone on record—both previously and on Life Is Good—listing artists such as his father, Jazz musician Olu Dara and MC Shan as influences. However, when interviewed as part of the “Becoming” series, Nas revealed a more diverse musical palette when asked about his earliest musical influences.
“I can remember watching a great musical movie like Grease, or watching the “Jackson 5” cartoon or Kiss—the rock band,” Nas explained. “That looked like where all the action was. I knew that was the life for me; being in front of audiences. I knew it. You’re not sure, for real back then. But, in my mind, I prepared for it.”
As expected, Nas stated that he heard a lot of Jazz during his formative years. But he drew inspiration from Soul and R&B legends such as Rick James and James Brown. The bonus clip from Nas’ “Becoming” interview can be seen below. And, for a more detailed interview, check out the full interview in HipHopDX’s video section.