Nas Agrees With CNN's "Finest Emcee" Tag, Reconciles With Kelis "As Friends"

Nas talks about his next album, agrees with CNN calling him the "finest emcee" and says he is "back together as friends" with Kelis.

The buzz has started to surround Nas' next album. The Queensbridge emcee is saying he's fully prepared to work on new music soon, adding that he's in a "zone." However, he also had more to say about his life during a recent stop at Hot 97. The emcee responded to the CNN article calling him Hip Hop's "finest emcee," by agreeing with the label. He also talked about his relationship with Kelis, saying they're "back together," before adding, "as friends."

"I don't know if I've done my best," he explained, saying he has much more left in his career. "I think what's next to come is crazy because the zone I'm in is so right, that I'm happy to be in the place that I'm at right now to make music. I don't know what just got into me but I love it. I'm gonna take advantage of the zone that I'm in when it comes to making this next record. I feel like Ali. I feel like going in so I started to put togethert he base of it and I'm ready."

This comes on the heels of being named Hip Hop's "finest emcee" by CNN. Nas responded to this article by saying that he agrees.

"Yeah. Kinda. At first, I was cringing like, 'What?' But the way he broke down the article...It is what it is, man. I'ma own it."

Part of his recent success has come on the heels of some personal woes. The emcee divorced his wife Kelis shortly before releasing his last effort, Life is Good, an event that influenced his content, theme and album cover heavily. However, he says even that relationship has been mended with time.

"We're back together as friends," he clarified. "We were not friends. We were not the best friends for a long time. It was crazy. We're friends now. That's what it is. We're not together. We're friends though." 

During the interview, Nas also reveals a bit about his relationship with his father. Nas opens up by saying he feels love for his father because he was "always around," even though his parents were not together. 

"We were always close," he shared regarding his father, Jazz veteran Olu Dara. "We didn't always live together. There was the separated home. I grew up with my mom. My mom raised me and my brother. But he was there. He was always around. A lot of my dudes, the pops was not there. So, the fact that we had a relationship that comes from also music too, it was a blessing for me to show that to the world, man."

More from the interview can be seen below. Photograph by: Scott Gries

RELATED: CNN Calls Nas Hip Hop's "Finest Emcee" 

94 Comments

  • DJboutit

    Top 3 2pac Nas Scarface Nas is the best alive and has the most fire albums. Now 2pac has dropped way more albums than any other rapper he dropped like 9 to 11 main stream albums and like 14 to 18 under ground albums. Scraface is the best from the south Scarface has more talent in his left nut that the weazel will ever have

  • The Greatest of All Times

    The G.O.A.T......No one even comes close..Nas has been the best story teller of our generation and he has evolved more than any MC of his era...salute...

    • Anonymous

      Canibus, Killah Priest and Ras Kass are above his level lyrically Only difference is, they not as successful as Nas is

  • Anonymous

    Nas is the greatest PERIOD

  • Knowledge God

    Nas is technically the best lyricist. The best artist is subject to your own opinion. I agree that CNN doesn't really constitute an opinion that matters but no media outlet has a valid opinion. Most of them are just college journalism majors acting like they know something about rap music. The approval from other top notch artist is more important. With that being said people like Lupe, the whole Slaughterhouse, Jay Elec and even Jay-Z have called Nas the best lyricist. You can knock CNN's opinion all you want but you cannot knock someone like Lupe's opinion until you show you know how to rap!

  • GRAMMY FAMILY

    Nas better win a fucking Grammy!!!

  • WTF

    Who has a better catalogue than NAS???? The artist you even argue that comes close is Jay-Z or Ghostface... Album for Album..... am I lying??

    • Anonymous

      Jayz and Ghostface catalogue is the only niggas who is fucking with Nas' shit. But Ghostface isn't the lyricist Nas or Jay z is. But he is still nice. So that takes GFK out. Jayz RD,BP1,Black,(classics) IML vol1,HKL vol 2,AG(hot albums but not classic) Dynasty(mediocore) Bp3, Bp2,KC,LOSC vol 3(weak tho some of these albums had hot songs) Nas Illmatic,IWW,S-matic,Lost tapes,LIG(classics, tho LIG might be to early, but im still bumping this album now since the summer)) I am,God Son,HHID,Untitled(hot albums but not classics) SD,(mediocore) Nastrodomus(weak tho this album had some of my favorite Nas songs mix with some of his worst commercial songs) None of Nas' albums are the same, while Jay-Z for the most part follow the same formula.

    • toppa shot

      To say that Jay only has 1 solid album is ludicrous. He puts out a lot of pop singles, but they're not all pop filled from start to finish. You gotta give him more credit than that.

    • Anonymous

      Ghosface always drops good albums, jay-z's only solid album was his first one....The rest are filled with pop songs.

  • Anonymous

    yeah nas is dope no lie, that life is good album was the shit imo best album of 2012 imo. as for kelis, nas fuck that ugly slut move on son

  • GBtha G

    fuck cnn it knows nuthin bout Hip Hop. I have huge respect for tha homie Nas he's in the top 5 but not the finest.Makaveli was and iz still tha finest playa though he physically dead.Then there's tha Good Doc of course.bitch cnn must concentrate on dirty politics and punk rock or even fuckin r&b.

    • 2pac and Nas

      2pac and Nas niggas. I read an article where it said Black thought is underrated. I know alot of people put Rakim and Krs-one and Daddy Kane in their top list. But a nigga like ICE CUBE deserve as much credit as Black Thought and others.(and im from NY) Only difference is Black thought is still a beast on the mic, while Ice Cube isn't as good as he used to be. But Ice Cube still makes music independently. Anyway 2pac and Nas gave me the most heart felt music, and its not even close. On top of that both niggas had bars. Just not that typical punchline after punchline bull shit.

    • toppa shot

      who the f#ck is the Good Doc? Dr. Dre??? If so, how could you rank someone who has never wrote a rhyme in their life ahead of Nas? That's ridiculous. To put Dre on any MC list is just straight up dick riding. The best thing Dre has done in the last 10 years is make headphones.

  • GAME

    - ALL I DO IS NAME DROP!!!!! - AND TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, I'LL NEVER STOP - HOPE WEEZY SIGNS ME FOR BEATING 40 GLOCC - IF NOT, IMMA LOOSEN SCREWS ON HIS SKATEBOARD - YOU CAN TELL IN MY RAPS I GET BORED - SO I NAME EVERY RAPPER THAT I ADORE - REAL NIGGA RATE THIS SONG A 5, BUT 50 WOULD RATE IT A 4 - DO A SONG WIT HIM? FUCK 50, IM NEVER BUDGING - DO A SONG WIT HIM? I LOVE 50, I DONT HOLD GRUDGES - EXCUSE THE BI-POLAR-NESS - JAY YOU A LEGEND, BUT I GOTTA DISS -CAMEL LIPS, FINE BITCH, WEALTHY AS SHIT - TRUTHFULLY I BE YOU, IF I HAD ONE WISH - BET 2PAC AND BIGGIE WOULD RESPECT THIS - "THESE NIGGAS TRY TO HOLD ME BACK" RICK ROSS SHIT - IM SKATING ON THESE HOES,WEARING TRUCK FIT - MARRYING MY HOE, JUST TO STAY RELEVANT - BECAUSE I FILMED IT, AND PUT IT ON TELEVISION - HOPE LEFT EYE COULD SEE MY VISION - NOW THE COPS WANNA JA RULE ME, AND LOCK ME IN PRISION - CUZ I GOT KEYS, LIKE SWIZZ AND ALICIA - DONT RIDE PLANES AFTER WHAT HAPPENED TO AALIYAH - THIS BIG PUN AND BIG L REINCARNATED , COMING THRU YA SPEAKAS - WANTED TO DROP A REAL CLASSIC, BUT LEFT YALL WITH JESUS...... PEACE AND IM OUT

  • mm

    RAKIM Black thought Q tip andre 300 MF DOOM Big daddy kane biggie fatlip mos def kool keith common in no specific order Nas not even in my top 10

  • Anonymous

    1.pac 2.biggie 3.jay-z 4.nas 5.eminem 6.andre 3000 7.50cent

  • OneMic

    I heard a lot of Nas influence in Ether Q's mixtape that dropped today. Love lyrical hip hop. Especially Illmatic

  • Anonymous

    I hope Nas works with AZ on his new album. Been a while since The Essence.

  • Anonymous

    AT THE END OF THE DAY, HATER GON HATE. NAS IS THE GREATEST LYRCIST OF ALL TIME, AND TOP 5 DEAD OR ALIVE RAPPER. HI HATER, BY HATER.

  • Anonymous

    My favorite Nas album is hands down Stillmatic. Man so many good memories listening to that album. Nas is just timeless. When I have kids one day, i can't wait to show em real NY hiphop like Nas, 50, Jay, Big, etc.

  • randy cane

    yes!!! this means that nas is single i gotta get me a piece of that

  • Anonymous

    Friends, Romans, countrymen lend me yo' eardrums It was a beautiful day off in the neighborhood Yellows and greens and blues and browns and greys and hues that ooze beneath dilapidated woods Ain't a thing could explain what pertains to cocaine it's a stain that rain See summer roll around niggaz holla bout change Then they steady move them ki's like Bob James Cause old man winter's arrived, the temperature dives November just died, December's alive Thus it ain't no typical ride Just individual's way to bring home the bacon when bacon was all gone Makin it our own, takin me all wrong We've all indulged in the bulge of those no-no's No you ain't solo, it's even lower levels you can go Take sun people, put 'em in a land of snow

  • Ricky

    Ok let's face it, nas back in the day had a few good songs, but come on dude just admit that your new shit ain't saying shit. I still believe slim shady is a better rapper, performer and business man than nas.

    • Anonymous

      a few good songs lol You mean 10+ 4+ star albums...??? Nastradmus >> Any EM album

    • mathias

      You dont believe yourself do u shitface asshole? how many classic records does Gay-minem or sorry Eminem have? Ignorance is cheap. u betta do your history,never again mention Feminem in the same league with God's son

  • Mike

    Fuck 2pac, Fuck Eminem, Fuck B.I.G., Fuck Jay Z, Fuck Lil Wayne, Fuck Nas, Fuck HHDX, Fuck Twitter, How about we discuss the real Top 5 1. DMX 2. Earl Simmons 3. Dark 4. Man 5. X

    • GBtha G

      No fuck u muthafucka.filho da puta know what I mean???? Pac was a real nigga if not the realest.

    • Mike

      ^^ I really think it's the other way around. His aggressiveness and flow overshadowed his lyrical ability. X is one of the greatest poets Rap music has ever had.

    • firehawk17

      you must have smoked some new drug that aint hit the streets yet...DMX is.well was dope not great but his aggressiveness and flow made it easy to over look the lack of lyrical ability..and he was deep with his shit at times...he might be your favorite but he definitely isn't the best....

  • Sensaye

    Blu is a totally average, boring, uninteresting, safe, ordinary, dime-a-dozen underground MC with really dope beats. For him to be mentioned in the same breath as the all time greats is laughable. C'mon now. To like him is one thing, but don't lose perspesctive here. I like Raymond Felton, but that doesn't mean I think he's as good as Chris Paul.

  • Mike

    Nas deserves a grammy but it's all good he still bring Fire to the mic.

    • Anonymous

      she love Jay but she always repped Nas

    • Word!

      Totally agree. Is it me or was Angie Martinez kinda salty the way she kept repeating "the greatest lyricist ever" all the time. Like deep down she wished it was Jay Z, they used to date.

  • Anonymous

    Nas is an ATG, but calling this guy THE GOAT in a genre that has given us hundreds of classics in the 90's alone is straight up disrespectful.

    • Anonymous

      Eminem has 3 good albums and 4 pieces of shit. That shit had more rolling. lol

    • Anonymous

      ^^Outkast is a group, not a solo artist, and their albums are wack. Eminem has 3 good albums and 4 pieces of shit. Nice try.

    • Anonymous

      outkast, eminem

    • Anonymous

      wtf?? Name one rapper with better catalogue

    • Anonymous

      yeah anon not really makin sense....also seein that arguably an example of nas' at his best would be from the 90s

    • the Grza

      I don't see how it is disrespectful? He is arguably the GOAT just like anybody else who is in the top 5 convo. Busta Rhymes, Lupe, Kanye, Blu, Common and others have all called him either the GOAT or the best breathing. Arguable GOAT KRS-One paid a tribute song to a guy 8 years his junior and Kris has a fairly big ego. Not saying Nas is the GOAT, but he deserves to be in that conversation.

  • Just sayin

    Nas Lupe Fiasco Black Thought Andre 3000 Mos Def Blu Jay Electronica Common Phonte'

    • Anonymous

      Phonte & Jay Elec.... How a can talk about MCs with no classic albums (phonte has a good one Jay aint even dropped yet)

    • Anonymous

      Jay Electronica?? I mean the dude can spit bars for days, but there's no way he can be top 10 without an album or barely putting out music.

    • firehawk17

      dope ass list man.. honestly really really dope..but i have to be unbias and say none of them are the best alone...all great lyricist.. people think lyricist is just constant syllable use and word play.. words create pictures and emotion 2 most powerful things we feel...2pac did that the best.. when he rapped you believed what the hell you was hearing..it had feeling and emotion. a lot of those guys are just great with the pen..not lack the flow but the emotion.. but again i cant really argue that list. each one of them got a song that will make you rewind..

    • SHAOLINSWORDZ

      Dope list. I'm glad I'm not the only one with Phonte in my top 10.

  • Cage

    More Wine!! Haha thats that RA the Rugged Man shit

  • Anonymous

    This nigga still simping for that ugly ass ghetto whore. Nigga stay taking L'.

    • wow^^^^

      I think you are the one sensitive. Damn, blood boiling while you typing, huh? dumb nigga, eat a dick.

    • Anonymous

      Take your ridiculous reasoning out of here. Some people just don't like Nas, get over it, you sensitive ass nigga.

    • Word!

      Can someone please explain to me why people hate Nas so much? I think Nas is so real with his music than it makes some people uncomfortable. His not all up in people's faces, but his music is respected and appreciate and it really bothers some people badly. Anyone have a better explaination?

    • khordkutta

      School 'em hNp !!!

    • haters NEVER prevail!

      In life it takes a real man to be friends with his ex-wife who happens to be the mother of his son. When boys grow into men they realize that life is more important than being bitter over love loss. Only a bitter little boy calls a woman who he never met a "ugly ass ghetto whore" and only a real simp like yourself calls the MATURE stance of Nas having a friendship with his son's mother an L. When you Nas haters stop trying to perpetuate you loser behavior on to Nas you will then understand why with all his advsersities Nas ALWAYS PREVAILS!

  • Anonymous

    Nas is the the best in the game. I can't wait to hear his new music, he reinvents himself every time he drops!

    • Great Article

      The CNN article is on point. They might not know shit about hip hop(as the online nerd stated) but reading that piece to why they think Nas is the greatest lyricist was on point.

    • Anonymous

      ...which is fuckin sad. cnn beatin you in your own game.

    • Anonymous

      That was a higher quality piece than most of hhdx, sohh or complex articles.

    • Anonymous

      CNN doesn't know jack about hip hop, so their labeling Nas can be instantly dismissed. As for Kelis, it's no surprise Nas would go back to her in some way. They both share the same mindset, I.E. Misery loves company, so they should just get back together, have another kid, and then Kelis can really hang him out to dry.

    • Anonymous

      ^^ gtfo with your racist bullshit. Clearly you didn't even get the guy's point, black boy. He was saying the exact same shit you are.

    • Anonymous

      ^^^ You can reinvent yourself without being a "sellout", white boy. Reinventing is evolving and growing as an artist. None of Nas albums sound the same or follow trends of what's hot in music. He always finds new concepts to talk about every album.

    • Anonymous

      Nas reinvents himself, other get branded as sellouts.

  • lyricist

    cnn said lyricist not the greatest hiphop artist ever, everybody agrees with cnn on that, duh, but nas aint the greatest rapper ever tho, nas is number 5 ever when it comes to greatest hiphop artist ever, we all know who that title goes too.

    • ChaoticSouls

      That's because there is no greatest rapper ever. It's all a matter of subjective opinion, not fact. Just like those top 5 and top 10 list are. That list will change depending on who you ask. So that really isn't a measuring stick. I will say what Nas is, is a completely well rounded artist. Which is what most of these "greatest rappers ever" should aspire to be.

  • wouzi

    best rapper alive g.o.a.t

  • haha

    Haters stay MAD! Nas don't sweat the bullshit...he overcomes it. This is why CNN the leader in world news labeled him the GOAT LYRICIST!

  • gsonii

    Typical Nas. Everyone always given him accolades even though he does not deserve them. He is only great because people tell you he is. His next album will be just as underwhelming as the rest. It will not change anything or add anything new to the game but they will tell you of its greatness. They say dying aint the shit but its pleasant Like everything you once thought relevant is now irrelevant Your life is lying about your amount of relevance You're nothing like Jonah and the Lion you were never pleasant in trying times They presented your pleasant lines as a treasure or a prize Your the son of false lines and worthless lives Guess you are God's Son. Fuck Nas by GSON

    • gsonii

      The nigga just aint that nice B. One time for your mind Yes that's all you ever offered Would have been better for mines If you were the sacrifice that was offered Remember niggas claiming you shot Pac They always reached to try and make you legend Everything you stood for was shot Just another fake prophet killing faith in heaven Fuck Nas-by GSONII

    • @gsonil

      Nerd nigga never fails.

    • Hate in your blood^^

      What makes you an expert on the Media relationship with Nas? Or are you one of the crazy conspiracy theorist who come up with crazy shit. Was substance or information do you have to prove your point? One of those righteous idiots and fucks.

    • gsonii

      I'm not hating just expressing the truth about the overrated fuck. His life is not lying about his amount of relevancy. The media is lying about his amount of relevancy.

    • So Much Hate

      Did he fuck your sister and never call her back or something? To have so much hate is unbelievable to me. You're one miserable person, you need help.

    • Anonymous

      Why are you hating on him?

  • Anonymous

    NaS is definitely going to win grammy 'Best Rap Album' 2013!

  • Born in 86

    Nas loves Bad Bitches and that's his Fucking Problem !

    • Fact

      @really... fuck you tranny ass nigga. YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP BITCH ASS NIGGA!

    • really

      Gossiping and making assumptions about Nas is your fucking problem. Nas is a man and that fact that he can be friends with his ex is a testament to his maturity and evolution as a man and artist. This is why Nas can display such a positve demeanor because he understands that in life you can't subject yourself to negativity. Nas prblem is that he does not tell the gossiping public to "SHUT THE FUCK UP!"

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