Queensbridge, New York rapper Nas has rapped about the violence and hard times he has encountered throughout his life and Hip Hop career.
Coming up on the 20th anniversary of his debut album release Illmatic, Nas stopped by Real Time With Bill Maher Friday and was asked whether he believed conditions have changed in impoverished communities since 1994.
“Hell no,” he said when asked about whether conditions have changed in the last 20 years. “It’s changed, but not for the better…Influx of guns [is] worse than it was in ’94.”
The topic of Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s alleged gang affiliation was also brought up. Nas says he believed it to be contradictory that Jackson was moved from the team, but wide receiver Riley Cooper remained a part of it after his racial controversy a year earlier.
“I just want to know, who is the gang sign-ologist in the NFL?” He said. “I didn’t know they had Crips and Bloods on payroll to determine what signs were. If he gives a pass for Riley Cooper for saying [a racial slur] on the same team, then he’s foul. The coach is foul.”
Finally, Nas interestingly rebutted his earlier claims as being a “Black Republican,” the title of his 2006 song of the same name. “I’m not a Black Republican,” he told the Real Time panel.
Illmatic will turn 20 on April 19. Many in the Hip Hop community deem the album as the greatest of all-time. His 20th anniversary project Illmatic XX is set to be released on April 15.
Watch the full segment below: