Raekwon: "If Hip Hop Didn't Have Nas, We'd Be In Trouble"

While attending "Time Is Illmatic's" screening, Michael Rapaport says "Nas to Hip Hop is like [Vincent] van Gogh to painting or Thelonious Monk to Jazz."

While attending the Nas-based Time Is Illmatic documentary screening in New York recently, Raekwon spoke about how Hip Hop would be different if Nas was not around.

"If Hip Hop didn't have Nas, we'd be in trouble," Raekwon says in an interview with BET. "If he wasn't here, we wouldn't have such great emcees from New York City representing Hip Hop the way he does." 

Michael Raport, the director of the 2011 film Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, also addressed Nas' importance to the genre. 

"Nas to Hip Hop is like [Vincent] van Gogh to painting or Thelonious Monk to Jazz," Rapaport says. "Nas is a staple of Hip Hop. He's one of the few people who started in the '90s who is still relevant today. He's very important. Nas is a big deal." 

Raekwon and Rapaport were on hand, along with Robert Deniro and Wale, among others, to celebrate the screening of Time Is Illmatic.

Nas, who was also present, discussed the film on the red carpet. "I wasn't even involved with it until the last minute," Nas says. "But I'm glad they did it. You gotta go through it. These are the things that happen. You make records. Somebody listens. They have something to say about it. These guys have something to say about it, so here we are."  

RELATED: Nas "Time Is Illmatic" Screening Attended By Robert De Niro & Raekwon, Among Others


  • Anonymous

    Why wasn't Nas on the "Nas Lost: A Tribute To The Little Homie" book release party?

  • Anonymous

    Michael Rappaport needs medical assistance.

  • Anonymous

    Yes but before Nas, Rakim also one of the best technical mcs out New York

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  • Anonymous

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  • NYC is DEAD

    We're past the point of trouble Raekwon... NYC is dead. Nas was my favorite rapper growing up in NYC, but honestly ...None of the NYC rappers combined make even a dent on Hip-Hop right now. The songs from NY artists that play on Hot97 and Power105 do not play in other states, I know because I live in the South now, and I travel... A LOT. The last NY rapper with star quality without trying to sound southern was Stack Bundles but the older rappers didn't sign him, they didn't want another name up there next to them. Only reason 50 got on was because the West Coast signed him. I know A$AP, personally, only reason they got on was because they figured out how to promote their music on the Internet light-years before everyone else did. All we have left are rappers born in the 60's and 70's who blackballed the 80's and 90's babies. I'm bitter... I'm from a city of vampires. If you're a young rapper from NYC you better come with something new. All that 16 bars stuff is over. Stop rapping about the trap that makes you look fake. Everybody everywhere knows that NY dudes get their pockets checked before walking to the end of the street. Rap about something else, rap about getting girls, rap about injustices in your community, leave the trap music for Chicago. Always remember that flows and melodies will always beat lyrics and bars because 90% of the Hip-Hop audience doesn't understand English. The old rappers are not going to let you into the game so you're gonna have to kick down the door with your own lane. Hope this helps, we need new artists with star quality.

    • AR

      I agree but only to a certain extent... East Coast rap isn't completely dead because it is still heard world wide. All of those guys like the Wu-Tang, Nas, Reks, Termanology, Chino XL, etc have a crazy fan base overseas... So while its not whats "hot" on the radio, it still has its place. The deal is that whats poppin right now is either that auto tune swag rap, or that ratchet shit. And with the majority of people who listen to that being young females, its whats taken over the radio and sales. But even with that, guys like Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q still have their own audiences. The east coast guys can't get on unless they were to create new stars that started rapping that auto tune swag shit but I don't think it would work if it happened, because places like New York, Boston, Jersey, etc are a much different environment than what is the south hot beds like Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans where you have a bunch of hipsters now who like rap along with females. So while I agree that at least on the radio, east coast hip hop is not poppin, I disagree that its completely dead. And I don't see this type of rap that's going on now lasting much longer. Young Money Records in particular are starting to fall now.

  • SDK

    Much success to yA, even if you wish me the opposite Sooner or later we'll all see who the prophet is

  • Tanner


  • AdamDWolfe

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  • Anonymous

    Raekwon remind me of a hamster

  • Prince Awesome

    Jesus bloody Christ! Nas's penis must be sore over all the cocksucking and dickriding he receives from emcees nowadays! There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Nas is one -if not THE - best hip-hop artist alive that has attained to solidify relinquishment and momentum, but isn't there a fine line where emcees need to cut back on the ass-kissing and instead focus on intending to outdo the oh-so praised rapper - whether it is Nas, Eminem, 2Pac, Biggie, or Kurupt (which is what the hip-hop culture is all about: destroying your competition) instead of smooching up to a rapper that barely gives enough shits to notice you. Enough with the candy cotton and get on with the prowess!

  • Not Impressed

    This Erik Parker is a gimmick. Wasn't he the one that interviewed the fat gay HIV positive guy Byron Crawford who wrote the Nas Lost book. I wonder why he allowed the guy to do the documentary. light skinned faggot ass nigga.

  • Anonymous

    Is Nas paying HHDX or something???

  • Fuck Queensbridge

    Somebody should recommend Raekwon the book "Nas Lost: A Tribute to the Little Homie".

  • truthman

    Nas is a faggot. Gaykwon the chef needs to shut his big ugly beaver teeth homo ass up. Him and nad both overrated and down low brothers.

  • Anonymous

    Hiphop wouldn't be around without mc hammer and vanilla ice. That's the inspiration for today's legends like wayne, ross, drake, birdman, 2 chainz, and many more. Nas, meanwhiles ruined hiphop and he was joined by 50, eminem, dr dre, and many more.

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