Nas Advises Kendrick Lamar On Following Up A Classic Album

Nas addresses comparisons between "good kid, m.A.A.d city" and "Illmatic," says comparing the two isn't fair to Kendrick Lamar.

In addition to offering his thoughts on Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar as part of Complex’s newly-released cover story with the TDE lyricist, Nas also spoke on the West Coast musician in a separate feature story released by Complex.

The Queensbridge emcee was questioned about Kendrick’s good kid, m.A.A.d city album and the pressure the rapper faces on the album’s follow-up. He also discussed his debut album Illmatic and its follow-up, 1996’s It Was Written.

When questioned about Kendrick competing against and surpassing himself with his good kid, m.A.A.d city follow-up, Nas went on to express his confidence in K-Dot and revealed that there’s no way the rapper can mess up on his next studio album.

“But I think he got it. I know he got it,” Nas said. “There’s no way he can mess it up because the love he has from the game is so large that he can almost mumble on the record and it’s going to be in rhythm and it’s going to be next level. So he’s in a great place because, again, there’re so many single artists that the album artist just holds up as a whole different kind of value. And he’s that kind of guy. So whatever he does, in my opinion, will be appreciated but at the same time he knows he has to bring it. It’s about challenges, right? Life’s about challenges. In this game it’s about challenges.”

Nas later recalled the pressure he felt in his early years due to the immense amount of competition there was in the rap game at the time.

“Oh, for sure,” he said. “Because you had Jay Z coming. You had Ghostface’s first album. You had Raekwon. You had Mobb Deep. These guys had cornered the rap game off. And also Biggie, and many others. So the competition was severe for me to put out the next record.”

Lastly, Nas was asked about comparisons between Kendrick’s good kid, m.A.A.d city and his debut album, Illmatic. He stated that it’s not fair to compare the two albums since good kid, m.A.A.d city represents a different time and Kendrick endured a different journey to get to where he is today in his music career.

“No, it’s not a fair comparison to me because Illmatic represented a different time and a different expression for different reasons,” Nas said. “The times inspired the sound of that—the climate of the music business, the rap game, the industry, the year, and life in itself. It’s not fair to Kendrick’s album either because his album is a brand new expression that represents these times, the sound represents what’s happening now, he’s changing things today.

“You can compare them because you can compare me and Kendrick in a lot of ways,” he added. “But at the same time you have to respect his journey. His journey is his own fresh journey and to compare it with me or anybody else is not fair to him. You gotta respect his music for him. It’s cool to compare it but at the end of the day, allow him to have his own lane.”

Kendrick has remained relatively tight-lipped when it concerns the details of his next studio album, but did recently reveal that Dr. Dre is working with him on the project.

“One thing about Dre is you can’t take the music away from him no matter how much money he has,” the rapper said during an interview with KIIS FM in June. “He’s always gonna be right there in that studio. That’s before the deal, after the deal. He’s always locked in there. That’s something that I know personally."

RELATED: Kendrick Lamar Responds To Nas Calling "good kid, m.A.A.d city" One Of His Favorite Albums Of 2012

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146 Comments

  • Anonymous

    Heads came outta nowhere to make sure son certified Pay attention bitches

  • Anonymous

    Kendrick sold a mil plus without whitey backing like iggy tricking people to think he hot Pay attention bitches

  • KJunior (EA Streetwear)

    Good advice from a OG in the game to give to Kdot...excited 2 see what Kendrick gon' follow up with tho... If you need any graphic work done; album & mixtape covers, brand logos, flyers + more, HMU on IG @gwill89gfx. Also gotta clothing line, @endlessambition_streetwear str8 outta H-Town.

  • Anonymous

    Just wondering what Nas has done exactly to get such respect as the king of ny title , as far as I know his resume is lightweight and he hasn't done shit for fucking years.... I get it illmatic was good, but after that?

  • jazzboat

    considereing gkmc is his illmatic (and the illmatic of this decade), I wonder if he can deliver again with his next album...

  • CanadanotPure

    I think it's accurate to call him the king, hes the only new schoool rapper who dropped a classic album 1st try.

  • Klosti

    its crazy when you think about it, he already has 1 cemented hip hop classic and s80 might go down as his 2nd classic with time this kid is impressive

  • ChristineEverar

    gkmc is most definitely the illmatic of this generation, same praise, etc

  • nicksuperdick

    kendrick might be the only artist of the last 3 years with a classic under his belt, interesting..

  • Anonymous

    Interesting considering K.Dot does not have a classic album yet.

  • FRIBERG

    Kendrick Lamar is the albert Einstein of rap, he is a savant who can bring us undeniable classics

  • BBC

    thought it was overrrated but I gave it a listen last week and OH MY GOD, this shit is CRAZY can't wait for his next album !

  • ANONYMOUS

    Kendrick is the Tupac of this decade, that's for sure. the quality is here, the rapping is here, the intelligence is here. props to him

  • twlnbro69

    will this generation ever top gkmc ? I don't think so.

  • safe

    GKMC in 4 words: Classic AMAZING Outstanding Masterpiece I'm glad it's already on every "best albums of all time (in any genre)" list because it is that good

  • killazh

    Kendrick reminds me a lot of Nas, the nas we had in 1994. this guy gonna be remembered for what hes doing

  • jazzboat

    We need more rappers like kendrick.. for the sake of this hip hop genre.

  • Slim Timmeel

    this album is the definition of perfection

  • zeerax444

    Good Kid M.A.A.d city one word. Outstanding. Masterfully put together, tight flows, manner of delivery of sometimes morbid content done in a socially acceptable manner, this album appeals to not only dedicated hip-hop fans but also the passive 'hip-pop' chart listeners. It is evident this album is meant to be the gate-way drug if you will to the world of alternative hip-hop music (You know, the plethora of hip-hop music hardly recognised by anyone outside of the Youtube community) with tracks such as 'Swimming Pools' and 'the recipe' speaking to the apathetic weed smoking indie/ hipster/ neo-hippy playstation generation and for the time being It would be hard to refute the claim that Lamar is primarily an alternative hip-hop artist. Akin to what is expected of A$AP Rocky's impending debut, the overall sound of this album is so different to what has came before. Take for example 'Sing about me' and its smooth jazz like sound or 'Sherane' which can only be described as possessing a strange alien undertone. It reminds me of the progressive rock music of the seventies, Could Lamar be to Alt Rap what Pink Floyd was to Prog Rock? Only time will tell but the cynic in me is screaming that this may be the prerequisite to another rapper turned chart mule i.e making alot of noise to get attention and then being obedient to the time tested formula of making a shit load of money as we have seen so many times before. However, I would leave this notion to pure speculation for the time being as what Lamar seems to be doing and what GKMC is representing is nothing less than the progression of rap music and I am excited at the possibility of what this could mean..

  • Alecboyh

    Good Kid M.A.A.d city one word. Outstanding. Masterfully put together, tight flows, manner of delivery of sometimes morbid content done in a socially acceptable manner, this album appeals to not only dedicated hip-hop fans but also the passive 'hip-pop' chart listeners. It is evident this album is meant to be the gate-way drug if you will to the world of alternative hip-hop music (You know, the plethora of hip-hop music hardly recognised by anyone outside of the Youtube community) with tracks such as 'Swimming Pools' and 'the recipe' speaking to the apathetic weed smoking indie/ hipster/ neo-hippy playstation generation and for the time being It would be hard to refute the claim that Lamar is primarily an alternative hip-hop artist. Akin to what is expected of A$AP Rocky's impending debut, the overall sound of this album is so different to what has came before. Take for example 'Sing about me' and its smooth jazz like sound or 'Sherane' which can only be described as possessing a strange alien undertone. It reminds me of the progressive rock music of the seventies, Could Lamar be to Alt Rap what Pink Floyd was to Prog Rock? Only time will tell but the cynic in me is screaming that this may be the prerequisite to another rapper turned chart mule i.e making alot of noise to get attention and then being obedient to the time tested formula of making a shit load of money as we have seen so many times before. However, I would leave this notion to pure speculation for the time being as what Lamar seems to be doing and what GKMC is representing is nothing less than the progression of rap music and I am excited at the possibility of what this could mean.

  • zezeze

    Good god, I havent heard an album like this in a GOOD minute. I will actually purchase this rather than download it. If hip hop artist pumped out more stuff like this, labels could move units like it was '98....

  • CanadanotPure

    Amazing album. When I listen to it, it was more than music, it was a story of a person just like me with dreams, fear, dangers, trouble, happiness, adolescence and maturity. He stayed true to his roots he kept it original but different. God bless Kendrick Lamar and hip hop.

  • fifflaren56

    gkmc will probably end being #1 or #2 on every "best albums of the 2010s" it is that good

  • pablo5

    gkmc = reasonable doubt >>> illmatic

  • Ericc

    one of the msot complete, complex & structured albums I have heard in my whole life, props kendrick !

  • YMCMBfan

    Definitely well deserved. I think Kendrick just fucked the industry up with this one. It's more like a chapter in the autobiography of Compton. CLASSIC

  • jon

    Looks like Aftermath got another classic "2001" , "The Marshall Mathers LP", "Get Rich or Die Tryin", now "good kid, m.A.A.d city"

  • testpass

    Pac died at 25. Kendrick starts to carry the throne at 25 should be some good years to come

    • ^

      Yet he outsold many other rappers. You don't have to have the best sales to be the best rapper. And KDot ain't no waterboy, that describes rappers who can't sell shit.

    • Anonymous

      He can't even outsell Drake. He's the hip hop waterboy.

  • groupon

    damn kendrick already got 2 certified classics under his belt :o

  • jaffar

    This album is ahead of its time. Perfection from start to finish. The best hip-hop debut since Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor.

  • alm

    listening to this really makes the other albums sound alot more like mixtapes

  • bastou27

    This album will go down as one of the best albums of all time for any genre just like Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt, Ready to Die and the other rap albums that are considered the best of all time. When those albums came out we didn't understand how great they because were very young at the time. Now we have a chance to witness a classic and a legend in the making. The storytelling is amazing. It's like a movie. You can't just listen to a couple of songs or skip through. You have to listen straight through from beginning to end..

  • colemaid

    when I listen to gkmc, I feel like I listne to an album made by Jesus himself

  • izz6ki

    gkmc is the only classic album of the last 8 years.

  • Eil_Johnson

    Kendrick >>>nas

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  • Anonymous

    Kendrick ain't shit compared to Nas...

  • kevin smith

    kendrick lamar is one of the wackest shittiest rap artists in rap history u cant be serious he is mad overrated dude dont bring a damn thing to the table come on now he dont even come close to nas nas is one of the illist mcs to ever bless a mic thats like comparing krsone to vanilla ice

  • Anonymous

    kendrick lamar is garbage compared to nas

    • Anonymous

      everyone is garbage compared to nas. but for today's music, kendrick lamar is the best doing it.

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  • Anonymous

    He ain't changing shit. His album was a fucking bore, and the sales were subpar for all the hype and money poured into it.

  • Anonymous

    nas advise yourself first. where's ur career. when was the last time u released a gold selling album. 2006. that was 8 yrs ago, fool.

    • JC

      bruh fuck sales. his laast project was classic grown up material. sheep don't appreciate it cus it aint gotta a plat plaque next to it. foh fuck boy

    • Anonymous

      lmaoooo Nas lost

    • Anonymous

      In hip-hop where the new fans don't have any respect for the vets. Oh it's been 8 years you're irrelevant. Meanwhile U2 and Rolling Stones are selling out concerts. This culture has gone to shit

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  • 667i

    LOL...this nigga kendrick sound like an alien. Classic album my ass. WACK MOTHERFUCKER.

  • 3HEADEDMONSTAH

    HA, AND DRAKE CALLS HIMSELF KING? NAS DEF DIDNT CO SIGN HIS SHIT! LOL ITS ABOUT HIP HOP .. LYRIKS. DRAKE CAN SPIT NOT GOING TO HATE.. BUT NO WHERE IS HE IN THE SAME LEVEL AS KDOT! BUT KDOT NEEDS TO BRING IT .. DONT BE MUMBLING SHIT LOL FUK THAT .. BETTER BE ON HIS EM STATUS.. WORD PLAY AND LYRIKS IS WHAT IM LISTENING TOO

    • HUH

      Writing in Caps make people not want to read everything you type. So I skipped over it and gave you this message. lol

  • antOine

    Kendrick will be remembered, thats for sure.

  • YMCMBfan

    gkmc is most definitely a classic but illmatic is dust now, ain't nobody playing that shit.

  • YMCMBfan

    I can unerstand gkmc being a classic but illmatic ? lol shit is dust now.

    • mralalalah

      you must have missed the massive 20 year celebrations all over everywhere i guess.

    • themantisity

      Are you serious right now? Illmatic is one of the Greatest Hip Hop Albums of all time and will always be a classic. Just because it aint popular today doesnt mean it aint a classic. Get educated fool.

  • jackrat3

    glad this album is already considered as top 50 hip hop of all time, it's well earned.

  • hesju

    this album will definitely go down as one of the biggest masterpieces in music history

  • hg23r6rg

    the sad thing is that gkmc is probably the only classic album of the last 5 years, gkmc & mbdtf.

  • stylzjaw

    I wonder if gkmc wil lbe topepd this decade.. I don't think so

  • paperman

    first of all good kid maad city is not a classic.

  • Anonymous

    K. Dot going to drop another heater. For more entertaining videos Yall Should Visit (Thegrandreport,com) They Have Some Good ones on there too

  • Rakimmmmm

    Fuck EVERYONE IN THE FUCKING COMMENTS Illmatic lightyears ahead of GKMC, SmH at you nigga comparing a shitty album to ILLMATIC

  • SPAINZ

    kendrick is that nigga, he reminds me of Pac

    • Anonymous

      Minus the presence, the shady past, the tendency to do dirt, the movie roles, and diamond album sales.

  • ChristineEverar

    good kid maad city deserves everything, I'm glad its already on all these "best albums of all time lists"

  • groupon

    I'd even say that gkmc >>> illmatic

  • izz6ki

    not a kendrick fan but this is true, gkmc is a masterpiece.

  • schatten859

    gkmc is most definitely the illmatic of this era

  • Anonymous

    Kendrick Lamar is a cheap ripp off of Outkast's flow. The nigga has bitten the whole outkast shit.

  • What

    Nas has to know because after Illmatic, she was all trash until Jay Z put some pressure on the boy to make bring back out the pad and pen and drop some real songs

  • Anonymous

    Gkmc albert einstein Reloaded grief pedigree 4 recent albums with classic material

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  • Real Recognize Real

    Nas hit it on the nail when talking about the GKMC and Illmatic comparisons. Folks are always trying to compare greats right now to past legends whether it's music or sports. Good Kid, Maad City is it's own classic just like Illmatic.

  • Anonymous

    Great article/interview. Nas is intelligent and shows respect where it's needed. Not a very common characteristic in hip-hop.

    • Anonymous

      If he's so intelligent why did he: Marry Kelis Ignore his daughter while she was whoring it up Do a song with Tyga Forget how to go platinum Make the movie Belly

  • digga

    i'm not gonna say it's a classic. i felt like it could have been better but what i do believe is that it can be considered a clssic as time goes on. who knows? but this album didn't have the same impact illmatic had when it first came out. anybody living in that era knows how big that album was at the time. mind you, you had big and the wu in the same timeframe creating albums and these albums weren't trash. they ended up becoming big hits and ultimately, classics. not like today. good kid, maad city stands out because the current generation doesn't really make anything riveting or great. but illmatic stood out in the wake of excellent releases. this is for all the heads who grew up on 90's hip hop and was a teenager during that time. only you guys can understand this

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    HIP-HOP BEATS https://soundcloud.com/streetzmentor

  • Gkmc

    Was trash I like only 1 song drake shit more Jon blaze than this shit and. Drake sucks and swallow

  • ffreeman87

    This deserves every bit of this rating. This shit is a CLASSIC.

  • furbase

    This album will go down as one of the best albums of all time for any genre just like Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt, Ready to Die and the other rap albums that are considered the best of all time. When those albums came out we didn't understand how great they because were very young at the time. Now we have a chance to witness a classic and a legend in the making. The storytelling is amazing. It's like a movie. You can't just listen to a couple of songs or skip through. You have to listen straight through from beginning to end.

  • Eil_Johnson

    One of the best Album I ever heard!! Point Blank!!

  • steelez

    Wow. One thing I liked about the production of this album is that the beats are different from current hip hop albums and it sounded like all the producers were on the same page. It almosts seems as if the whole album was produced by one person. That's how smoothly the album flows. Great Album Kendrick.

  • freeones

    agreed, this album is solid gold. hip hop has been stale since '98, i've been wondering if i've been all alone in that realization.

  • aaront

    Good god, I havent heard an album like this in a GOOD minute. I will actually purchase this rather than download it. If hip hop artist pumped out more stuff like this, labels could move units like it was '98. gkmc >>>>>>>>>>>>

  • Alecboyh

    Amazing album. When I listen to it, it was more than music, it was a story of a person just like me with dreams, fear, dangers, trouble, happiness, adolescence and maturity. He stayed true to his roots he kept it original but different. God bless Kendrick Lamar and hip hop

  • colemaid

    Gkmc is the illmatic of my generation

  • zeeezeerax

    the only classic album of our time is gkmc

  • Whispaaah

    The next big thing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxa0sPtybXY&index=1&list=UU2MocxLZcIfteB-PwbdM9vA

  • Anonymous

    It. Was Written is better than Illmatic.

  • Maad City is Classic

    I'm not even a kendrick lamar dickrider, like that, but his album is the only album I still bump from J. Cole to even eminem's last two albums it's the only one I go back to. It will stand the test of time in my opinion.

  • Anonymous

    In my humble opinion, out of all the modern rappers, Nothing Was The Same and My Krazy Life are the only two modern classics. m.A.A.d city? Not cutting it!

  • Anonymous

    maad city not a classic

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