Nas, who once dedicated “We Will Survive” to the memories of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, recently discussed the impact of their deaths during an interview with MTV’s Relentless Ultra Presents Soundchain With Zane Lowe.
“Those two things hit me real hard, because I knew both of them,” Nas says. “I knew Biggie more, but what they meant to the art form can never be redone, can never be replaced. And when those two guys passed away, I thought [it] was the end of Rap.”
On “We Will Survive,” Nas has a verse about Biggie. “You can’t kill nothin that’s Ready to Die,” Nas raps on the track. “You was like God to us in the form of Allah.”
The song also features a verse dedicated to Tupac, who he once feuded with. “We had words ’cause the best supposed to clash at the top,” Nas rhymes on the song. “But kept it brotherly, when we seen each other and stopped / In NYC / At MTV / people watched / We was both deep / After you left, I got no sleep.”
Nas Addresses Jay Z Beef Impact
“Today’s music industry it’s really about money now and back then during that period, when you talk about me battling with Jay, it was about something else,” he says. “It was not just about being the top guy in Rap. It felt like we were leaders of nations. Not that we were egotistical as, ‘I’m the leader.’ No, not in that sense. I mean what you felt surrounding us was there was an importance in what we were doing that mattered more than just success. It was more than just, ‘Oh my record’s going to sell.’ Yeah we need the records to sell to make money. That was something we thought about, but put that aside. When ‘Pac made ‘Dear Mama,’ and these records and then he had to switch up to get in war mode, these were chess moves. This was real… Today, it’s a whole ‘nother world. I’ll just leave like that.”
Nas and Jay Z have collaborated on several songs since their feud was resolved, including “BBC” off last year’s Magna Carta…Holy Grail album by Jigga.