Nas, who is celebrating the 20-year anniversary of his debut album, Illmatic, with Time Is Illmatica film based on the critically acclaimed project, says the documentary inspired him. 

“This documentary sparked too much,” he says in an interview with MTV’s Rob Markman. “It sparked me up in a major way.” 

The inspiration helped Nas see where he fits in the game, where he can make his own lane, he says. 

“It’s a younger man’s game today in a lot of ways, so I felt more happy to put out music now than I ever have before because my lane is a great place to be at,” he says. “It took a lot of time striking the iron, breaking down walls to be where I am. What better place and time than to put out something new when the world is watching?” 

Nas says he doesn’t mind new rappers coming into the game and thriving in the genre, either. 

“I like that,” he says. “I enjoy that. I need that. It makes me happy. Now, I’m in a greater place when it comes to putting out records because you won’t mix us up.”

Despite this, some have mixed Nas up with a younger rapper. Earlier this year, Your Old Droog released a project that some, including rapper Apathy, believed was a secret Nas EP with the voice altered. This became a theory that many debated on social media platforms. However, Nas says he didn’t catch wind of any of this.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he says regarding Your Old Droog. “I don’t even know what [a secret EP] is. I don’t want a secret EP. I want you to know it’s me when I drop.” 

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