Nas is one of Hip Hop’s greatest ever story tellers. From the adrenaline-pumping tour through his native Queensbridge housing projects on “N.Y. State of Mind” to the reverse day-in-the-life narrative of “Rewind,” few can paint a picture through rhymes quite like Mr. Jones.
Now, Nas is sharing his lyrical gifts with the world by teaching a Hip Hop storytelling course in partnership with MasterClass, an online educational platform that offers classes from leading figures in fields spanning music, business, food, acting, technology and more.
Nas will lead a 12-part video series in which he’ll break down his storytelling craft and help MasterClass enrollees construct and record their own original songs — whether that’s aspiring rappers looking to up their game, poets seeking to sharpen their pen or simply rap enthusiasts wanting to get a glimpse of God’s Son’s creative process.
“It’s all about giving you what you need in chapters, increments, and giving you the vibe,” the rap vet explained to Complex. “It’s sort of hard to break it down, so those different classes and different steps make the most sense to me.
“That’s how I would like to receive it from an artist, so I thought that that’s the way for the person that’s watching it to give them the time to soak it in, each one piece-by-piece. Each piece gives you more of my life. A lot of it is about my life journey.”
Launching October 14, Nas’ Hip Hop storytelling course puts him in an esteemed list of MasterClass teachers including Alicia Keys, Timbaland, Usher, Questlove and Herbie Hancock, who have all taught online courses on their respective areas of expertise within music.
To accompany his upcoming MasterClass series, Nas has released an exclusive new song produced by his King’s Disease collaborator Hit-Boy, which the duo previewed earlier this week. Titled “Big Nas,” the track finds the Grammy-winning MC dishing more gems while showing love to the late DMX.
“I hear my callin’, heart poundin’ down my chest/Wish I could bring back X, God bless,” he raps over Hit-Boy’s warm, bouncy production.
The song comes complete with an accompanying video directed by Ben Dean, which takes viewers on a tour through Nas’ old stomping grounds through the eyes of a B-girl.
Nas’ Hip Hop storytelling course is available with an annual MasterClass subscription starting at $15 a month, which gives users access to their entire library of over 100 classes covering a range of subjects.