In the newest issue of Rolling Stone, fifty artists from across the music spectrum share their all time favorite themed playlists. Hip-hop legend, Nas, breaks down his favorite rappers and the songs he loves.
Nas’ list is quite eclectic, showing love to old school rappers like Cool G. Rap and Slick Rick, while embracing new schoolers like Rick Ross and Lil’ Wayne. And, of course, Rakim gets the proverbial shout out.
Nas’ List . . .
1. “My Downfall”—Notorious B.I.G., 1997
—The lyrics are about how he’s acing the shadows of death, despite all of his success, and he’s giving it to you in a way that makes it seem so real.
2. “If My Homie Calls”—2pac, 1991
—He’s just saying to his boys that he’s going to be a friend no matter how big he gets.
3. “Road To The Riches”—Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo, 1989
—The way we’re rhyming now? He was already doing it then .
4. “A Bird In The Hand”—Ice Cube, 1991
5. “Paid In Full”—Eric B. & Rakim, 1987
6. “I’m Single”—Lil Wayne, 2010
—I’m recently divorced, so I feel what he’s saying.
7. “Tears of Joy”—Rick Ross, 2010
—Ross is at the pulpit here.
8. “The Moment I Feared”—Slick Rick, 1988
—It’s cinematic. He’s at a hip-hop show and ices this girl who played him, then he’s in prison getting violated by some dude. This was unheard of.
9. “Empire State of Mind”—Jay-Z, 2009
—This song is huge. It sounds like Broadway. It’s New York’s modern anthem.
10. “Queen Bitch”—Lil’ Kim, 1996
—At the time, females rappers didn’t appeal to the street, but Kim came with the vulgarity, sexuality and gangster shit.
The Playlist issue of Rolling Stone features themed playlists from artists such as Bono, Alice Cooper, Keith Richards, ?uestlove, who shares his all time Prince joints, and Cee-Lo, who takes readers on a journey through Dirty South rap.