Nas on his icon status in hip-hop: An honor I don’t take lightly

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It’s hard to talk 50 years of hip-hop without mentioning Nas

Thanks to his decades-long rap career and indelible contributions to the genre, he’s often regarded as legendary or iconic — titles the New York rapper says mean much to him. 

“It’s an honor. I don’t take it lightly,” he tells Ebony“It inspires me to keep going, but also [to] appreciate what I’ve done.”

Nas said that it’s sometimes “weird as an artist to” be given such acclaim for his work. Though “it comes from such an honest place,” he doesn’t often think about the high praise. 

“I appreciate it, though,” he says.

Regarding this year’s 50th anniversary of hip-hop, Nas says honoring the genre should be something every culture partakes in. 

When it comes to celebrating “in some ways it’s a beautiful thing and in others it’s like you have no choice,” Nas says. “Too much of what we see around the world came from this thing we all contributed to.”

He adds, “Hopefully this is the beginning of a lifelong celebration.”

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