Nardwuar: Who are you?
Nas: What’s up y’all, this is Nas.
Nardwuar: Nas, welcome to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Nas: Appreciate it.
Nardwuar: I have a gift for you, Nas. It is right here. [Nardwuar pulls out a vinyl record] Joeski Love. What can you tell the people about Joeski Love and “Pee Wee’s Dance”?
Nas: It’s one of the earliest records I used to hear come on the radio stations late night. It became a big record though, “Pee Wee’s Dance.” Do the Pee Wee Herman. Yeah, this is back in the days, man. Thank you.
Nardwuar: It’s for you, a present. And you actually had him play your birthday party or something?
Nas: Yeah, man. I had a birthday party a few years back. It was a surprise birthday party, and I was surprised ’cause a lot of the pioneers of rap music came out, legends came out and did a show. And you know, it was amazing.
Nardwuar: And Joeski Love represent.
Nas: Joeski Love represent it, big up to Joeski Love. Much love.
Nardwuar: Nas, here we are in Canada. And I always think of this band when I think of Canada: Main Source. [Nardwuar pulls out a record]
Nas: Main Source, this is classic. Look at the album cover, look at what’s happening, he puts the needle to the wax and just atoms. Breaking atoms. Main Source, this is crazy.
Nardwuar: Now, did they ever talk about Canada? Because, of course you’re on this LP — did they ever talk about Canada? Because they’re from Toronto.
Nas: Yeah, yeah. I met both of the DJs, both from Toronto. That was a long time ago. I honestly can’t really remember. I did know they were from Toronto back then.
Nardwuar: And there’s another Canadian connection there, believe it or not, Nas. This band right here: The Incredible Bongo Band. [Nardwuar pulls out a record]
Nas: That’s right. That’s right. These boys right here. This is real stuff right here. Yeah.
Nardwuar: And you know what the connection is? Because believe it or not, turn it over, look where it was recorded — you’ve sampled this a few times — right in…
Nas: Yeah, right in Vancouver.
Nardwuar: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada!
Nas: That’s right. You see these guys here put down some incredible, incredible music. Who, I think the early, early hip-hop rap guys was like, were like, sampling Incredible Bongo Band, you know what I’m saying? This right here is real material.
Nardwuar: And here we are in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and there’s a folk-rock band called The Be Good Tanyas, and they have a connection to you, Nas. Did you know that?
Nas: No, I ain’t no that.
Nardwuar: The connection is your dad played cornet on their record.
Nas: Oh wow, that’s whassup. [Nardwuar pulls the Bridging the Gap record featuring his Nas and his dad Olu Dara ]
Nardwuar: What can you tell the people about your dad and his cornet playing?
Nas: My pops is a musician. He’s always been in the music game, so you know, he kinda… he was kinda the first guy that I saw doing something different from everybody else’s fathers that was around me. A lot of other people’s fathers that was around me had succumbed to hard drugs, or street life, and what he managed to do with his talent really inspired me.
Nardwuar:: And he’s on The Be Good Tanyas’ record. They’re from Vancouver. Another Canadian connection, Nas.
Nas: Yeah man, yeah.
Nardwuar:: Nas, you have the song “You Da—”
Nas: “You Da Man”
Nardwuar: You Da Man. And that song samples Rodriguez. Rodriguez has a song called “Sugar Man.” And I contacted Rodriguez, and I said, “I’m going to be doing an interview with Nas.”
Nas: That’s crazy.
Nardwuar: And he has a message for you. This is from Rodriguez to Nas: “Thanks for the support, it’s greatly appreciated. “
Nas: Hey, shouts to Rodriguez. That’s an amazing thing that you reached out to him. That song is on the Stillmatic album. You’re tripping me out. That song is on the Stillmatic album and, ah, you know that I really like that record. And, ah, shout out to Rodriguez for being a good guy.
Nardwuar: And believe it or not, he asked me to give you a copy of his recently re-released album, Cold Fact. [Nardwuar hands Nas a CD]
Nas: Incredible. Incredible. See this is what I listen to. I like the beats. The old joints that, like, was really, like, on the next level stuff. Yeah. Appreciate it. Yeah.
Nardwuar: Nas, I was wondering, Stephen Colbert, is he a gangster TV host?
Nas: Stephen Colbert is a gangster TV host. That’s my favourite TV host right now.
Nardwuar: Here you are in Canada at Rock The Bells, one of the hosts is MC Supernatural.
Nardwuar: He’s freestyling, he had the record one time for the longest at nine hours.
Nardwuar: What I was wondering is, I heard Nas, that at one time you did a freestyle for so many hours, and the person listening to that freestyle was Biggie. Is it true that Biggie fell asleep because your freestyle went on and on and on?
Nas: I don’t know, that is a wild story. Where’d you get that from?
Nardwuar: I don’t know. I just heard that you were doing a freestyle and Biggie fell asleep to it because you just kept going on and on and on.
Nas: Were we at his house in Brooklyn before he blew up? Maybe he did. Maybe he did back then. Maybe back then.
Nardwuar: Nas, New York, state of—
Nardwuar: What can you tell the people about these particular records right here? [Nardwuar hands Nas a stack of vinyl records]
Nas: This right here, Lakim Shabazz, he was down with the Flavor Unit, that’s Queen Latifah’s crew, 45 King and all them. I haven’t seen this in, like, forever. Uh, Special Ed, The Mission, this is a classic right here. This right here, yeah. This got me into it. Organized Konfusion…
Nardwuar: They’re from Queensbridge!
Nas: No, they’re from Queens, not from Queensbridge. It’s the borough of Queens and they’re from another section of Queens, but ah, yeah, they get much love. Yeah.
Nardwuar: One other person I didn’t mention is right here, MC Shan. [Nardwuar hands Nas a record] Now he’s from…
Nas: Wow. He’s from the Bridge. This is my inspiration, y’all, this dude, see where he’s at? [Nas points to the record] This is the project where I come from. That’s the elevator door, is open, see that’s the first floor, and that’s the project hallway right there. And he’s telling the crackhead, “Jane, stop this crazy thing.” And you notice his logo is crazy. It’s almost like Superman or something, right? Kangol — the hat, I think a little bit before Cool J was doing that, he was doing that. Straight outta QB.
Nardwuar: Was there an elevator on that floor? ‘Cause, there were no elevators, were there?
Nas: Yeah, ’cause you walk up the steps that she’s sitting on and you go to this elevator, and you go up to the top floor.
Nardwuar: And Nas, we…
Nas: You’re crazy, yo. Crazy.
Nardwuar: We can’t forget about the ladies, Nas. [Nardwuar pulls out another record]
Nardwuar: What can you tell the people about J.J. Fad, signed to Ruthless?
Nas: Um. Nothing. I have no idea about them.
Nardwuar: You have—
Nas: I remember ’em. What else, what’s next? C’mon.
Nardwuar: Well I was going to ask…
Nas: You are tripping me out. C’mon, what’s next?
Nardwuar: You have the line, “Slam it like the—” [Nardwuar pulls out a finger puppet doll]
Nas: Oh, Iron Sheik.
Nardwuar: “Slam it like the Iron Sheik!”
Nas: You are serious. I like you.
Nardwuar: Thank you, Nas. And also, Iron Sheik, of course, has a doll. And what I was wondering was, there Nas…
Nas: You know what? This guy is crazy. This is crazy.
Nardwuar: What I was wondering was, your early manager MC Serch, has a clock… [Nardwuar pulls out a MC Serch Clock]
Nas: This is insane, dog. Is this happening?
Nardwuar: And Nas, there’s a Pete Rock comb. Pete Rock! [Nardwuar pulls out a Pete Rock Comb]
Nas: First of all, I need to know, are these all mine to leave with?
Nardwuar: Not quite.
Nas: See, now you’re becoming uncool, now, because… see this is crazy. This is good, like, stuff you want to put to the side and stuff like that.
Nardwuar: When is there going to be a Nas action figure? I looked for one but I couldn’t find one. A Pete Rock comb? An MC Search clock? The Iron Sheik?
Nas: I don’t know, homeboy. That’s… what’s next man, what else you got? What’s in your trick bag?
Nardwuar: Well, winding up here Nas, you have the song called “Ether.”
Nas: Could you not put the mike so close? And what else you got in your trick bag?
Nardwuar: What else I was wondering was in the song you compare J.J. to…
Nas: Hold on a second, what I’d like to know what else is in the trick bag?
Nardwuar: O.K., here’s what’s in the trick bag… who do we have here? [Nardwuar pulls out a record] Jimmie Walker.
Nas: Is this an autograph copy?
Nardwuar: It’s an autograph copy to me. But I brought one for you, Nas. Your own copy of Dyn-o-mite by Jimmie Walker. Do you have this record?
Nardwuar: That is a gift for you.
Nas: Alright, cool, but you know, Good Times a classic, and J.J.’s my man right here. So uh…
Nardwuar: You do mention him in the song “Ether,” right?
Nas: Now you know, don’t do that. ‘Cause then I could take that as disrespect.
Nardwuar: Well, I wanted to make sure you had the record.
Nas: Somethin’ else, yeah. The record is different, this is like classic TV.
Nardwuar: Winding up here Nas. Did you see the movie, Belly 2 at all?
Nardwuar: Because you were in Belly 1.
Nas: Didn’t see it.
Nardwuar: And lastly Nas, I have a gift for you, right here: a Weed Man hat. [Nardwuar pulls out a Weed Man hat]
Nas: I don’t know nothing about that.
Nardwuar: It’s from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and it comes with special instructions there on the Weed Man hat, if you see what the instructions say at the bottom?
Nas: Say no to drugs, kids.
Nardwuar: Alright, well thanks very much, Nas. Anything else you want to add to the people out there at all?
Nas: You are fucking nuts. You are fucking psycho. But, s’all love, s’all music, peace.
Nardwuar: Thanks so much, Nas. Keep on rocking in the free world, and doot doola doot doo…
Nardwuar: Almost, Nas. Doot doola doot doo…
Nas: Yo, it’s over. A’ite? It’s over. It’s over. Move the mic! Move the mic.
Nardwuar:: Thank you.
Nardwuar Nas pic by Andrea Woo !