"Yo, all I need is one mic, one beat, one stage/ One n---- front, my face on the front page," Nas rages on his new single, "One Mic." For the Queensbridge MC, who also co-produced the track, following up his Stillmatic LP's much-talked-about "Got Ur Self A ..." with the album's most fervent track was a no-brainer.
While the cut does not have the conventional radio-friendly beat or chorus, Nas' thoughts on himself, Jesus and his baby's mother, among other subjects, were something he needed to get out.
" 'One Mic' is how I've been feeling," Nas said earlier this month. " 'One Mic' has been on my mind for a long time, so when I put the track and the rhyme together, it just took me someplace else. I knew that people weren't being for real and truthful from the heart with the music that was coming out. 'One Mic' represents my every emotion, everything that's in my mind. I knew it was going to be explosive, so I'm proud that it could be a single, something that was my idea musically and everything."
He proclaimed that the Chris Robinson-directed video, which was shot Saturday and Sunday in Los Angeles, is going to be as visual as his searing lyrics.
"At this stage, I'm definitely not the gimmick rapper," he said. "I'm definitely not the commercial rapper trying to make people happy. I'm just the voice, so 'One Mic' is all I need to give me the voice, and this video will be nothing like what you're seeing out there, just the simple moving around and dancing. It's gonna move you, but in a spiritual way. I think it's gonna touch on a lot of political issues and everything."
For a full-length feature on Nas, check out "Nas: Stillmatters."