Nas is known for speaking his mind in songs like "America" and "Sly Fox," but the Queensbridge MC used Instagram to deliver his latest message. On Tuesday (Jun. 23), the rapper offered his thoughts on the state of the nation with this powerful Instagram caption:
"America has spent so much time, money and resources fighting wars abroad and completely fell asleep at the wheel of the war brewing within our cities, neighborhoods and blocks," he wrote.
"We are supposed to stand for freedom and equal opportunity. That's supposed to mean more than just words but the actions of late just don't speak to what we are supposed to stand for. This is bigger than black and white. This is about America selling a false dream.
"Now we've obviously progressed since the inception of this nation but we took our eye off the ball and it feels as though things are moving backwards," he continued.
"As a black man, I find it difficult to understand that our biggest export (our American culture) comes from us. The people in the streets...The way the world dresses, talks, what they listen to, what they watch...That all comes from us. How can we be the ones responsible for America's biggest export and fear for our lives like we shouldn't belong here?"
The Illmatic MC went on to explain how he feels the nation can move forward for progress.
"I don't have all the answers nor do I believe anyone does, but we need to have conversations around how to improve as a nation," he said. "How do we show any ounce of progress that keeps hope alive? This is too big of a problem to be solved overnight but there needs to be some questions answered to get things back on the track of righteousness."
"Amazing people died for this country," he added. "We owe it to the past, present and future to come together and move this country in the right direction. This is my home just like it is anyone else's."
Nas ended his statement with a rest in peace message for Crispus Attucks, a black man who was the first casualty of the American Revolution. "First man to die in America's Freedom War and he was black," Nas said. "God bless every ounce of innocent blood shed for this nation and my family."
We're not sure exactly why Nas posted this message on Instagram today, but there could be a number of reasons. His message comes as the nation faces race-related debates in the wake of this month's Charleston, North Carolina church shooting.
Earlier this month, Nas spoke on the incident. "Racism is rotting America," he said. "It’s been rotting America since America’s inception. So this is a very serious time that we’re moving into in 2015."