He went from Nasty Nas to Nas Escobar, blossoming into a mature voice that could collaborate with the likes of dancehall star Damian Marley for a full-length album. But As Nas' street-edged material has continued to leak online, the question is which Nas will show up on his next effort, due later this year: Nasty or an entirely new persona?
Neither, according to the Queensbridge MC.
"Sometimes, you can approach a record and can think, I got to take care of this person and I got to take care of that person, but you really got to take care of you," Nas recently told MTV News.
"I look at Michael Jackson, and before he passed away, I can only imagine the pressure he had to live up to for the next moonwalk," he continued. "And the reality is physically, he wasn't able to live up to that. I would have loved to see him come up with the next level, without even dancing, just using his creativity. It's all about evolving and that's what I want to do, evolve."
Nas spent last year touring in support of Distant Relatives, his joint project with Marley. The rapper said he was so comfortable working alongside Bob Marley's offspring that he momentarily considered putting his solo career on the back burner.
"I been so caught up into me and [Damian's] thing that I started to get used to it," Nas recalled. "Like, I didn't want to do the solo thing for a while. Me and D have just been doing our thing, reaching millions of people, but it's that time."
For his next album, Nas said he expects to bundle the material with the latest volume of his Lost Tapes series. He still isn't sure, however, whether his current label will release the album.
"It's not safe to say that it's gonna be on Def Jam," he told MTV News. "You know, news at 11," he laughed. "We coming with the information on that soon."
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