Who knew that in 1991 when Nasty Nas appeared on Main Source's "Live at the Barbecue," the smart-alecky teenage lyricist who proclaimed that when he was 12 he "went to hell for snuffin' Jesus" would grow into one of rap's most respected artists? Twenty years later, Nas is preparing his 10th solo album and is still considered one of hip-hop's elite.
For the November issue (on stands October 25), XXL magazine is celebrating Nasir's storied run with a special interview in which Tyler, the Creator, a smart-alecky rookie who also famously rhymed about getting on Jesus' bad side, conducts a Q&A with the veteran Queens MC.
MTV News obtained an exclusive excerpt from the interview, wherein Tyler quizzes God's Son on his growth as an artist and riding go-karts.
Tyler, the Creator: Do you ever go go-karting or, like, to amusement parks or anything?
Nas: Nah, nah, nah.
Tyler: Go go-karting. It's fun as f---. I went last week. Sore as sh-- the next day. 'Cause then, if you go with your friends and sh--, it's like a competition on the low. Then y'all just be bumping into each other, like, "No, f--- that. I want to win." It's amazing.
Nas: Dude, maybe I should hang with you more.
Tyler: You should hang out with me for a day. We went egging the other night, and I hit this lady in the back of the head. And she like ... It's kind of f---ed up, but it was funny. Did you ever think, like... OK, you dropped Illmatic. How old were you? Like, 18?
Nas: When I started it, I was 18. I dropped it when I was 20.
Tyler: So you was my age when Illmatic came out?
Nas: Yeah. The first thing I did was "Live at the Barbecue." That was '91.
Tyler: So, right, when you was coming out, I wasn't even born yet, basically? I was born in 1991, so I was probably just popping out. Did you think, 20 years later, you would still be, like, here? Like, you're having a f---in' interview, about to do another magazine shoot. Like, did you think, 20 years from now, back then, that there was even a chance that you could still be doing that?
Nas: At that point, I only cared about making the biggest impact in rap. But I didn't care about 20 years from ... No, I got to say no. I didn't. I didn't really think that much on it. 'Cause at that time, dudes were peaking at, like, their fourth album, and that was it. Like, a lot of guys before us, they would, after their third or fourth album, that was it.
Tyler: They was done.
Nas: You know what I mean? So I didn't think I would be up to right here.
Tyler: That's 'cause you, Em, Jay, Snoop, like, you guys all started when you was exactly my age. So we could relate right then and there. But it's just weird that you guys — 'cause I even asked Snoop, and he was like, "I didn't even think that I could go this far with that." And the fact that you guys are still here makes me just always think, like, F---, could I?
Nas: Oh, you definitely can. People — someone like you is, you're interested, for a lot of reasons. So someone like you, you can't wait to see what's next. You can't wait to see how you're going to deal with what you've been experiencing now that you're in the rap game or in the music game. It's going to be great and exciting for you as you go along.
Tyler: This sh--'s crazy. I have, like, a goal list in my head, and it gets checked off, like, all the time. And it's just the weirdest sh--. This game is crazy. It'll drive you crazy, too.