Nas to Young Rappers: “There’s No One Keeping Me Up at Night”

"I hear a new rap record and think it's great, but I don't listen to it the next week."

Nas to Young Rappers: "There's No One Keeping Me Up At Night"
Nas, photo by Ben Kaye

    Nas isn’t feeling threatened by the youngest generation of rappers. In a new interview with the Financial Times, the hip-hop veteran revealed that while he enjoys many of today’s rising stars, there’s “no one keeping me up at night.”

    Until relatively recently, hip-hop was considered a young person’s game. However, now that rappers such as the 47-year-old Nas have proven that they can carry out successful careers well into their middle-age, the competitive nature of the genre lends itself to playful generational warfare.

    During his interview with FT, which was mostly focused on his historic career and various business ventures, the Illmatic icon took a moment to share his thoughts on the rap titans of today — many of whom are more than half his age.


    “I appreciate what’s out there, but there’s no one keeping me up at night,” he explained (via HipHopDX). “I hear a new rap record and think it’s great, but I don’t listen to it the next week.”

    That’s a pretty good-faith opinion for a rapper of Nas’ stature to have. Especially compared to a peer of his like Snoop Dogg, who recently condemned Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” for being too sexy. It’s good to hear that Nas is actually giving today’s crop of MC’s a fair shake, and he even named his personal favorite figure from the last few years: the late New York rapper Pop Smoke, who was tragically killed last year at the age of 20.

    “We were happy to see that young king come up,” he said during the interview. “He was a breath of fresh air. The drill movement in London, Chicago and New York is really exciting.”


    Nas’ 2020 album King’s Disease was a respectable comeback for the Queens vet, and it’s currently staring down a nomination for Best Rap Album at the upcoming Grammys. He’ll be competing against Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist’s Alfredo, Royce Da 5’9″‘s The Allegory, Jay Electronica’s A Written Testimony, and D Smoke’s Black Habits.

    Last month, Nas also appeared on the stacked Judas and the Black Messiah soundtrack alongside Jay-Z, Nipsey Hussle, A$AP Rocky, and many others.