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Nas “Time Is Illmatic”

Time Is Illmatic is a feature length documentary film that delves deep into the making of Nas’ 1994 debut album, Illmatic, and the social conditions that influenced its creation.

Twenty years after its release, Illmatic has become a hip-hop benchmark that encapsulates the socio-political outlook, enduring spirit, and collective angst of a generation of young black men searching for their voice in America.

Time is Illmatic tracks the musical legacy of the Jones family, handed down to Nas from his jazz musician father, Olu Dara. It also examines the social conditions and environmental influences that contributed to Nas’ worldview.

Along the way, Time Is Illmatic shows how Nas—with the support of his Queensbridge neighborhood crew, the loyalty of his younger brother Jabari “Jungle” Fret, and sacrifices of his mother, Ann Jones—overcame insurmountable odds to create the greatest work of music from hip-hop’s second golden era.

PAPOOSE ON JAY-Z

Revisiting comments he made last month in an interview with the NY Daily News, Papoose reiterated his stance that he’s a better lyricist than Jay Z while speaking with VladTV.

When asked about the reaction to his comments, Pap recalled feeling like there was a balanced public opinion on the matter.

“The result, it was a frenzy,” he said. “It was an uproar, as always when I speak the truth. It was just an uproar. Some people agree with me. Some people disagree with me. That’s what happened. It was definitely an uproar, I can say that. A lot of people reacted to that statement. Like I said, I seen a balance. Me just doing my own [analysis] of it, I seen a lot of people who said, ‘Yo, technically Papoose is better than Jay Z. Lyrically Papoose is.’ If you put all the extra shit aside which has nothing to do with our craft.”

Describing his refusal to submit to an artist’s commercial success in a discussion of skill, Papoose said “I definitely promote confidence.”

“I wanna send that message of confidence out there to all the up-and-coming artists doing their thing and just not feel like you gotta bow down to an individual who has seen success for a long time,” he added. “It’s like almost a slave mentality to feel like you’re lyrically better than another person. And me personally, I’m just speaking the facts, but I definitely promote that confidence. That’s the message I’m sending out there…Facts is facts, lyrically he’s not on my level.”

When pressed about whether or not he feels like there are any rappers better than him, Papoose explained feeling like he’s lyrically unrivaled.

“What I’m bringing to the table and what I put out there lyrically is unmatched,” he said. “You gon’ be naming people all day. Let’s not single nobody out. If you start naming, you gon’ keep going. So I’m just gon’ tell you, my work is unmatched. My substance, my content, my concepts. I reach heights that none of these dudes ain’t even try to climb yet.”

The Nacirema Dream emcee went on to distinguish the reaction to the comments on Twitter. “It was a balance,” he said. “Twitter is one of the most hateful, envious places on the Internet. I’m sure you know that. I quote somebody else on that, somebody said that and I kind of agree with it. I was surprised at this particular statement that it was actually a balance that came to me. There was people who disagreed but it was a lot of people who seen it for what it was and agree with what I said. I mean you gotta take your hat off to the dude on a business level, but we just talking about what we do, this craft. A lot of people try to take you away from this and put other things in the way to insinuate that being a gangster or having money makes you a great artist. That doesn’t make you a lyricist. That makes you what it is. So, you know, lyrically he can’t fuck with me. Period.”

Naming Big Daddy Kane, The Notorious B.I.G., Kool G Rap, Nas, Tupac, and KRS-One as emcees he considers incredible lyricists, Pap went on to explain feeling like Jay Z is not on the same level.

“I think he’s okay,” he said. “I don’t think he’s an incredible lyricist but I wouldn’t say he was wack. I think he’s okay. He’s not wack but I don’t think he’s incredible lyrically…Lyrically I don’t think he’s what a lot of people think he is. You might have people who disagree with me, they entitled to that, but I just go off of a person’s work and what they put out there. As far as that pen-game is concerned, it’s not that potent.”

Near the end of the interview, Papoose divulged feeling like Nas won in a celebrated public battle against Jay Z and added that his initial comments may have been taken out of context in the original NY Daily News piece.

“It’s a no brainer, he lost,” Papoose said in reference to Jay Z. “He definitely lost that. When ‘Takeover’ came out, a lot of people was saying, ‘Oh, it’s over.’ I knew what was coming ‘cause I follow Hip Hop. I knew ‘Ether’ was gonna happen before it even happened. Niggas was looking at me like I had six heads when I was telling them that shit. But when it came, it was over. Yeah but he definitely lost that.

"Even with the Daily News, it was the same thing like right now, you ask me about him, so I responded," he said. "It wasn’t like I went in the interview speaking his name. I’m not into that. But if somebody ask me a question I’m gon’ answer it. I said what I feel. They ask me about him. When they put the article out, it kinda looked like I just jumped out the window and said ‘X, Y, Z.’ Nah, they ask me about him. That was just the answer I gave.”

Machine Gun Kelly-State Of Mind (Official Video)

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