Nas Names "Hip-Hop's Best Lyricists" For Rolling Stone Playlist

posted Monday November 29 ,2010 at 09:00AM CST | 181 comments

Nas Names

Nas creates a playlist of some of Hip Hop's finest lyricist for a Rolling Stone's feature

The new issue of RollingStone features themed playlists from 50 different artists. Among those are Cee-Lo with a selection of the best of the Dirty South, Drake provides a Jimi Hendrix list and Nas provides his list of "Hip-Hop's Best Lyricists." Below is what Nas had to say.

"When I said 'hip-hop is dead' a few years ago, I felt we'd gotten away from the great wordplay and storytelling," says Nas. "There's a place for the party shit and a place for the gangster shit. I focus on the guys that are always pushing themselves forward."

1. "My Downfall" - Notorious B.I.G., 1997

The lyrics are about how he's acing the shadows of death, despite all of his success, and he's giving it to you in a way that makes it seem so real.

2. "If My Homie Calls" - 2pac, 1991

He's just saying to his boys that he's going to be a friend no matter how big he gets.

3. "Road To The Riches" - Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo, 1989

The way we're rhyming now? He was already doing it then .

4. "A Bird In The Hand" - Ice Cube, 1991

5. "Paid In Full" - Eric B. & Rakim, 1987

6. "I'm Single" - Lil Wayne, 2010

I'm recently divorced, so I feel what he's saying.

7. "Tears of Joy" - Rick Ross, 2010

Ross is at the pulpit here.

8 "The Moment I Feared" - Slick Rick, 1988

It's cinematic. He's at a hip-hop show and ices this girl who played him, then he's in prison getting violated by some dude. This was unheard of.

9. "Empire State of Mind" - Jay-Z, 2009

This song is huge. It sounds like Broadway. It's New York's modern anthem.

10. "Queen Bitch" - Lil' Kim, 1996

At the time, females rappers didn't appeal to the street, but Kim came with the vulgarity, sexuality and gangster shit.

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