Nas performs in Times Square, Confirms New Album is On The Way
On July 26 at PlayStation Theater in Times Square, a group of lucky fans saw Queensbridge legend Nas, the first artist in the series, perform tracks off his Kanye West-produced album Nasir, as well as classics from his two-decade career.
The 44-year-old rapper has expanded his brand to label executive and restaurateur, co-owning Mass Appeal, the New York-based media and entertainment company, and Sweet Chick, which specializes in Southern comfort food, while continuing to seek new opportunities for investment. But when he flips the switch back to music artist, his true passion shines through, as he delivers his songs as a seasoned MC who can still create incredible live moments.
After a warm-up set by Power 105.1’s DJ Whutever, Angie Martinez came out to introduce Nas, calling him one of the “illest of all-time in the game.” Nas, wearing a Michael Jordan Tune Squad jersey from Space Jam, took the stage at 9 p.m., backed by Eddie Cole on the drums and DJ Green Lantern behind the wheels. He opened with “Adam and Eve” off Nasir and ripped through “Not For Radio,” which had the majority of the crowd singing its chorus by G.O.O.D. Music’s latest breakout artist 070 Shake. Even Nas knew that his fans wanted to hear his older material, however, and he took them back to Illmatic with “The World Is Yours” and “N.Y. State of Mind.” And of course, the crowd knew every word.
As one does when they have a catalogue such as Nas’, the MC didn’t sit on one song for too long. For old school fans he performed “The Message,” which sparked a run through tracks from his 1996 sophomore LP It Was Written that included “Street Dreams” and “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That).” With some help from Cole, he changed the mood of his set to “super classical” by playing some Frank Sinatra as a lead-in to “Bonjour.”
Before the evening ended, Nas left his fans with some exciting news: a follow-up to Nasir is coming soon.
“It’s another album that I already had been working on before [the one with] Kanye,” he told Martinez. “Since I did this, I gotta do something that goes into another direction a little bit. I’m finishing up the next one.”
Nas confirms he’s done work with Swizz Beatz and RZA (“I’m a big Wu-Tang fan”). He also acknowledged the six-year gap between 2012’s Life Is Good and this summer’s Nasir, promising the wait for his next album won’t be as long. “All the time that went by, it’s dope because now I get to do it from another level,” he said. “I get to make music from an older point of view.”
Credits: www.billboard.com (edited)