For the past week, the best MCs in hip-hop (as well as Riff Raff and Michael Lohan, apparently) have been grubbing around in the aftermath of Kendrick Lamar‘s now epochal, world-beating verse on Big Sean‘s “Control.” The track’s most hot-button lines have Lamar insisting that “I’m the king of New York / King of the coast / One hand I juggle them both.” While some NYC MCs have taken the call to arms seriously (Fabolous), and others have basically told Lamar to watch his back (Jim Jones), Nas — who, along with Jay Z, could legitimately lay claim to the five boroughs’ hip-hop crown — has taken an altogether different approach: stuttering, bewildered confusion.
During a quick interview with Miss Info at the Hennessy launch party for their new OS Gemeos-designed V.S bottle (what?), Nas was asked about Lamar’s boasts, and proceeded to stumble through a pretty opaque response: “Wow. My reaction is wow. I love hip-hop right now. …Certain fans like certain eras of rap, certain fans are not up on certain eras, so they don’t really remember all of them. Yeah, yeah, yeah, KRS-One, MC Shan and all the way to Busy Bee. This is what hip-hop is all about. You gotta ask [Kendrick what he meant].” Miss Info then asked him if he’s offended by the claim, to which he responded, “I’m a listener.”
So…that’s…something. Watch the interview below.
[Jump to 1:54 mark]
Nas looks about as flustered as Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights when Glenn told him he’d drunkenly kissed his wife. And even though this is the man who once said there are more important things to worry about than who wears the NYC crown, you have to assume he’s going to respond in kind sooner or later. As for the rest of us, the resulting fallout from K-Dot’s “Control” verse has been the most interesting thing to happen to hip-hop since Kanye blew everyone’s minds back in June.