Nasir Jones is loving life at 40.
Nas turned 40 yesterday, and HOT97’s Miss Info had the opportunity to interview him at his Hennessy-sponsored birthday celebration (he recently started a business relationship with the company). The veteran emcee seemed both happy and unfazed by the milestone.
“I just take it all in stride,” he said. “It really feels like – man, I always grew up around older people. I always talked to older people. So, some of my friends turned 40 a couple of years ago, so they mess with me like I don’t know what it’s like. Now, it’s one of the best feelings I ever had. I’m just blessed. It’s a miracle.”
When asked if aging has affected his artistry, he didn’t seem to think so. “No, I wouldn’t say I’m more thoughtful… I think I was thoughtful back then when I was younger. The speed changes, when it comes to trying to get on and then once you’re on you have to adjust your life with it… When you adjust your life it means you got new things in your life happening. You move, you become a businessman, a father. That matters. That weighs in.”
As for his lyricism, he considers himself “more relaxed” but just as skillful. “As far as intensity of rhyme,” he said, “when you’re young and on fire, there’s nothing like that feeling. So, where I’m at now is just a more relaxed place, but you know, I think it’s still in me when I need to get crazy. I know it’s still here.”
The pioneering Queensbridge emcee is currently working on his twelfth studio album. When asked about it, he didn’t reveal much. “I was ready at one point to announce the title, but too much was happening and I couldn’t… my bad about that. I’m not saying nothing. It’s just gonna drop.”
Nas made his recording debut on Main Source’s “Live At The Barbeque” in 1991. He released his definitive debut album Illmatic in 1994, at age 20.