TIME Music

Nas: ‘It’s Not Cool For the U.S. to Look Like Apartheid South Africa’

The rapper says Americans—both black and white—need to know their history

Queensbridge rapper Nas celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of his first album Illmatic this year. The debut is considered one of hip-hop’s most defining works; a quintessential piece of hip-hop history.

To commemorate the milestone, two independent filmmakers produced the documentary Nas: Time is Illmatic, a feature that highlights the gritty New York City environment within which the album was birthed.

In an interview with TIME, Nas explains why he feels it’s important to encourage black youth and ensure Americans—both black and white—know their history.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Readers,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team