Nas just can’t catch a break lately. Over the weekend, his Los Angeles home was burglarized while he was celebrating the release of his new album, King’s Disease III. Now, he’s getting hit with stray shots from 21 Savage.
On Monday, while the Her Loss rapper was in a Clubhouse room titled, “Is Nas the Greatest Rapper or What?” The Atlanta-based artist stated that the legendary MC is not nearly at the level he was when he was in his “prime.” But, did mention that he has been able to sustain a loyal and expansive fanbase.
During the debate, 21 said, “What y’all saying, relevant though? I don’t feel like he’s relevant. I just feel like he got fans.”
After others in the debate pushed back against 21’s claims, he doubled down on his previous statement saying, “He’s not relevant, he just has a loyal ass fan base. He just has a loyal fan base and he still make good-ass music.”
To no surprise, Black Twitter went in on him and caused the UK-born rapper to walk back his comments on the Illmatic artist.
In a tweet, he wrote, “I would never disrespect nas or any legend who paved the way for me y’all be tryna take stuff and run with it.”
While I understand 21 Savage’s original point, I agree and disagree with him to a point. On one side, I think that Nas is clearly relevant in the hip-hop world. As Hip Hop By The Numbers commented on 21’s tweet, Nas is the second solo rapper to have an album to go No. 1 in four separate decades (the 90s, 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s). He is also one of just three rappers to have a top-five album in four separate decades. Just last year, King’s Disease won the award for Rap Album of the Year at the Grammys, giving Nas his first Grammy ever.
So on one end, no he’s not irrelevant. On the other hand, he’s not nearly as “relevant” or “hot” as other rappers now who are much younger and have much less sustained success. Is he as popular as Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert or these other young cats in the game? No. Is he doing Her Loss numbers and dropping the highest-selling hip-hop debut of the year? No. But that doesn’t mean he’s irrelevant.
While I understand where 21 is coming from, he should’ve just kept quiet on this subject, because he knows damn well Twitter would overreact to his comments. I don’t think he had any ill will or hate toward the legendary New York rapper.