Thursday, May 18, 2006

Nas & Rakim Reminisce on Style

Hat tip to Eskay at NahRight for highlighting an MTV interview with Nas and Rakim. All six parts are up at, which, all in all, is a very sweet exchange to witness. You can see that Nas, as cool of a cat as he may be, still feels sort of awed to be in Rakim's presence, and it's great to see how genuinely touched Ra was by Nas's tribute song.

In this post, I chose to focus in on part three, in which the two legendary rappers talk about what influenced their style. I transcribed the highlights and also grabbed some screen shots.

Here's how the two respond when the interviewer asks them about their respective styles:

Question: Who influenced you style-wise?

Mostly the streets influenced me heavy as far as what I rhyme about and what I wore. I had some real people around me. My man Rap, we used to go to Brooklyn and get the Fila suits--the two-tone joints back in the day. And Rap used to come through with the diamonds this big and he took me took the Diamond District and after that it was a wrap. Just being around real people, good people and having down people around you. And like I said the streets influenced me heavy.

Question: What was your favorite piece?

The Benz piece with the diamonds in it. I actually told him to make it heavy enough so I can take it off and beat somebody's brains out with it. Jakob made that up for me in '87.

Nas responds to the same question:

Again the streets, just seeing all the dudes who were pioneers. And of course Rakim with the crazy chain. He had the Benz piece and you know he had the Benz to go with it and that was just the best thing in the world. And by the time I was able to afford a rope, they wasn't even in no more. But definitely the Rakim album. We just stared at the Rakim album. The jewelry, the rings, the bracelets, the watches, the Fila suits, all that

^^Rakim's red fitted...

^^...coordinates perfectly with his Nike Dunks

^^Chuckling over memories of "the Benz piece."

^^Rakim's classic beautiful profile.

^^While Nas chats, Rakims takes a moment to reminisce on back in the day.

^^"We used to stare at the Rakim album."

I know Nas is fine, but someone please tell me that Rakim is living a nice, comfortable life cause it kills me when I hear about legends who helped to create something having to struggle. And it happens way too often, too.

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