Nas on the National Symphony Orchestra and the Kennedy Center

Nas on the National Symphony Orchestra and the Kennedy Center


[Instrumental Music] NAS: It’s crazy you know, I wrote this in the projects in New York City. And here we are in the capitol, you know, of America, Washington D.C.. And you know, a bunch of white people with strings and all of that. Playing, playing this album and they feeling it. [Laughs] STEVEN REINEKE: When the idea came about of collaborating with Nas and the National Symphony Orchestra of course it was something I thought was very, very exciting, but at the same time a little
daunting. Because this was the first time me, as a classical orchestra conductor,
was going to branch out into the the realm of doing, you know, hip-hop music
and rap music and the idea of finally tackling this genre was something I was
really looking forward to doing. NAS (rapping): I know I can be what I want to be. I think I’m gonna do the chorus first. If I work hard at it, I’ll be where I want to be. Yeah. I know I can be what I want to be. If I work hard at it, I’ll be where I want to be. NAS: Oh, man I hope the audience look at me like “yo, look at this kid from the hood, on the stage where he belongs” because there are lots of great artists and writers and vocalists and whoever pianists and musicians that never make it to a stage like this. So when you see one of
them that do, you know you gotta say you know this guy’s doing it for everybody
who didn’t make it there. [Instrumental music]

13 thoughts on “Nas on the National Symphony Orchestra and the Kennedy Center

  1. I love music!! I used to attend operas, musicals, concerts, and anything that had something to do with music when I was younger. I've listened to hip hop as well as Nas. And I must say that this classical version is my favorite by far. I LOVE IT!!!! Great job!!

  2. I've always been out & proud about my musical tastes & was bullied 4 it. We're getting more enlightened that music isn't about genre at all.?

  3. I love hip hop and always have but over the last decade+ I've become disillusioned like so many others with the direction the art form has been going in. I think alot of the big rap icons took too long time to grow up. I would love the new cats coming in the game to look at a concert like this with the live band, conductor and DJ on the one and twos and be inspired by the possibilities at hand if they just take time to think. I would also ask our legends to stop co-signing the trash that is suffocating the essence out of the culture. Stand up against the machine that is churning out brain numbing and commercialised garbage and resurrect the art form to where it should be. Save the music. Good looking out Nasir!

  4. Thanks for keeping it real Nas. Your album Illmatic changed my life. I am from L.A. and was so disenfranchised with rap at the time with rappers reveling in misogyny and street life that I had escaped. D.J. Quick was the last straw and I turned to Reggae then Classical as a means to relax and control my spirit during graduate school a Howard University in 1994, where I left a very violent city for the Murder Capital in the District of Columbia. Your album helped me to not be ashamed of my violent upbringing but helped me to process it and use the energy and street knowledge in another walk of life. BTW, we as a people don't need the approval of Western Society and Classical music to qualify us or our music. They have acknowledged that Rap is the next Jazz and has now been recognized, like Jazz, as the only home grown music from the USA that has permeated every corner of the earth! Like Jazz, Big Band, Blues, and Rock and Roll, it is being stolen and repackaged. Could this have happened years ago with "Classical" music? Please read the bio. of the Virtuoso Violinist/Composer/Champion Fencer Joseph Boulogne, The Chevalier of St. George. Although 11 years his senior, Saint Georges is considered the Black Mozart. It has also been shown that while Saint George was in good graces with the Court of Versailles, Mozart was envious of him and even stole and reproduced his music. Saint George died in obscurity and most of his music was conveniently "lost". This along with learning that the violin has its origins in Africa originally as the Fiddle, as turned me off to Classical Music and Classical ideology as a whole!

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