Friday, May 14, 2021

Nas Pens Essay on Living in ‘Trump Era’: ‘We All Know a Racist Is In Office’

Nas at the Rolling Stone Live: Houston presented by Budweiser and Mercedes-Benz on February 4, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Produced in partnership with Talent Resources Sports.
Nas at the Rolling Stone Live: Houston presented by Budweiser and Mercedes-Benz on February 4, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Produced in partnership with Talent Resources Sports.

*Nas is venting about the state of our country in a 1000-word essay posted Tuesday (May 30) on Mass Appeal.

Titled “Action Speaks Louder Than Words,” the Queens emcee, who does not vote, warns that there is “no time for lippin’ in the so-called ‘Trump Era.”

“The only way the black man gets a little piece in America is if he takes the O.J. stance: ‘I’m not black, I’m O.J,'” begins Nas. “When you ignore the s–t that’s happening to people you can live in this fantasy, this American fantasy that you belong to… who? You ignore what’s happening, and that gives you peace. Because what’s going on is enough to make people insane.”

But in the next two paragraphs, Nas expresses indifference about politics and his continued belief that voting is an exercise in futility.

“I don’t pay attention to politics at the moment. For what? There’s no reason,” he says. “For me, it doesn’t make any sense. We all know a racist is in office. People can talk their s**t. Comedians can sound racist. People can go through their moments of that s**t, but when you have the responsibility of being President and you carry on like that, you send a strong message to people outside of your group that they ain’t worth s**t.

“So why would I focus on that unless I’m in the political game? Unless I’m running for office I don’t have to pay attention to know that. If I ever vote again—when it’s time to vote again, and I feel like voting again—I don’t have to follow the news to know who I’m voting against. But then you wind up saying “Who’s the next mother**ker coming in, and how does that help?”

In lieu of making his voice heard at the ballot box, Nas prefers to just make his voice heard. Literally. “My way of addressing these issues is through my work. Whatever president may be in office doesn’t affect my work directly,” he says. “The way he affects people is what affects me. I observe what’s going on and that goes into my creative process. The person himself, I’m not caught up with. I don’t even have time for Trump or Pence. I don’t give a f**k.

“My focus is on what’s happening with real people in their everyday lives,” he continues. “How they behave, the decisions they make, and how that affects families. I grew up in a single-parent household, so I was affected by that life. But it didn’t stop me. So I speak to the everyday people. I speak to everybody. If the people are bothered by it, I speak on it. If the people are bothered and want change, I speak on that.”

Read the full essay here.

As previously reported, Nas is close to completing his new album and will hit the road with Lauryn Hill, comedian Hannibal Buress and reggae star Chronixx for a North American tour that begins Sept. 7 in Chicago.

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