The Ed Show exclusive: Nas talks politics, racism and new album

Updated
By Quinn Wonderling

In an exclusive interview with The Ed Show’s Michael Eric Dyson on Friday, legendary rapper Nas discussed the state of hip-hop, Occupy Wall Street, racism and his thoughts on the President’s job performance. His recently released 10th album, “Life is Good,” topped the Billboard’s 200 chart. It’s his sixth No. 1 album.

Dyson asked Nas how he thinks Obama has done so far. 

“I think he’s still that guy who cares about this country. And cares about the people in this country,” he said. “He just stepped up into the biggest job in this country…he has a big job. I salute him for taking that job, but now he’s gotta handle it.”

“So far, I’m still at the edge of my seat waiting. And it’s coming to that moment where there’s another election coming up and I’m still waiting to see what happens and how he handles his handle. That’s basically where I’m at,” he said. “Of course, we’re still in a messed up place economically. That’s not his fault, can’t blame that on him, but something needs to happen.”

Nas is no stranger to the world of political punditry. In a now-famous feud with Bill O’Reilly after the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007, O’Reilly called him a “gangster rapper who trades in violence.” 

Nas responded, “He’s a racist. Everybody has a marketing plan; his marketing plan is racism…the people he represents are Republican, older, a generation that has nothing to do with the reality of what’s happening now with my generation.”

After Hurricane Katrina, Nas joined forces with Colorofchange.org and brought a petition against Fox News protesting the network’s allegedly racist portrayal of the Obama family.

Dyson asked the rapper if he’s seen any positive change since then. Nas said there’s still a lot of arrogance and ignorance, still a great need for change – but he’ll be on the front lines and ready to help:

“It was a great thing to see Barack Obama come into office when he did come into office, and before he got there just all the hate, I couldn’t take it. I mean, I’d do it again. The minute I see too much ignorance coming out of these people, these ignorant people, I’m stepping up again. I have a voice, and I’ma be heard.”

Bill O'Reilly, Occupy and Barack Obama

The Ed Show exclusive: Nas talks politics, racism and new album

Updated