By Carter Maness
Nas has always been known for impeccable storytelling, but last night (April 18), the spotlight shifted to the notoriously-private rapper’s own life in a new episode of Vh1’s “Behind the Music.” Beginning with his rough childhood in Queensbridge, Nas reflected on the violent nature of his neighborhood. He relived the traumatic death of his best friend Ill Will, how his brother Jungle survived getting shot twice and how he was able to turn those trying experiences into relatable rap songs rather than fall victim to the drug world.
“You can never forget where you come from, no matter how far you go,” he says. “In the neighborhood where I’m from, people are killed for nothing. You can’t just ignore it. That’s the beauty of rap music, because we’re going to give you the side that no one wants to talk about.”
And talk he did. Nas went through his storied beef history, discussing his tense relationship with Tupac Shakur after both sides believed one another were talking trash. On his legendary spat with Jay-Z, Nas was painted as the defensive winner. The program claimed Hov started the beef and Nas was forced to respond to keep his pride – a claim that is sure to raise some eyebrows amongst hip-hop diehards.
Another controversial segment explored Nas’ marriage to Kelis. Again painted as the victim, the rapper’s manager, Anthony, claimed that Kelis was blowing through Nas’ wealth during the marriage and that she was oddly secretive during the birthing process for their son Knight. Apparently, Nas didn’t know what hospital Knight was being born in and was 10 minutes late because of the lack of communication.
In all, it was one of the more fascinating episodes of “Behind The Music” as the private artist really opened-up and gave new information on subjects that fans have long wondered about. And to think, it almost didn’t happen.
“It was tough,” Nas recently told MTV News. “I didn’t want to do “Behind The Music.” I didn’t. But at some point, if you don’t tell your story, somebody else will. So I gave them a little peek inside. It can’t hurt, just a little peek inside.”