With a new album in the works, Nas has plenty to look forward to.
But he spent most of his recent interview with Zane Lowe (transcribed by AllHipHop) discussing the history of hip-hop and how much the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls affected the rap landscape.
"Those two things hit me real hard, because I knew both of them. I knew Biggie more, but what they meant to the art form can never be redone, can never be replaced," Nas said. "And when those two guys passed away I thought [it] was the end of rap."
Nas also talked about the good old days when he and Jay-Z were in full rivalry mode.
"Today's music industry it's really about money now and back then during that period, when you talk about me battling with Jay, it was about something else," Nas said. "It was not just about being the top guy in rap. It felt like we were leaders of nations. Not that we were egotistical as, 'I'm the leader.' No, not in that sense. I mean what you felt surrounding us was - there was an importance in what we were doing that mattered more than just success.
"It was more than just, 'Oh my record's going to sell,' or... Yeah we need the records to sell to make money. That was something we thought about, but put that aside. When Pac made 'Dear Mama,' and these records and then he had to switch up to get in war mode, these were chess moves. This was real... today it's a whole other world. I'll just leave like that."
As previously reported, Nas has also made recent statements about Kendrick Lamar's new album, which will follow the massively-successful Good Kid m.A.A.d City.
"There's no way he can mess it up," he said, "because the love he has from the game is so large that he can almost mumble on the record and it's going to be in rhythm and it's going to be next level...So whatever he does, in my opinion, will be appreciated but at the same time he knows he has to bring it."