Much is made of a rift between new school rappers and the legends that came before them, and with his 2006 album Hip-Hop is Dead, Nas did quite a bit to perpetuate that inter-generational beef. 10 years later, the Queens legend is backing off that idea, and he’s even taken the time to list his five favorite rappers of today. You can hear who the “Hero” rapper’s favorite rappers are in the video up top.

In the sit down interview with Revolt TV’s Andre Harrell, Nas lists J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Drake and Rick Ross as his favorite new school rappers. Nas’ lists isn’t all that surprising, considering those are pretty much the names that have defined the rap game for at least the last half-decade. His listing of such rappers is a step toward correcting a mistake he says he made with Hip-Hop is Dead, an album he says “missed the mark.” 

“I felt like it would be dope if I could say something like ‘Hip-Hop is Dead’ that would make some of the young guys realize that not only can you follow what’s happening today, but you can go back into the history,” the Illmatic artist says in an interview with Mass Appeal. “I was just trying to open up the art form. In retrospect, I missed the mark by miles. I didn’t want to pick people apart, I felt like it was for a younger artist to do.”

Whatever Nas has said in the past, it’s clear he’s got a ton of respect for at least a few new school rappers, and we hope they show him the reverence he deserves as one of rap’s biggest legends.

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