The Grammys Awards selection process is notoriously known for its snubs, which is one of the reasons why Nas remains a classic hip-hop artist without one.
Nas is probably the greatest hip-hop artist of all time and he does not have a single Grammy. Other artists like Lil Wayne, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Kanye West have not been in the rap game as long as Nas or reinvented themselves as much as the Queens mc. Yet, they are on the inside of that Grammys circle while Nas isn’t.
Even Will Smith has a Grammy in the hip hop genre and he is not primarily famous for his music. The Queensbridge spitter has consistently produced classic after classic. While he has been consistent since his debut in ’94, Nas’s efforts have kept him without a Grammy victory.
Nas has made 11 studio albums, which is more than any of the artists mentioned above. Most artists dream of making it to their second album (remember Fetty Wap?). Nas has had an illustrious career, which ranges from a ’91 feature on Main Source’s “Live at the Barbecue” to his latest compilation album, The Lost Tapes 2, released back in July.
Nas has also been able to sell albums which is another knock on the artist of today. Albums have the ability to downloaded illegally on the internet and streaming have seen a significant drop in physical sales. Let’s just face it we are going into a digital era which works in direct contrast to the bottom line of album sales. He has sold 30 million albums, seven of those albums have gone platinum.
In 1994, Nas debuted with his first studio album Illmatic, which is arguably recognized as the greatest album of all time. It is a 10-track masterpiece that Nas has resold a couple of times because of how great it is. Source magazine gave the album five mics when it initially dropped. The last album to receive five mics was My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in 2010.
Artists today have trouble making that classic album that is so groundbreaking that it shakes up the whole world. Nobody’s album even comes close to Illmatic.
One of the things about Nas is that he has a sophisticated demeanor and his songs are bold and thought-provoking. He made headlines when he named is album the N-word and based the album on how we use the word and the history behind the it. That is something artist today would never do.
Songs like “I Gave You Power,” “I Can,” “If I Ruled the World,” “America,” “These Are Our Heroes,” and “Revolutionary Warfare” show the world through the eyes of a black man who almost nobody will be able to capture. Nas is unique in how he speaks to the masses about the plight of the black man.
Nas showed on Illmatic and It Was Written that he is able to appeal to commercial hip-hop audiences and also underground America.
He has been able to make the songs for the world to love and enjoy like “I Can” and “If I Ruled the World” but he can still make songs like “The Set Up” and “Thief’s Theme”, which heavily sold.
Nas has stood through the test of time and career has almost reached its 30th year, which is longer than most artists of today can dream of. He is a straight-up legend that may never win a Grammy and it is a shame because he is the best to ever do it. It’s like Michael Jordan never winning a championship.