Last week, a rapper named Your Old Droog released an eponymous EP that received little-to-no fanfare. However, over the last few days, the Internet has been speculating about the origins of the mysterious MC. At this point, the consensus seems to be that Droog may be the legendary rapper Nas. While some have pointed to evidence in Nas' interviews and song lyrics, others have even adjusted the pitch of one of Droog's songs to discover an uncanny similarity.
While this theory does seem plausible, the reality is that Droog is not Nas. I know this because I have met him.
The first time we met was in 2012. He came to WNYU, New York University's radio station, 89.1 FM, for the Squeeze Radio show. Droog never appeared on air that night, but we talked about the state of hip-hop and some of New York City's emerging artists, including Action Bronson and Joey Bada$$. He mentioned that he rapped, but did not have any music out at the time. We lost touch after this.
In December 2013, my friend DJ Skizz sent me a song called "Rhyme Strange" by Droog, who at the time was going by Invisible Droog. The song has since been deleted of Skizz's SoundCloud page, but I played the song on my show (also on WNYU) the week of its release.
The second time we met was on January 11, 2014. It was at Irving Plaza during the second night of Bronson's Blue Chips 2 concert in New York City. It was a brief encounter, but I made sure to tell him that the new song he dropped was dope. Four days later, he came down to WNYU again, just after my show was finished. He was in the area and stopped by. I asked him about his upcoming plans and he mentioned there was a project on the way.
I am not the only one who has met or seen Your Old Droog before; others have also come out and denied the possibility that this is Nas' secret alter ego. Having said that, this does not mean that we should dismiss Droog. Being compared to Nas is one of the highest marks of praise for any new rapper, and is a sign of a bright future.
Furthermore, this is proof that hip-hop is ready for Nas to return to his Illmatic roots and drop another gem on the masses. Let's get this DJ Premier album started.