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MasterClass, a platform that offers online classes for students of all skill levels, boasts that their instructors are “the best in the world.” And that’s why it made perfect sense for them to link with Nas, one of the greatest rappers ever, and have him teach a class on hip-hop storytelling that will drop on Oct. 14.
Today’s news comes with a new Hit-Boy=produced single called “Big Nas” (Original Song from MasterClass)” as well as a Ben Dean-directed music video for the track. Next week Nas will take MasterClass enrollees through the conception of the song via 12 video lessons, including “Writing an Original Rap Song” and “Recording an Original Rap Song.” He tells Complex that he broke the lessons down “how I would like to receive it from an artist,” and divulges that “each piece gives you more of my life.”
“Nas shares his philosophy as a lyricist, breaking down how he used his life experiences and emotions to create incredibly raw yet cinematic lyrics with a message to inspire MasterClass members to do the same,” a press release states.
Even people who aren’t looking to learn to rhyme might be intrigued to experience the creative process of an all-time great. At 17, Nas was a phenom who is credited with elevating the craft of MCing in the early ‘90s. And at 48, he’s a rap vet showing the 40+ crowd how to age gracefully in the rap game. No one else has that range of experience, which makes this MasterClass more than just a series of lessons. It’s a historical document.
Complex spoke with Nas and Hit-Boy about MasterClass, their chemistry that’s shined on King’s Disease albums, and some of their 2021 highlights. The interview, lightly edited and condensed for clarity, is below.