Controversial hip-hop artist Nas is a busy man these days. His latest album, Untitled, hit shelves last week after a media frenzy over its proposed title generated quite a bit of HYPE.
Videos by American Songwriter
The partially undesired buzz surrounding the album seems to have paid off, however, as Nas has successfully unseated Lil Wayne from his reign of the Billboard 200, selling an impressive 186,600 units its first week. Untitled marked Nas’ fourth No. 1 debut.
Perhaps more important to Nas, however, is his involvement in making a difference politically. The hip-hop artist, often described as a poet by critics, has always been vocal socially, which can be seen on Untitled on tracks such as “Sly Fox” and “N.I.G.G.E.R. (The Slave and the Master).”
Despite his unyielding and bold protest songs, Nas has shown his greatest political passion recently in his work for the campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama. He is currently working with MoveOn.org and ColorOfChange.org in a massive protest against Fox News, known for its signature conservative slant, for what the groups call a “biased” portrayal of Obama’s recent visit to the Middle East and the alleged racism exercised by the station’s anchors.
The protest garnered impressive support, collecting over 600,000 petitions that were dropped off on Fox’s doorstep two days ago during a good, old-fashioned protest outside the network’s headquarters in New York City. The organizations, inspired by “Sly Fox,” hoped that the hip hop artist would aid in attaining such results, and Nas couldn’t have been happier to help the cause.
He summed it up simply, saying “The organization saw me as someone who could be a part of it, and they reached out. I was like, ‘Hell yeah, I’m a part of it!’ This is a network that’s been going after rappers … yet Bill O’Reilly uses the phrase ‘lynching party’ for a woman. That’s the worst term I’ve ever heard to disrespect a woman, and he says it on television. And he doesn’t like rappers? Wow.”
Nas didn’t stop with the protest, ending his day with an interview and performance on The Colbert Report.