Amidst the year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of rap music in 2023, the industry has been ablaze with excitement and nostalgia. Countless award shows have been graced by the presence of rap legends, their performances igniting the stage with the timeless beats and poetic rhymes that have shaped the genre over the years.
One such spectacular duo that has been captivating audiences all year long is the legendary Nas, who has been on tour alongside the iconic Wu-Tang Clan, a combination that has left fans in awe of their musical prowess and unmatched stage presence.
As part of the grand commemoration of rap's milestone, Nas embarked on a remarkable collaboration with Mass Appeal, a project that aimed to pay homage to the essence of rap culture and its pioneers.
This ambitious undertaking encompassed everything from captivating EPs that took listeners on a lyrical journey through the history of rap, to electrifying live performances that breathed new life into classic tracks, and even an awe-inspiring exhibition that showcased the evolution of rap through the ages.
Throughout this grand venture, numerous rap legends from different eras joyfully participated, adding their own unique touch to the celebration.
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However, amid all the cheers and excitement surrounding this momentous occasion, there was one notable absence that left some fans and fellow artists puzzled. MC Shan, a respected figure in the rap world, found himself excluded from the commemorative events.
And understandably, he couldn't contain his disappointment. In an emotional and fiery Instagram post, MC Shan vented his frustrations towards Nas, expressing how hurt he was by the omission. He felt that if Nas was truly commemorating the 50th anniversary of rap music, he should have reached out to him, acknowledging his contributions to the genre and including him in the festivities.
“I’m sitting here hearing that Nas is doing these muthaf*ckin’ 50th anniversary shows, right? Nas, if you doing 50th anniversary shows and you ain’t holla at ya mans, let me tell you something, my n*gga, don’t never mention my muthaf*ckin’ name again. Don’t put my name in ya mouth about nothing, n*gga,” he says in the scathing video. Shan pointed out what he sees as hypocrisy by people reaching out to praise him, but not following it up. “But I’m looking at it like this, n*gga: if you gettin’ n*ggas money on the 50th of Hip Hop, and you glorify me and say, ‘Yo, Shan this,’ and you ain’t call me and say, ‘Yo, Shan, I see what you doing, n*gga.’ “I done did a show with you muthaf*cka, but if you ain’t call me and that whole roster is full, n-gga, don’t never mention my mothaf*ckin’ name.”
The video went viral, sparking discussions among fans and fellow artists about the importance of recognizing and respecting the pioneers who paved the way for rap's success.
Meanwhile, amidst all the buzz surrounding the commemoration, Nas released his highly anticipated album, "Magic 2," which instantly captured the attention of fans and critics alike. The album proved to be a masterful work of art, showcasing Nas's lyrical prowess and storytelling abilities that have cemented his place as one of the greatest rappers of all time.
Critics showered the album with accolades, praising the way Nas effortlessly merged thought-provoking lyrics with captivating beats, proving that even after five decades, his talent remained as potent as ever.
But the admiration for "Magic 2" extended far beyond the realm of music. Even the basketball world couldn't resist showing their appreciation for Nas's latest masterpiece. Two of the sport's biggest superstars, whose legacies were as iconic as the music they were celebrating, took to social media to shower praise on the album. It was a heartwarming moment to witness, as the worlds of sports and music collided, and legends from different fields recognized and celebrated each other's greatness.
As the 50th-anniversary celebrations continued to unfold, the world was reminded of rap's incredible journey. From its humble beginnings in the streets of New York to becoming a global phenomenon, rap music had transcended barriers and united people through its powerful messages and soul-stirring rhythms.
The commemoration was not just a celebration of a genre but a testament to the indomitable spirit of its artists and the impact they had on shaping culture and inspiring generations.