Published Apr 24, 2014Since this year marks the 20th anniversary of his seminal Illmatic album, hip-hop great Nas has spent a great deal of time looking back as of late. That said, he's also looking forward, as a new album is currently in the works.
Though it doesn't yet have a title, Nasir Jones is currently in the studio working on the follow-up to 2012's Life is Good and his 11th studio album overall.
Speaking with NPR, the rap great revealed that he started working on the album with Timbaland in late 2012, but stepped back to focus on other things.
"I started with Tim and it felt really powerful; it felt like it was really powerful," Nas said. "And I stepped back from it. Tim's like, 'What are you doing?' and I'm like, 'I just need a minute to like — I just need a minute to take it all in, just live a little and enjoy day-by-day stuff and daily stuff I'm doing.' It's just — I didn't want to go back in the studio that quick. I felt like I needed to be inspired."
Ultimately, he says he found inspiration through the Illmatic anniversary documentary called Time Is Illmatic. "I wasn't really, really, really inspired, to tell you the truth, until we started to, kind of, embark on this 20th anniversary. It wasn't 'til then that I really started to feel it. Cause I got a chance — and I gotta give credit to the documentary guys. Them showing me the footage and stuff really like — it really lets you know where you come from and everything, and where you at now."
In addition to Timbaland, Nas's upcoming album will include collaborations with Swizz Beatz and No I.D.
You can listen to his full interview with NPR below.