He's 'Stillmatic': 5 Reasons Why Nas Is Relevant in 2017

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Nas performs at MusicFestNW presents Project Pabst at Tom McCall Waterfront Park on Aug. 27, 2017 in Portland. 

Last week, Lonzo Ball was obliterated on social media for his controversial comments regarding Nas. During an outtake from his Facebook reality series, Ball in the Family, Ball skewered the "One Mic" MC by saying he isn't "real hip-hop" and that Migos and Future currently hold the crown as the genre's elite stars. 

That wasn't the first time that Ball went out of bounds when speaking on hip-hop veterans. In July, he set Twitter ablaze when he denounced JAY-Z's 4:44 album and said that 21 Savage's Issa was a better project. Despite clarifying his comments to Billboard in an interview last August, Ball's naivete is souring his welcome in hip-hop. 

Though having not releasing a full-fledged album since his 2012 project Life is Good, Nas' resume remains unblemished. With an album slated for a 2017 release, Nas' lyrical dagger is sharper than ever, as he's proven through his bevy of features. 

Take a look below and see why Nas' run in 2017 isn't anything to snooze at. 

Nas Shines On Ross' "Powers to Be"

Every time Rick Ross and Nas link up, the Queens MC has an extra pep in his step, as shown in their 2017 collaboration "Powers That Be." After Ross pummels the Sap-produced beat with fury, Nas stymies his detractors with a blistering verse. "Tell the waiter bring over that Moscow Mule/Tell them haters get over it, Nas still rules/To money makers and n---as who murk you out/And beat the death penalty on reversal trial, n----as versatile," raps Nas. For the lyrical tandem, "Powers That Be" serve as their fourth collaboration, after "One of Us," "Triple Beam Dreams" and "Usual Suspects." 

Nas Gives DJ Khaled Another Great Performance With "It's Secured" 

After his sparkling display on DJ Khaled's "Nas Album Done" in 2016, Nas partnered up with the Grateful DJ for another ride. This time, Khaled called on Travis Scott to assist them on their 2017 track "It's Secured." Continuing where they left off, Nas allows the burgeoning star to craft fiery hook. After Scott douses the track with his signature ad-libs, Nas whisks two poignant verses to bring the track to life. "I pray the Lord stop a opp before I go backwards/Resort to violent reactions/That's childish, my life's a dream to rappers/Afraid they moments have past 'em," he spits on the track. 

Nas Announces Tour With Lauryn Hill

Last May, hip-hop went into a frenzy when news surfaced that Nas and Lauryn Hill would join forces for an upcoming tour this September. After the two celebrated the Fugees frontwoman's birthday together earlier in the month, news broke that they would engage in a month-long trek with comedian Hannibal Burress and reggae star, Chronixx, joining them on select stops. 

 

"Angel Dust" and "Systematic" Keep Nas Fans From Starving

Aside from providing verses to his contemporaries, Nas kept busy with solo cuts of his own. Even though, he hasn't released his long-awaited album just yet, he has kept his fans fed with several tracks. First, he joined DJ Shadow for the dark and gothic track "Systematic." The song finds Nas in his old-school element, spewing lines like, "I wish I was a arms dealer, sell illegal arms in the hood/No backup check, put cash in my palms and we good/Lack of respect, get you to fall where you stood /Mathematics is God’s language, it’s in my blood." 

For his second freebie, Nas liberated his track "Angel Dust", which resides on The Get Down soundtrack. On "Angel Dust," Nas explores the dangers of drug abuse and the negative effects that coincide with it. “We cut our losses, I had choices/I took a pen, became a voice for the voiceless/My people walking in a zombie state/Life is short, even mine’s at stake,” he spits. 

BET Gives Nas' Street Dreams TV Pilot the Greenlight 

It's hard to discredit a man when a network offers to orchestrate a TV-series based on his life. That was the case for Nas. Earlier this year, a report from Deadline stated that BET gave its blessing to capture the life of Nas in a bio-series pilot titled, Street Dreams. The report also stated that Nas would serve as a producer for the show. In a since-deleted Instagram post, Nas expressed his excitement in finally being able to get everything off the ground regarding his forthcoming show.  

"I am so humbled by the opportunity BET has given me to share my story with the world," Nas shared the deleted Instagram post. "The early ‘90s in Queens, New York: It was the best of times, the worst of times and the realest of times for me and my peoples."