"Parallel to Hell"

The life and style of Queensbridge, New York, "street journalist" Nas: in his own rhymes

NT: So how do you relax?
Nas: When I'm chillin', I grab the Buddha and watch a flick . . . illin', and root for the villain. Plus, every morning I go out (I love it still kinda chilly) and send Shorty from my block to the store for Phillies. After being blessed by the herb's essence, I'm back to my rest--10 minutes, some odd seconds. That's where I got the honey at (she spent the night for sexin). I keep lubrication, lifestyle protection. I try to stay mellow, and rock a cappella rhymes that make me richer than a slipper made Cinderella, fella. You see, I'm out for presidents to represent me.

NT: Say what?
Nas: I'm out for dead presidents to represent me. I'm an addict for sneakers, twenties of Buddha and bitches with beepers. And when I dress, it's never nothin' less than Guess?. Innocent until proven guilty, I'm gonna try to get filthy, purchase a club and start up a realty. Fresh face and NY plates, I want an Armor-All Benz and endless papes.

NT: What's your writing process like?
Nas: Poetry's a part of me. But sometimes I sit back with a Buddha sack, my mind in another place, thinkin' how can we exist through the facts written in school textbooks, Bibles, etc.? Fuck the school lecture. History's told foul, but I'm as wise as the old owl plus the golden child. The lies get me vexed, so I be ghost from my projects. I take my pen and pad for a weekend, hit nails while I'm sleepin'. A two-day state. You may say I need time alone to relax my dome, no phone, leave the nine at home.

Nas is scheduled to perform on Sunday, January 19, at Electric Ballroom in Tempe, with Know Qwestion, Negro League, and Underground Empire. Showtime is 8 p.m. (all ages).

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