Travis Scott sat down with Nas for the latest issue of Playboy. During their hour-long conversation, the Astroworld MC and rap legend discussed the power of the internet and how it has impacted their careers and the way they release music.
“You can reach the world now,” said Scott, while Nas added, “Because of the internet. We can go do a song right now and put it up. We don’t have to ask nobody. The record industry actually follows what we do, especially once you make your name in the game.”
During the retro shoot, which took place at a midcentury mansion in the Hollywood Hills, Nas spoke about changing with the times. “I can stay me, sure, but the challenge is to stay with what’s going on,” he said. “If you look at the great ones from back then, a lot of them have four albums; they had short careers. That’s changed now. All the restrictions are gone. You can be free to make your music.”
Travis shared his admiration for Nas. “I got a whole other line of respect for how you came into the game,” he said, while also citing James Blake, Björk, and Kid Cudi as inspirations. “One of my idols is Kid Cudi and the way he tells his stories about how he felt as a kid growing up, like where he’s from. I related to that. I adopted my own form of storytelling–whether it’s through melodies or through raps or both.”
Later in the conversation, Nas applauded Travis for not abiding by the old rules, shying away from red carpets and covering his face in photos. “I live vicariously through you when you do that, bro, because I feel you on that,” he said. “You here to do the music and leave your stain on this world. Whether you be in front of them cameras or not, you don’t even care.”
Travis explained that he doesn’t feel “compelled to speak on political issues,” to which Nas agreed. “One thing we can’t allow politics to do is take over our mind and make us fall into their game,” he said. “What’s going on in the news could consume our lives. If that happens, life doesn’t go on. We need to continue going on.”
In parting, Nas offered his younger peer some words of encouragement. “The hip-hop game is about staying and sustaining and keeping it going. You’re a great rapper, but they can’t just put you in a rapper box, because your music is going in so many different directions. You’re a rock star, and it always was like that.”