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Nas Quotes on Life, Music, and Justice

If you know me, you know Nas is my favorite rapper. In my opinion, he is the greatest of all times; there’s no debating this with me.

Thanks to my older sister, I first heard Nas on Main Source’s “Live at the Barbeque”.

I became a true fan when “Illmatic” was released.  I remember this day vividly. I was on an eighth-grade field trip.

We stopped at a mall and while others bought Wu-Tang and Outkast tapes, I copped Outkast, Gang Starr, and Nas.

On the bus back home, I popped in “Illmatic” and was mesmerized. I let a few of my classmates listen in and they went berserk.

One of my teachers noticed the commotion and came over. She intended to take my tape due to its parental advisory, but she let me slide because she was amazed with Nas’s lyrics when she heard his rhymes.

Through the years, I have become a bigger fan of Nas’.  He is a favorite because you can see his growth as a person through his music. He isn’t afraid to speak on a variety of subjects and issues, which is great because life is diverse.

Nas’ diversity and life views are the reasons why I relate to him more than any other musician.

Below are some of my most favorite Nas quotes. Some are lyrics from his songs, and others are statements from interviews.

I didn’t want to give my interpretation of these Nas quotes because I feel each one will have different meanings for each person.

Best Nas Quotes on Life and Music

1.“Mistakes make masterful teachers.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Feeling Success

2. “Every great person educates themselves.” – Nas

3. “Mind’s in another world thinking how can we exist through the facts”- Nas

4. “Life Is Good’ represents the most beautiful, dramatic and heavy moments in my life.” – Nas

5. “I think more people want to be rappers than anything else.” – Nas

6. “I promise you, if you have a plan, you can accomplish everything you ever wanted.” – Nas

7. “I want to have fun. It’s a beautiful life. You learn, you win, you lose, but you get up.” – Nas

8. “I want to sound like an instrument. I want my voice and my words to marry the beat.” – Nas

9. “The whole thing is, do as much as you can, when you possibly can, and don’t stress.” – Nas

10. “You have to Keep your vision clear, Cause only a coward lives in fear” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Friends

11. “People fear what they don’t understand, hate what they can’t conquer
Guess it’s just the theory of man” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Hate Me Now

12. “I think it’s harder to make a classic now, not because of what people say, but because artists now are so concerned with what people say.” – Nas

13. “If you scared to take chances, you’ll never have the answers
I could tell the future of a dude by how his stance is” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Trust

14. “No idea’s original, there’s nothin new under the sun
It’s never what you do, but how it’s done
What you base your happiness around material, women, and large paper
That means you inferior, not major” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, No Idea’s Original

15. “Some seek fame cause they need validation
Some say hating is confused admiration” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Stay

16. “Everything will eventually come to an end
So try to savor the moment, cuz time flies don’t it
The beauty of life, you gotta make it last for the better
Cuz nothin’ lasts forever”- Nas, Hip-hop artist, Nothing Lasts Forever

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17. “Life is Parallel to Hell, but I must maintain”- Nas, Hip-hop artist, New York State of Mind

18. “Life is short is what some niggaz said; not if you measure life – by how one lives and what he did.” – Nas

19. “Look way deep inside yourself
Discover the diamond inside, find ya wealth
Once you get it, you gotta live it the limit” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Find Ya Wealth

20. “In the mirror, sittin still in the chair like my conception
When everything around me got cloudy, the chair became a king’s throne
My destiny found me
It was clear why the struggle was so painful
Metamorphosis, this is what I changed to
And God, I’m so thankful” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, You The Man

21. “The reason I want to be alone, is I’m tired of all the things that went wrong that would’ve went right if I had did ’em on my own” – Nas

22. “The China-men built the railroad
The Indians saved the Pilgrim
And in return the Pilgrim killed em
They call it it Thanksgiving, I call your holiday hellday
Cause I’m from poverty, neglected by the wealthy
Me and my niggas share gifts every day like Christmas” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, What Goes Around

Also, check out these Kevin Gates quotes about music and life.

Inspiring Quotes by Nas

23. “I do what I can do when I can do it
Feel how I feel when I feel what I’m feelin
Live how I live it’s only cause I been through it”– Nas, Hip-hop artist, The Flyest

24. “My music is a description of my vibe of course
My life, my sites, my thoughts, what I like on my fork
Cause you are what you eat, you eat what you can
You pray to bless the food but first you wash your hands
to wash away them bad spirits, don’t bring it in your home
Once you let them in they stayin, evil be gone, say it” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, The Flyest

25. “Political thugs in shark suits persuade us to pull triggers
in army boots, yellin “Join the armed forces!”
We lost the Vietnam War, intoxicated poisons
Needles in arms of veterans instead of bigger fortunes
There’s still a lot of brothers callin in the corporate offices
War in the ghetto, we crabs in a barrel, they torture us
They won’t be servin the beast too long
The murderers wearin police uniforms, confederate flags I burn
Beat Street breakers were dancin to the music I chose
And Peachtree Atlantic crackheads was tootin they nose
in frozen corners of Chicago, loaded up Llama’s children
with fo’-fo’s, and double-revolvers
We devil incarnates, headed for jail
Where Shell gas company in South Africa be havin us killed
Your paper money was the death of Christ
And all these shorties comin up just resurrect your life
It’s like a cycle” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Doo Rags

26. “Do your body right and it loves you back
You only get one life, and yo because of that
I’m still blazin, goin out for the cause.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Doo Rags

27. “I fell in love with words and I think that made my mom smile. I think that was cool for her.”- Nas

28. “The money’s ya religion sky the limit live life
Numbers is big business makes the poor live trife
The glimmers of hope provoke those without dollars to dream
Through your existence become wealthy knowledge is king.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Book of Rhymes

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29. “Don’t ever give up on yourself. Keep pushing because the change of guards is what life’s all about. You’ve always got to stick with whatever you’re into because you’re day is going to come. You’re day is destined. If you walk away from that, whether it be from fear or whether you’re just giving up. The greatest sin is fear and giving up.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, AZ Quotes

30. “There was nothing more important to me than having a voice. I wanted to make a big impact on this art form; I wanted to kick everybody out. I wanted to open up a doorway for another generation.” –  Nas, Hip-hop artist, Fader’s “Obey Your Thirst” Interview

31. “There was a side of me that knew I was going to change the game, but I didn’t know how many people would respect it.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Daily Success Life

More Nas Quotes

32. “No one’s promised anything. You could have the biggest record on radio and sell no records.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, quotetab.com

33. “I’m capable of anything; my imagination can give me wings.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Thugz Mansion

34. “Every time I get in the studio, I feel like I wanna have some fun. My fun is not doing the easy work. My fun is doing what’s me.” –  Nas, Hip-hop artist, beyourselfbehappy.com

35. “You’re supposed to be who you are. You’re supposed to make music that is true to you.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, feelingsuccess.com

36. “I think a lot of us know when it’s our time. No matter what profession you’re in, you get a feeling. If you worked on it long enough, you know when it’s ready.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Tavis Smiley Interview

37. “If you’re given an opportunity and you’re lucky enough to have freedom to do what you want to do in your career, why trap yourself, why do something that’s not you.” –  Nas, Hip-hop artist, Fader’s “ObeyYour Thirst” Interview

38. “No temporary chaos is worth your sanity. Just knowing that whatever happens, it happens to the best of them, too.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Origin Magazine

39. “I don’t have any regrets. The things that I have said when I was young and curious about whatever the subject matter was, I respect those – those are growing pains. Even if you make mistakes, I go back to those things, my not-so-great moments because those are my truest moments; those are my human moments. I’m not even mad at the things I said that were a little dicey.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, The Wrap Up blog

40. “Working with great people makes you great; you learn a lot and it also gives you the experience and confidence to move on with your own career.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Ask Men Interview

41. “Reading is everything, and although you already know some things, you need to read to get those things out of you.”- Nas, Hip-hop artist, Ask Men Interview

42. “I’m never gonna die, never heard of death, energy can never be destroyed only the flesh.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Eye 4 an Eye Freestyle

43. “Right, bless the lucky ones, man, that come into this business and can get the business side of it really easily… everyone wants to be a star, wants to do art, express themselves, do their thing and be appreciated. But there’s a business that comes with it. I am sure that most of the people step into it not knowing what the business side involves. There is a low percentage, maybe 2 percent, that knows the business side, and you can be black, white or whatever you are. So, I mean, we all learn from our experiences… some sooner than others.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Ask Men Interview

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44. “You only have one first chance to make one first impression that lasts a lifetime.” – Nas

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45. “Failure is not an option, and I always felt like I’m a man who doesn’t have regrets, and I don’t live with excuses. I can’t take excuses.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Tavis Smiley Interview

46. “Always observe, watch, and talk to older people.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Origin Magazine

47. “Don’t ever give up on yourself. Keep pushing because the change of guards is what life’s all about. You’ve always got to stick with whatever you’re into because you’re day is going to come. You’re day is destined. If you walk away from that, whether it be from fear or whether you’re just giving up. The greatest sin is fear and giving up.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Origin Magazine

48. “All races, we can’t come together as Americans until our lives are threatened as a whole. And then we can always be together. In the middle of that, I noticed that racism in America does not stop. I wish I could ignore racism, but it won’t let me.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, Ask Men Interview

49. “I’m inspired by people like Nelson Mandela. Can you imagine — you know how racist America was back then — imagine how racism was in South Africa when he had to stand up and say what he had to say. That’s bravery beyond comprehension. Then to survive in prison and to come home and be so resilient, he’s a role model in many ways. His eyes tell a story of glory.” – Nas, Hip-hop artist, CNN Interview

50. “My success symbolizes loyalty, great friends
Dedication, hard work, routine builds character
In a world full of snakes, rats and scavengers”

Nas, Hip-hop artist, You Wouldn’t Understand

You might also like these inspirational AZ quotes from his song lyrics.

51. “I know you think my life is good ’cause my diamond piece, But my life been good since I started finding peace.” – Nas

52. “A lot of times it seems like, you ain’t gon’ make it where you wanna be in life. But, yo if you got a plan, believe me you gon’ get there. You gon’ get everything you ever wanted.” – Nas

53. “If you really believe in yourself and your music that much, you’re gonna do your thing, regardless what people say.” – Nas

54. “I talk about life, and I make universal music with an American style – and that’s what I do.” – Nas

55. “The sound of the ’90s, to me, is a combination of soul and street – it’s a feeling.” – Nas

Which of these Nas quotes were you able to relate with?

I hope these Nas quotes have helped you to look at life, music, and our system differently. I hope they inspire you to succeed and make a positive change in the world.

As Nas has shown you, expand your knowledge and interests, and the world will be in your hands.

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  1. Yahya Quaisse

    May 5, 2020 at 11:55 PM

    NAS is special. Great article, bless up.

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