In RollingStone's new issue, 50 artists pick their personal Top 10s. From Mick Jagger on the blues to Drake on Jimi Hendrix.
Here is Nas'"Hip-Hop's Best Lyricists:
Bonus: Cee-Lo's 'Best Dirty South Hip-Hop'
1 - "We Want Some Pussy" 2 Live Crew, 1986
I was young and impressionable when this came out, and I just could not believe my ears. I'm just wild and loose, so I can really appreciate artists bringing that type of honesty.
2 - "Space Age Pimpin" 8Ball and MJG, 1995
I call 8Ball and MJG ghetto griots. They came from Memphis and they went on to become the first representatives of real Southern rap. This has a real sexy vibe.
3 - "The Piz" Kilo, 1992
An Atlanta pioneer. This sounds like an old Grover Washington, Jr. jazz track or something. It's really slinky and slow.
4 - "Action" Poison Clan, 1992
They were a Miami act, and they sounded very Southern, but they were also very vocabulous: Their songs were full of analogies and wordplay. This is one of my favorite songs of all time.
5 - "Feel the Bass (Speaker Tearer Upper)" Magic Mike and the Royal Posse, 1989
This is just sheer 808 bass drum – the hardest and deepest bass you've ever heard. That was rock & roll to us: to be aggressive and offensive with the bass. It was a hood way of saying, "Fuck you."
6 - "Watch for the Hook" Cool Breeze feat. OutKast and Goodie Mob, 1998
It has a faster-sounding, East Coast kind of vibe. With this song, we were blurring the definition of what was Southern — impressively, I might add.
7 - "Sho Nuff" Tela, 1996
A strip-joint standard.
8 - "Stay Fly" Three 6 Mafia, 2005
That beat! It's a Willie Hutch sample they turned tribal.
9 - "Cell Therapy" Goodie Mob, 1995
Busta Rhymes was in a studio with us and said, "I want to bless you with some knowledge." He gave us [conspiracy-theorist tome] Behold a Pale Horse. So the lyrics are about New World Order and such
10 - "B.o.B." OutKast, 1999
This was just mega, from the energy to the urgency to the groove. It was like "Planet Rock," but more youthful.