Introduction: New York State of Mind (02:17)
Nasir Jones performs "New York State of Mind"; guests discuss his artistry and the rap as a coming of age song.
In 2002, Harvard University opened the first academic Hip Hop archive; in 2013, a research fellowship was established, named after Nasir Jones. He established rap as an art form; Elisa New and guests discuss his precise composition of street language and rhyme schemes.
Metaphor and Meaning (03:05)
Rob Markman explains the rise of Hip Hop as expression for inner city youth; Nas describes Tilo Rock's influence on his word choices. New and guests discuss the connotations of "peephole," and references to Queensbridge conditions and Rikers Island in "New York State of Mind."
Power of Poetry (02:33)
The movie, "Scarface," was influential among rappers; Nas compares the main character's M16 to his pen; the reference announces his arrival on the music scene, detracting from rivals. Hip Hop is competitive; Young Nik explains that ego is self-sustained in the culture.
Queensbridge Childhood (02:50)
Nas describes living in the projects of New York; Salamishah Tillet and Steve Stoute discuss the significance of the Ilmatic album cover. Ben Horowitz describes the allegorical connection the rap has to Billy Joel's song.
Story Telling (04:37)
"New York State of Mind" is compared to a movie script; Stoute examines lyrics inspiring visualization of a specific experience. Nas and Horowitz address the use of children in the song for self- reflection, and how they are impacted by ghetto violence and drug addiction.
Cousin of Death (04:13)
Tillet discusses the criminality described in "New York State of Mind" and poses questions regarding the real criminals of the projects. Stoute and Young Nik explain the impact and meaning of the lyrics regarding sleep. Horowitz asserts that Nas is an artist due to intelligence, talent and circumstances.
Credits: New York State of Mind (00:40)
Credits: New York State of Mind
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