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Exclusive Video: Nas Shares His Passion For Hip-Hop Cassettes

Rapper recalls the importance of tapes in '80s hip-hop culture

January 18, 2011 9:00 AM ET

In this short film produced for TDK Life on Record's Chronicles series, Nas discusses his passion for cassettes. The rapper reminisces about his long-gone tape collection, explains the importance of cassettes in early hip-hop culture and recalls the art of recording songs off the radio. His deep love of the medium and the music comes through in every moment, most especially when he talks about the '80s rap legends who inspired him to become one of the most acclaimed emcees of the '90s.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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