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Nas: "I'm Not Going To Save All People With an Album"

August 5, 2008 3:28 PM ET

Nas' chart-topping album Untitled contains some of his strongest most intense work in years. Ironically, the rapper says he made most of it in a fairly casual manner. "I'm a perfectionist, but I wing it at the same time," he told Rolling Stone's Evan Serpick. "Some people would piss me off with ignorant statements, and I guess I paid attention to a statement or two that I shouldn't have. It made me think too hard on this shit, and I didn't want to make that kind of record. So I waited until I could record when I was not thinking. I didn't want the record to sound like I thought too hard. So every time I was thinking too hard on it, I'd just go home." The man born Nasir Jones also told RS that he hopes that despite his success as a recording artist, his goals remain modest. "A lot of times parents are just trying to live day by day, and sometimes those kids come out of that household with the extra drive to be better than what their parents are. And in a lot of cases they don't see the need to work hard at all. But it's all good that there's that balance. I'm not even gonna act like I can save all black people, all white people, all poor people with an album, with a movie, with a book. But if I can contribute to helping one person out through my experiences then that's everything to me."

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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