When you’ve been around long enough, you start to see the cycle of life for what it is. You stop worrying that “hip-hop is dead” because you realize that all things go through highs and lows. Of course, when Nas first coined that phrase for the title of his 2006 album, he was still in the process of learning this. He was still mature enough, though, to be able to handle the incendiary reactions to it with grace — which, in turn, helped the generation who felt more incensed by it to handle their own volatile situations in the future.
As Jeezy told Billboard in a recent interview about his new Gangsta Grillz mixtape Snofall, Nas’ laid-back reaction to him flipping out over Hip-Hop Is Dead, helped him to keep his own cool when Freddie Gibbs blew up their partnership in 2012. “What I have learned is the same when Nas did Hip-Hop Is Dead and I reacted,” he explained. “I was kinda spazzing out on the radio, if you remember. I’ll never forget when I got in the car from the radio station, somebody from Def Jam was like, ‘Nas wanna holla at you. He’s on the phone.’”
While he anticipated a confrontation, Nas instead wanted to simply explain his position. “I’m ready for whatever he’s gonna say — I’m all for it,” Jeezy joked. “We can fight dogs, race cars, shoot guns or whatever he wanna do. He asked how I’m feeling, and he was like, ‘I can understand your frustration, but let me explain what I’m saying, and how it has nothing to do with you.’ He was so calm — and I always remembered that. When me and Freddie [Gibbs] had our thing, that was one of the reasons I remained calm — because I’ve been on the other side of that. So I’m hearing his frustration, and I get it, because we’re doing business and not everybody’s gonna be happy. It’s like being married, you gotta communicate. You can’t be like, ‘I’m gonna blow the whole house up.’”
As was recently reported, Freddie and Jeezy were able to end their feud after a chance meeting at an airport.