Promptly at 8:05pm, chants began to echo from the general admissions area to the main lobby. Nas had evidently strolled on stage and opened the show with “Everything (featuring Kanye West & The Dream).”
Hip-Hop icon Nas AKA Nasir Jones released his latest seven-track album Nasir on June 15. Kanye West had lent a hand to the top notch artist by producing all seven tracks. This would be the first time he performed songs off the album. Verizon and IHeartRadio LIVE collaborated to bring Nas In NYC as a part of a concert series curated by Verizon to connect New Yorkers to their favorite artists. The performance and Q&A was also available during a 30-min broadcast on iHeartMedia’s Urban radio station across the United States at 11pm.
Hands stayed in the air, heads bobbed back and forth to the beats of the music as Nas turned up with the crowd. Regardless of Nasir being his 11th released album, fans showed they were his “day-ones” by singing along to the words to his new hits as well as the old ones.
Whenever Nas transitioned onto the next song, the audience screamed in unison waiting for the next one. “How ya feeling out there?!” he’d ask every once in a while to hype everyone up.
“’88 was one of those years that you just had to be there” he began.
He had mentioned his humble beginnings in the Queensbridge neighborhood of Long Island City in New York in between songs.
“Imma bring it back to ’88 just for a second. Check it out.” Nas said before jumping onto the next hit. Once he stopped the beat the fans kept rapping the lyrics, creating a large smile on Nas’ face.
As if the night couldn’t get any better, Nas brought out Dave East for quick hello afterwards. “My man Dave East is in the house. Ayo check it out.” East left abruptly after Nas introduced him, leaving the crowd baffled and disappointed.
Nas then jumped onto the last track for “One Mic,” clearly a fan-favorite. “My weapon is choice is the voice,” Nas chimed in between the beats. “We all have a voice. It’s up to you to stand up and be heard.”
The entertaining night ended with a Q&A with legendary radio host Angie Martinez. Mesmerized by the audience’s dedication to Nas, she told them “Ya know every single word to every single song. Salute to everybody! The real, loyal, top notch fans in the building. He has so many classics, so many joints. It’s so crazy.” They then dived into questions about his album and personal life.
As Martinez asked questions, fans responded in unison when they wanted the chance to chime in on the conversation. When she asked, “What was the process like working with Kanye? You both have very different personalities” a fan on the top balcony repeatedly kept yelling “you a Virgo, keep it 100,” prompting everyone to laugh, including Nas who said “shout out to the Virgos” while pointing at the wrong direction of the fan.
He revealed his favorite songs off the albums (“Everyday,” “Adam & Eve” and “Cops Shot The Kid” ) while jokingly mentioning that he loved every single track. No secrets were kept either. According to Nas, the night of the listening party him and Kanye had finished 95% of the album before they had to celebrate at Queensbridge park.
Luckily, Nasir was released on time and it earned 77,000 sales in the first week ending June 21, according to Nielsen Music. 49,000 of that sum were traditional album sales. The album ranked number 5 on Billboard Top 200 chart the week of June 30, 2018.