New Music From Nas; Rapping Over Old Memphis Blues 

(Image courtesy of FACT Magazine)

A new Nas song surfaced last week called “On The Road Again”. It isn’t actually a Nasir Jones original, but rather, features the hip hop elder statesman rapping over the 1920s blues song of the same name originally recorded by the Memphis Jug Band. 

It was accompanied by a video from PBS from the docu-series American Epic. In part produced and scored by Jack White, American Epic – which will focus on the history of the beginning of music and cover a lot of music of the 1920s – had a number of guest musicians contribute to its soundtrack, but Nas is the only rapper who contributed to the soundtrack. 

Nas gave some backstory to this song, saying, “The Memphis Jug Band sounds like something today.” Nas went on to further explain by adding: 

“These guys are talking about women, carrying guns, protecting their honor, chasing after some woman who has done them dirty. This is not high society black folks. This is the down under, street, wild black folks that they’re singing about.  And it’s the same as rap music today. They were rapping about street life and gangster life and hustling, just a dark side of the world.” 

To learn more about the backstory of the original “On The Road Again” that Nas felt inspired to rap over, click here

Below is the audio of Nas’s version of “On The Road Again” from the American Epic soundtrack. 

(Video courtesy of YouTube)