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Nas Covers Slick Rick’s ‘Hey Young World’

Levi’s has a new marketing initiative that finds modern legends recording cover songs of their favorite forefathers. It’s called ‘Levi’s Pioneer Sessions: 2010 Revival Recordings,’ and Nas is first up, tackling Slick Rick‘s wise storytelling blueprint in ‘Hey Young World.’ Over an undeniably ’90s-influenced beat, Nas sounds great bobbing and weaving over classic boom-bap.

“The world is yours’ is something I got from Slick Rick back in the days,” explains Nas in the song’s introduction. “Slick Rick is like my favorite, so ‘Hey Young World’ is a record I always wanted to do. Levi’s speaks to the young world, speaks to every demographic really.”

Levi’s also posted a behind-the-scenes video that shows Nas ripping through his verses in the studio and reflecting on why Slick Rick remains a great artist for him to cover.

“Nas doesn’t possess Rick’s comic sensibility, but he did inherit from Rick a keen sense for the way precise detail and carefully chosen perspective can enrich a short story, the kind that populated ‘Illmatic’ and his subsequent work,” reads a statement on the Levi’s website. “Nas’ re-crafting of ‘Hey Young World’ is true to its source, though its harder, metallic edges suggest a bluntness caused by twenty-plus years without progress.”

Download Nas cover of Slick Rick’s ‘Hey Young World’ for free here.

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