RZA EXPLAINS NAS’ GENIUS
Written by Nate Matthews on October 14, 2021
Nas is no stranger to comparisons. Following the release of his classic debut album Illmatic in 1994, seemingly every Hip Hop publication from VIBE to The Source hailed him as the “second coming of Rakim.”
But one name Nas has likely never seen himself compared to before is legendary chess player Bobby Fischer — until now, that is.
During a recent appearance on the Lex Fridman Podcast, RZA — perhaps the only person on the planet qualified to draw parallels between Hip Hop and chess — explained the genius of Nas’ artistry by comparing him to fellow prodigy Bobby Fischer.
Nas, of course, made his grand entrance on Main Source’s “Live at the Barbeque” at age 17 before setting a new standard for rap albums with Illmatic at 21 years old. Back in the late 1950s, Fischer became the youngest ever U.S. Chess Champion at age 14 and the youngest chess grandmaster at the time at 15.
Bustard, Andy. “RZA Explains Nas’ Genius by Comparing Him to Chess Prodigy Bobby Fischer.” HipHopDX, HipHopDX, 11 Oct. 2021, https://hiphopdx.com/news/id.65113/title.rza-explains-nas-genius-by-comparing-him-to-chess-prodigy-bobby-fischer.