Nas shared that he tested positive for COVID-19 in October last year.
“I caught COVID in late October,” the rapper said. “This is the first time [I’m] mentioning it. It was a tough time. It was mentally and physically hard.”
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“It’s just today’s world, with chemical warfare, crazy politics, racism, food shortages, police malpractice, Black-on-Black murder. The human spirit is being tested,” he added. “I think that God has a plan for all of this. But right now, we’re in a serious time.”
Nas also talked about some of his favorite contemporary rappers, including Kendrick Lamar, Cordae, and Lady London, before speaking on his legacy as a revered MC.
“I just wanna become as great as the ones I came up thinking were the greatest,” he said. “Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, LL, Slick Rick, Ice Cube — the list goes on. I just wanna be able to look at myself and say that I did what they are doing.”
Last month, Nas released the sequel to King’s Disease, which featured a notable rap verse from Ms. Lauryn Hill. Following the album’s release, Nas did an interview with Apple Music host Ebro Darden, where he recounted talking with Hill about people being surprised she was on the rapper’s album.
“I hit her up, ‘Yo, this is crazy. People are asking me like, how did I get you on a record,'” Nas said. “She’s laughing like, ‘What do you mean? We just had a tour like, a few years ago.'”
Nas’ Ebony cover story can be read in its entirety here.