Nas has lent his various talents to American Epic, a 3-part documentary series, recording project, and feature film investigating the first days of recorded sound. Rolling Stone has shared a clip from the project in which Nas raps over “On the Road Again,” which the Memphis Jug Band originally recorded in 1928.
“The Memphis Jug Band sounds like something today,” Nas explained. “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.”
The American Epic docu-series premieres May 16th on PBS. Watch the clip with Nas below. Keep an eye out for Jack White in the background.