“Yo, Esco wear this?”
If you haven't already seen Get Out, do yourself a favor and check out Jordon Peele's modern horror masterpiece. Fans of the movie are surely away of Lil Rel, whose breakout performance as TSA Officer Rod Williams scored him legions of fans worldwide. As it turns out, Lil Rel's a big hip-hop head, and shared his influences in an interview with XXL.
"I listened to a lot,`says Rel. "I was a huge Wu-Tang fan, along with Crucial Conflict, along with Do or Die along with Mobb Deep." However, when it comes to GOAT status, nobody can top Nasir Jones. "His swag, the way he dressed, he was just always—even influencing how I dress now—he was just always a cool guy. Always seemed level-headed and smooth...Like, if I put on something growing up, I’d check like, “Yo, Esco wear this?”"
Lil Rel elaborates on why he believes Nas has stood the test of time, remaining relevant even as a veteran in the game:
"I remember Illmatic. Illmatic was a classic, you know what I’m saying? He’s one of those people who grows up in his lyrics. And as he gets older and learns things, he talks about it. Like, “Bye, Baby” is one of my favorite songs ever. He’s talking about his divorce or breaking up, from a male perspective. Nobody’s really doing it like that and that’s just dope to me. That’s my vibe. He’s not trying to keep up with the kids, you know what I’m saying? He’s like, I’m a grown man. My daughter’s growing up now. You know what I mean? Straight up, I love Nas."
The bigger question is, who doesn't love Nas? Rel also explains that he was listening to a lot of Project Pat on set. "It really had nothing to do with the character, nothing to do with the movie. I was just on a Three 6 Mafia vibe, I don’t know why."
Since Get Out dropped, Rel has been in touch with several rappers, receiving props from Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, & Lil Yachty. As for his top three albums of all time, the comedian named Jay Z's The Blueprint, Kanye's College Dropout, & Dr. Dre's The Chronic.
For more hip-hop talk from Lil Rel, check out the full interview over at XXL.