Nas remakes “Hey Young World”

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Levi's Pioneer Sessions invites today's artists to give fans insight into their biggest influences by covering a classic song. Holy moley, I can't believe Nas was influenced by Slick Rick. It's not like we couldn't have figured this out by listening to “The World Is Yours.”

One of hip hop's most positive songs is undeniably Slick Rick's “Hey Young World”. It's an anomaly in his catalog and I'm not just lifting words from the Levi's page. Listen to The Great Adventures Of… and act like “Hey Young World” does not stand out next to “Treat Her Like A Prostitute” and “Indian Girl (An Adult Story)”. Slick Rick was notorious for his detailed vulgarity, even though listening now his lyrics seem tame, but “Hey Young World” was a betrayal to his format. He called for the youth to stop admiring hustlers and strive for more out of life because when it came to hustlers, “their time's limited, hard rocks too.”


Dear Nas,

I know you mean well, but the world will hardly feel like it's yours since its fucking impossible to stop bureaucratic genocide – assuming this is fact and not conspiracy theory. We are all concerned that AIDs was developed as population control, but there are some things you want to keep out of the young world's ears until they are ready, otherwise you're just raising future nihilists.

I'll give you a great example, Nas. In junior high I thought Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves because it was the right thing to do. As I got older and deeper into my academics I learned of the actual politics behind the historical issue. Initially, I was pissed at my education system. I thought that it was failing its pupils by painting Honest Abe as a hero to humanity. When I think about this progression now, it makes sense. The 13-year old me did not and would not have comprehended why politicians don't do what's equally right for the people. The young world does not need your cold hard truths on an unjust judicial system that is out to trap them like feral dogs, it needs small doses of optimism to truly believe the world is theirs for the taking. Ricky Waters had it right, while you should probably refrain from speaking at high schools until you get your messages cleaned up. In other words, chill the fuck out on the paranoia speeches when addressing the children, son.

Nas, “Hey Young World” (Slick Rick cover)