Anyone who has worked alongside Kanye West seemingly knows that the spotlight shines brighter on them. Artists like 070 Shake, KayCyy and others remain close to Ye’s teachings at the YZY Sound school of music, however, one pupil in particular is breaking barriers on his own terms.
For the “young Jedi” Digital Nas, he’s unfazed by the recognition that’s followed him lately, always knowing that “his time would come” amid years of being “slept on.” As a rising superstar in his own right — due to his grandiose production on Ye’s 10th studio album Donda (“Remote Control,” “Junya,” “Hurricane,” “Keep My Spirit Alive”) — DN is a “jeen-yuhs” at his core much like his mentor, wholeheartedly inspiring young creatives with his mind and heart fully invested in the music.
As a music producer, writer, rapper, designer and skateboarder, DN is seen as an unabashed savant — manifesting moments both big and small stemming from his passions. The Gwinnett County, Georgia native has aided a slew of hip-hop’s biggest stars over the years. Those in A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, Lil Yachty, NBA Youngboy, Playboi Carti, Trippie Redd, Sheck Wes and many more have all recruited Nas in one way or another, as the 23-year-old mastermind knows that his story was already written before taking his first steps.
“Some people were anointed to create new, and I feel like I’m one of those people who were anointed. I feel like everything I do is new. My soul won’t let me put it out unless I think it’s something new [unheard]. It’s like a feeling. When I know, I know. That’s what I was born to do, that’s why Ye has me around because it’s new, fresh. Ye teaches me a lot of stuff, but I know for a fact I teach him a tremendous amount as well.”
When speaking on his accomplishments, he’s humbled, down-to-Earth and appreciative of his opportunities — grounded in strong self-belief and gratitude for what he’s achieved at such a young age. The GRAMMY-nominated producer is not only hard at work wrapping up Ye’s highly-anticipated album Donda 2 — set to release exclusively on the Donda Stem Player Feb. 22 — but is prospering under Ye’s tutelage, continuously channeling the irreplaceable talent that lies within him. As fate would have it, Ye has ultimately changed the course of DN’s life forever.
“For a long time I felt slept on, but I always knew [my time] was going to come,” he said. “Talent is going to outweigh anything in this world. People get found off the street and get casted in movies… people get found everyday. And I felt like my time has now come. I knew when I was with Ye, I was like ‘my time is now.’ [I had] no nervousness at all as to what was happening. The first time I played [music for Ye], I knew my life was going to change. As soon as I hit play.”
With an ever-growing list of high-profile collaborators, it’s no secret that Digital Nas is someone special to take note of. Using his unique ear to continuously curate the culture, he’s cultivated some of the industry’s most innovative sounds because of it. On 2016’s DN and The Lost Files with Lil Yachty, Digital Nas abruptly turned heads leading into its 2020 sequel, DN2. Now, his goal is to create something never before heard on his upcoming full-length album DN3 — finding time in between Donda 2 sessions to finish his impending masterpiece.
Simply put, Nas resides in a creative space free from outside noise, perspective and opinion — chosen by Ye as he blazes through the industry like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. For DN, this is all he knows, following “Moses” through earth, wind and fire to achieve the greatness that’s destined for him.
“It’s like he talks life into me every time I’m with him. He sees life from a bird’s eye view. ‘What is it like working with him?’ It feels like working with Moses. It felt like he knows everything, I don’t even know how to describe it. It feels like you’re training to be great.”DN on working with Ye
As Digital Nas treks toward legendary acclaim, he chopped it up with OGM host Hakeem Rowe about his work with Ye, Playboi Carti, Donda, The Grammys and so much more in our latest Our Generation Music exclusive interview.
Watch his OGM exclusive interview below!