Stephen A. Smith Believes Eminem Is A Greater Rap Artist Than Nas

Stephen A. Smith has chosen Eminem over Nas in terms of their overall consistency and greatness as Hip-Hop artists.

During an appearance on the Connect The Dots podcast, the ESPN First Take host was asked to pick between the two artists, with Smith touting both emcees as among the greatest of all-time, but expressing what he feels differentiates the two.

“I think Eminem is one of the greatest ever. I also think Nas is one of the greatest ever,” Stephen A said in a clip of the interview that surfaced on social media on Friday (March 1).

“Nas’ lyrics are off the chain, but it requires more street knowledge and just more of a comprehension of the verbiage to really dissect, whereas with Eminem…he gives it to you simple and plain. I’m going to have to say as much as I love Nas, and I do love Nas, I have to give the edge to Eminem.”

However, the 56-year-old admits that when at their best, Nas is the superior artist of the pair, but credits Eminem for his “consistency” throughout his career, which has been attributed as a weak point for Nas over the years.

“Now the best of Nas is better than the best of Eminem,” Smith said of his fellow Queens luminary. “But [with] Eminem’s, there’s more consistency to his greatness as opposed to Nas is what I’m trying to say. Which is why I have to give [Eminem] the edge.”

TV personality Stephen A. Smith attends the D’USSE Lounge at Kovalev vs. Ward at T-Mobile Arena on November 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for D’USSE

Nas and Eminem are both regarded as two of the most accomplished and esteemed lyricists of their generation. In 2021, the pair collaborated on “EPMD 2” from Nas’ King’s Disease II album, also featuring the legendary rap duo.

Last year, the Detroit rapper spoke glowingly about Nas’ debut album Illmatic, which he says was a huge influence on his own artistry at the time.

Hippolyte Petit/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Nas attends the “Supreme Team” premiere during the 2022 Tribeca Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on June 19, 2022 in New York City.

Nas Wearing Black Suit And White Shirt

“I remember The Source gave Illmatic five mics [a perfect score],” Em told The New York Times. “I already knew I liked Nas from ‘Live at the Barbeque’ with Main Source, because his verse on that is one of the most classic verses in Hip Hop of all time. But I was, like, ‘Five mics, though? Let me see what this is.’

“And when I put it on, ‘And be prosperous/ Though we live dangerous/ Cops could just arrest me/ Blamin’ us/We’re held like hostages.’ He was going in and outside of the rhyme scheme, internal rhymes. That album had me in a slump, too. I know the album front to back.”

Eminem Wearing Black Leather

Eminem attends the ‘Southpaw’ New York Premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on July 20, 2015 in New York City.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images