On a recent Saturday morning, a tall, slouchy twenty-five-year-old in a polo shirt, baggy jeans, and Timberland boots that, by his own admission, had gone “mad dusty,” showed up at a subway station in Coney Island. He admitted to being Your Old Droog, the previously unknown rapper, who, for the past two months, has been at the center of an ongoing conspiracy theory in hip-hop. This was the first time that Droog had shown his face—boyish, bearded, and permanently scowling—to a reporter. As we walked through the housing project where Droog spent much of his childhood, he seemed to have a more pressing concern on his mind than revealing his identity. After some idle talk about the dice game Cee-lo and some more idle talk about gambling problems, he came out with it: “So, did you think I’d be white?”
The last knot to cling to in this story is that Nas hired someone who could impersonate him and rap and then (for some reason unbeknownst to me) wrote him some great songs for him to perform. Rather than just—perform them himself?
YOD was never Nas for a much easier reason to see—there’s no money to be made selling music.
All we’re left with is a new artist who perfectly captures the vibe and nostalgia of mid-90’s hip hop. And maybe that’s enough.