Yo, all I need is one mic, one beat, one stage
This is the whole theme of the song. He paints pictures for us in the first two verses of how his life used to be, how hard it is to get out, and how it would be if he still lived like that today. Lets remember that Hip-hop is a form of art. Most tend to forget that, and many rappers tend to neglect that.
Because Nas form of art is Hip Hop, all he needs is a place to showcase… a gallery with his brush and his canvas (stage, mic, beat respectively). Its all a metaphor, also seen at the beginning of the third verse “All I need is one life, one try, one breath”
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit "One Mic" by Nas Lyrics and leave a comment on the lyrics box