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Figured it was high time for a Nas appreciation thread, let people know why this guy is one of the greats. I'm gonna preface this with some of the politics/drama etc that come from the genre - mind you, you can know absolutely none of this and still really get into it.

 

Many remember that hip-hop/rap was in pretty full swing around the early 90's. As much as ill tease Heartless & others about their fear of mainstream music, its a delicate thing in rap...its very hard to maintain street credibility when you go platinum. People like 2pac get hailed as kings for makin it big but remaining who they are, not movin out of their neighborhoods, etc. Mind you, if youre Will Smith or somethin, just talkin about partying, no harm done, but if you say youre real this genre's quick to call you a hypocrite.

Well, with rap's commercial sucess, many had their fears...would the whole thing go commercial? Would the genre, born from the streets, be converted into another suburban pop arena? It sounds stupid, but many see the music as a way out of where theyre at, others just like hearin a voice they can understand, so it means a lot to many. So, in 1994, 20-year old Nas dropped Illmatic, still one of the most influential albums of the genre - his flows & insights forced rap onto another level for many. It's one of those things that, i think, fit the times, amd you cant expect it to happen again. Here was this kid from Queensbridge (popular area for NY rap), talkin like he knew more than most of the pros did, and it wasnt all bitches, cash, and weed - it was pretty spiritual at times.

His followups were often unfairly held up to his debut...It was written was strong but many wanted another Illmatic. Same with I am, but many fans were disapointed in Nastadamus - the single off the album was "You Owe Me" with Ginuwine, and although i thought it had its fair share of tracks, it honestly wasnt his strongest, felt rushed. Many fans were upset & felt their prophet had fallen.

 

Now, to play into the drama, along comes Jay-Z. In all honesty - he's not brining anythin to the genre. He talks about what everyone else does, only his style is really strong, and caught much commercial appeal. His early stuff got some attention, but half the tracks off of Vol 2: Hard Knock Life got radio play; it was a strong album, and Jay's pretty arrogant. He made somethin of a move to claim himself new king of NY (and thusly of the genre), ranking on Nas' falling off.

Early last year, Nas replied with the ironically named Stillmatic, which fans like myself were really happy to hear - it was a reminder why he's king. The radio hit "One Mic" was powerful for radio, "Rewind" was an original piece done backwards, and tracks like "2nd Childhood" broguht back the insightful lyrics. "Got U'rself a gun" and "Ether" were all but aimed at Jay-Z, and both shut him up real quick, i thought. If you really wanna hear somethin off this album you'd enjoy (as not even a fan of rap) go download "Rule".

Even the beats Nas samples are great - "Rule" comes from Tears for Fears' "Everybody wants to rule the world", "The Message" borrows appropriately from Sting's "Fragile", even "I can" lays over "Fur' Elise".

 

Anyway, the Jay-Z drama is just there like any other beef is: to make sales. Those listenin to Nas just for the battle completely miss the point. For me, its a catergory thing: Jay-Z has the commercial crown over such hip-pop stuff as Ja Rule, DMX, 50 Cent remixes with Justin Timberlake, etc. Nas is in league with BIG, Wu, etc. As a matter of fact, after losing 2Pac and BIG so quickly - while they both clearly had many songs left to write - many look to Nas by default to save the genre when its in trouble, hence his messiah lyrics in his latest album, "God's son". Even the radio one of his new album, "I Can", is somethin the genre used to see a lot of but not nealry as much these days - a lot of positivity with a message. Go back and listen to Grandmaster Flash and some of the founding fathers and youd be surprised how much of that there was...some thought it was the point, initially.

 

Ive said plenty here: if you enjoy Nelly, the Jay-Z tracks on the radio, etc thats really cool, im glad theyre out there. But if you ever want to hear the soul of the genre, look no further. The analogies of street scriptures from the prophet still hold, if what ive heard off the new album is true.

 

Songs to download to try him out/get an idea:

"Nas is like" - this one sums it up a lot, i think

"New World"

"One Love"

"The World is Yours"

"One on One " with Mobb Deep - ok not as important but i love this one

"Street Dreams" with R Kelly

"One Mic"

"Rule"

"I can"

"It aint hard to tell"

and if you want one youve prolly heard..."If i ruled the world" with Lauryn Hill

 

He even likes to leave a message in his album names...take a look.

 

B0000029GA.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpgB000002B1M.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

B00000ICNC.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpgB000031XCY.01.LZZZZZZZ.gif

B00005U2LB.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpgB00007FZIJ.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

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Blood of a slave, heart of a king...stilmatic's intro said it all.

"Ayo, the brother's "Stillmatic"

I crawled up out of that grave, wiping the dirt, cleaning my shirt

They thought I'll make another "Illmatic"

But it's always forward I'm moving

Never backwards stupid, here's another classic.."

 

Cant say enough good about this guy. :D :D

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hah..that's the one he did with Puffy right? Forgot bout that one...so which ones of his are your favoites? Show some love for Nas, help me talk 'im up...i want Duados to see this thread to be sure i got the history right but im pretty sure thats it.

Seriously, i think if more people came to the mic with half the stuff he brings to it, the genre would be so much more.

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I think Nas is one of the greatest story tellers. Their always very vivid. Like theres one where hes the gun, then on Stillmatic he has this one track where he raps backwards. Pretty cool shmit. I cant really say which of his songs is my favorite. hmm i would say one of them at the top is the last song on I Am forget the name though. Its about him comming back to his crib and his girl who he was gonna propose to that day was in bed with some other dude. He goes crazy and kills everybody including himself.

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Good calls - i think the one with Nas as a gun is "I gave you power" off It was written...the other one you mentioned, i looked it up, think its "Undying Love"..ill go download that one.

Reviews of God's son are comin in strong, anyone else had a chance to hear it yet?

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"I'm the N, the A to the S-I-R

and if i wasnt, it mustve been Escobar..."

 

Ok people i know its not a popular genre here but I know Chief and maybe even Birdy will have somethin to say on this one before its forever buried!

Tussins - "Undying Love" was raw, good call.

 

So far off God's son ive heard "The Cross", "Book of Rhymes", "Thug Mansion" (acoustic 2pac one), "I Can", and "Heaven" (his style switches a bit on this one, its cool)...all really good so far, pickin this album up when i see it cheap.

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No more love for Nas, not even from Chief...? Ah well. I :D 'd him out best i could; im sure DJ Ario X & Duado the Deadly could say more but they prolly wont see this thread...

Ive got all his albums on mp3, wanna pick em up on cd later...i think theyre all strong but obviously im biased here. Since Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Rakim, etc no one's gotten spiritual on the mic, this street prophet has returned with his last 2 really strong albums, and if he claims to be the NY king i'd back him. From tracks like "What goes around" and "It aint hard to tell", even his freestyles ("STILLmatic", "H to the OMO (on Jay-z)") are tight...this boy's easily my favorite.

 

nas_GS_icon2.gif

"Since Illmatic, It was Written: I am...Nastradamus

that's the answer to the puzzle I gave ya, now here's a promise..."

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So Hip Hop... how about that M&M and Del the Funkee Homosexual...

 

(reaction to IC's derogatory comment when I mentioned 50 cent in his Wu-Tang thread)

 

Anyway, DL some Nas tracks you requested, namely New World and Nas is like. Not too bad, but didn't really float my boat. Gonna stick to Jurassic 5 and Dead Prez.

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Hah....well like i said, definitely not for everyone, first time i heard Illmatic back in the day i didnt really think it was a big deal, ended up takin to him only a while back...some say he and Wu-Tang are kind of acquired tatses, who knows? If you ever get a chance, itd be cool if you tried some of his new stuff, namely "Rewind" (original, everyone digs it), and "One Mic" (one of my favorites, you mighta heard it on the radio lil while back).

Point is, you actually downloaded a few tracks & gave it a go...thanks Bucket, i appreciate that. :D

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Nas' page with AIM icons/skins, wallpapers, demo music etc

 

Just for those interested.

 

Look at what this country's got

There shouldn't be nobody homeless

How can the president fix other problems when he ain't fixed home yet

The earth wasn't made for one man to rule alone

To all colors increases, to home it belongs

I want land, mansions, banks and gold

The diamonds in Africa, oil in my control

The world's natural resources, all its residuals

But then comes foes, I have to gaurd it with missels

And I become the most wanted

But is it worth hearin a million people problems and followed by Secret Service

I guess, attempts at my life with loaded barrels

So move over Colin Powell or just throw in the towel

 

...Yo, there's Protestants, Jews, Blacks, Arabics

Call a truce, world peace, stop actin like savages

No war, we should take time and think

The bombs and tanks makes mankind extinct...

 

- Rule..over the beat of "Everybody wants to rule the world", gotta hear that one...Nas gets political at times too, all but unheard of in rap since Public Enemy.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...
Nas Interview...

Monday - August 16, 2004

J-23

 

In an interview with The Source for their new issue (which he appears on the cover), Nas spoke on several issues sure to create some chatter. The big news is that he has committed to his final album on Columbia (under his current contract at least), will be produced entirely by DJ Premier. Damn. He also talked about 9th Wonder and “God’s Stepson” saying that “he had some good beats on there, I’d like to work with him.”

 

There will be song on “Streets Disciple” called “Nazareth Savage,” which is a concept track in which his id battles his ego. Considering Nas’ execution of concept tracks in the past, not to mention the concept itself, this could be a classic joint.

 

Also bound to get some attention is some remarks concerning his dedication to his career. In regards to “The Lost Tapes” he said “’The Lost Tapes’ was put together by my A&R at the time. The put songs on and I cared less, just give me my check and keep it movin’.

 

Anyway, the Source interview this month was ok, 3 pages of his ego and not much bout the album.

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  • 2 months later...

Well, Streets Disciple is hot.

 

Im onto disc 2 now, but man disc 1 was good...highlights, for me, were "Coon Picnic", "rest of my life", "american way", "Sekou story", "just a moment"...and if you havent heard "You know my style" by now, that's a shame.

 

On disc 2, "Suicide Bounce" (with Busta)was cool shit. More to come, but this album will not dissapoint.

 

...oh shit, is that Doug E Fresh & Luda on "Virgo"? :D

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hiphopsite.com...

 

nas-streetsdisciple.jpg

 

While the end of the year is cluttered with lots of high profile new hip-hop releases, perhaps the most anticipated of them all is Nas' "Streets Disciple". As his first ever double disc endeavor, Nas follows in the footsteps of Outkast, Notorious BIG, 2Pac, and Jay-Z with a massive 24 tracks on two CD's. Including the singles "Bridging The Gap" (feat. Olu Dara), and "Thief's Theme", plus b-side heater "You Know My Style", the brand new album includes high profile guest shots from Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Kelis, Maxwell, and more. With all of the different promo items Columbia has delivered over the last few months, we've come up with several different special offers for you to choose from on this seminal hip-hop release.....

 

HIPHOPSITE EXCLUSIVE OFFERS:

 

Standard 2CD Pack w/ Poster & Mix CD - $20

This package includes Nas "Street's Disciple" 2CD, as well as a free Nas poster, plus a free copy of Chemical Kick Drums remix CD "Hood Prophet".

 

Deluxe 2CD Pack w/ Poster, Mix CD, and T-Shirt - $25

This package includes Nas "Street's Disciple" 2CD, the free Nas poster, a free copy of Chemical Kick Drums remix CD "Hood Prophet", plus the official Nas "Street's Disciple" T-Shirt in white XL, which was given away to key retailers and DJ's earlier this year.

 

Standard 4LP Vinyl Pack w/ Poster & 7-Inch - $20

This package includes Nas "Street's Disciple" 2CD, as well as a free Nas poster, plus a free copy of the limited edition Nas promo 7-inch single for "Bridging The Gap".

 

Deluxe 4LP Vinyl Pack w/ Poster, 7-Inch, & T-Shirt - $25

This package includes Nas "Street's Disciple" 2CD, as well as the free Nas poster, the free copy of the limited edition Nas promo 7-inch single for "Bridging The Gap", and the official Nas "Street's Disciple" T-Shirt in white XL, which was given away to key retailers and DJ's earlier this year.

 

nas-hoodprophet.jpg  nas-bridgingthegaps-150.jpg  nas-streetsdisciple-tshirt.jpg

 

..shame that shirt's an XL....

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  • 8 months later...

Man, i know he's got a new album to hype (despite the fact the only thing ive heard him on recently was the remix to Valentino's "Slow Down"), but im almost sad he's lowering himself to 50's level for sales. Still, it's prolly gonna work. Here...

 

1797_1.jpg

 

Nas vs. 50 Cent

 

I guess in an attempt to create interest for his upcoming albums Nasdaq Dow Jones (let's hope he comes to his senses and doesn't call it that) and The Lost Tapes 2, lest he end up with another Streets Disciple-level flizzop, Nas has released a new dis track called "Don't Body Yaself" aimed at none other than the one and only Fiddy Cent.

 

It's aiight as far as these things go (there hasn't been a great dis track in some time), but it ain't no "Ether" either. For one thing, it lacks the humor of his famous Jay-Z dis. I guess it's a decent enough first shot, but it's definitely no knockout punch. I would post it here, but I don't like any of you assholes, nhjic.

 

You'll recall that on his shitty new album, The Massacre, Fiddy spit the following at Nas on that one song where he was mainly going off on Fat Joe and Jada:

 

Kelis said her "Milkshake" bring all the boys to the yard/ Then Nas went and tattooed the bitch on his arm/ I mean like way out in Cali, niggaz know you cuz/ First thing they say about you is yous a sucker for love/ This is chess not checkers, these are warning shots/ After your next move I'll give you what I got

 

But it's not really clear whether or not Nas actually went at Fiddy first when he did that one free concert in Central Park and was like, "This is quality hip-hop worth listening to, not that bullshit 50 Cent puts out," (and obviously I'm paraphrasing). Still, that could be looked at as a basic statement of fact. Because Fiddy's shit really does suck, no homo.

 

But, in the interest of fairness, Fox News-style, it should probably be noted that if I was Nas, I definitely wouldn't be married to Kelis right now. Not that I don't find her to be attractive or anything, but come on. I'm sure the dude could pull better trim than that on the regular. Also, she strikes me as being not quite right in the head and possibly a closeted lesbian.

 

I figure Nas can easily handle Fiddy in an MC battle, but it's not like I really have much of a stake in this other than that if somebody ends up getting shot, I hope it isn't Nas. And actually, if I had a choice, it'd be nice to see Lloyd Banks go, now that I think about it.

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  • 2 months later...

Dirty Harry: Nasir Jones, Living Legend vol 1 mixtape - free to download here:

http://www.nastack.com/my_weblog/2005/10/d...ry_na.html#more

 

(this one's a direct link, might not work: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=5NTZMPAN)

 

Review of some of the tracks makes it sound really good, cant wait to hear it. Here's what one guy was sayin:

 

... this mixtape is the shit.  Dirty Harry makes a return to the game with some of Nas's greatest verses, blended over a few exclusive beats made by Harry, and a variety of hot beats from the present and past.  Also lines from Papoose, Lakey the Kid, Poster Boy, Juvenile, Devin the Dude, Big L, and my boy Z-Ro.  Imagine my surprise when I heard that.  Probably, from top to bottom, one of the best 'best of' mixtapes, and definitely the best Nas mixtape, and its actually cosigned by Nas.  Some of the best Blends I've ever heard.  However good this review makes this sound, it still doesn't really do it justice, you gotta listen to it yourself (which clearly, you will).

 

This set is 40 songs, but my burner was only able to fit half of #39 and none of #40 on the CD. I'm not going to go over every track, but I'll go over my favorite tracks (which is still alot) to give you an idea of some of the best tracks on here. 

 

 

02 SHOOTOUTS

 

This one is Nas rapping with Maino, who does a good job on the first verse.  I've heard the beat before, probably from another mixtape or Smack DVD.  Hot.

 

05 BLACK GIRL LOST

 

Nas's original verses, over Bobby Valentino and Lil Wayne's current single.  Papoose comes nice on the second verse, speaking on all the various black girls lost in the music industry, ie. Lauryn Hill, Superhead, Lil Kim, etc.  Nice.

 

07 I MADE IT LIKE THAT PT. 1

 

Original verse over Jadakiss's 'We Gon Make It.'  Nice

 

13 THE LAST REAL SOLDIER

 

Yeah, everybody just knew that 'Kick In The Door' was directed at Pac.  He's also talking about the Chef beef with Biggie, that I didn't know about, but Robbie probably does.  Also talks about Jay-Z.  Rappin over Toy Soldier beat

 

14 UBR

 

Now I really didn't like this on Streets Disciple, but I like it now that they've put it over like 6 of Rakim's beats.

 

16 ONE FOR THE MONEY

 

This one's got Posta Boy on the track, over 'Hate It Or Love It.'  He comes and drops a nice verse, I almost forgot he existed.

 

20 HATE ME NOW

 

How can I not like a track with both Nas and Biggie.  Rapping over Santana's 'Mic Check.

 

21 NEW YORK

 

New York verses over Jay-Z's heart of the city.

 

22 WHAT U GON DO

 

The hook is from the Baller Blockin' soundtrack, but not the verses.  Bravehearts on this one too, using their lines from Baller Blockin.  Rappin over a variety of hot at the moment southern beats, i.e. Young Jeezy, T.I.

 

23 THESE ARE OUR HEROES

 

Over some mid-90's G-Funk sounding shit.  A bit better than the original.

 

24 POISON

 

Poison over Ski Mask Way.

 

25 EAST COAST KILLER

 

Nice here.  Rappin over various G-Funk beats, i.e. Deep Cover, Nothin' but a G Thang.

 

26 HEART OF KING

 

Nas on some of that classic prophet shit.  Talking about going to Africa and shit.  Over Game's dreams.

 

28 DISCIPLE OF THE PROJECTS

 

This one features Big L, rappin over Jay-Z's Dead Presidents beat.  L was the truth.  Big L rippin it up, Nas doing his thing, nice beat.

 

29 QUEENS FINEST

 

Over Cassidy's I'm A Hustler, even though the sound quality doesn't really match.  Jigga sample on the hook saying, "You a customer"

 

30 FEDS 1

 

This last section of the CD is my favorite section of the CD.  Rappin over Juelz's 'S.A.N.T.A.N.A.'

 

31 FEDS 2

 

This one is over both Still Tippin and Sittin Sidewayz.  Hot.

 

35 HIT EM WIT DA MULE

 

Oooh, from Z-Ro's latest release, Let The Truth Be Told, with Nas on the first verse.  Harry even kept Devin, Z-Ro, and Juvenile on their verses.  Big ups, nice track. 

 

36 REWIND

 

My favorite track on the whole CD.  Nas's famous 'Rewind' over the Geto Boys' 'Mind Playing Tricks.' 

 

COMMENTS:  There are plenty of other hot songs on here, these are just my favorite, but this is a hot CD overall.  The best pound for pound mixtape I've had on here.  Nas tracks, over great original or instrumental beats.  Nice guest appearences.  The total package.  Definitely one of the best blends ever.

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  • 1 month later...

The best fucking news hip-hop's had in a long time....http://www.sohh.com/articles/article.php/7893

 

scratch-nas-premo.jpg

 

Nas and DJ Premier Team For Scratch Cover and Jay-Z Collaboration

 

What do you get when you put a classic MC and a legendary producer together? Nas and DJ Premier are gracing the cover of Scratch Magazine's new January/February issue.

 

In the cover story, Primo talks about his new label, Year Round, working with Christina Aguilera and getting started on the long-anticipated Nas/Premier full-length. Both have confirmed that they working on an album together.

 

For his part, Nas reveals that he is now a free agent, addresses the Def Jam rumors, speaks on his appearance at the Powerhouse concert with Jay-Z and questions the source of 50 Cent's anger.

 

Elsewhere in the issue, Just Blaze, Cipha Sounds of New York's Hot 97, Mr. Collipark, Ron Browz and Needlz critique the year's best albums, including, Common's Be, Kanye West's Late Registration, Young Jeezy's Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, Little Brother's The Minstrel Show and The Game's The Documentary, among others.

 

Meanwhile, GZA and DJ Muggs chop it up with the producer publication and Bun B talks rider music. Marley Marl, Michael Watts' Swishahouse, Rhymefest, Three Six Mafia, J-Live and Grandmaster Caz are also featured in the issue.

 

Scratch Magazine's January/February issue featuring Nas and DJ Premier is on newsstands now.

 

For those that dont know, DJ Premier hails from Gang Starr, and is one of the best DJ's still around, my opinion...Nas' weakness has always been not getting the right beats, i think, and the last time they came together, we got "Nas is like...", still one of my favorites. So fucking hyped, and jigga to boot.

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  • 6 months later...

First good news ive heard in hip hop in a while...

 

Daily Hip-Hop News:

Nas Drops New LP In September, Declares Hip-Hop Dead

Friday - May 19, 2006 by Janeé Bolden

Nas

 

Last night (5/18) Nas graced the stage at New York's Radio City Music Hall, capping off his short set by announcing plans to release his next album this September.

 

"I'm working hard for y'all, I got an album coming out in September," Nas told the crowd.

 

The Queens-bred MC, who recently signed to Def Jam, was a guest performer for new labelmates The Roots, during the first night of their two day performance at Radio City. Last night's show also featured Common, Talib Kweli and Big Daddy Kane. Comedian Dave Chappelle briefly graced the stage as well. The Roots second show is scheduled for tonight (5/19) with Erykah Badu, Mos Def, J.Davey and African singer Angelique Kidjo also performing.

 

Nas' September release, titled Hip-Hop is Dead, will be the first of two albums jointly marketed by Def Jam and Nas' previous label, Columbia. Nas and Def Jam president Jay-Z announced they'd deaded their beef at Jay-Z's "I Declare War" concert last October and in January the two furthered their relationship when Nas joined the Def Jam roster. With their partnership solidified Jay-Z has even raised the possibility that he might make a guest appearance on the new Nas release.

 

Hip Hop is Dead will be Nas' follow-up to 2004's Streets Disciple which sold some 694,000 copies according to Nielsen Soundscan. Billboard.com has also reported that Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am is also scheduled to record with Nas for the new project.

 

In related news, The Roots are also preparing their new Def Jam debut Game Theory, which is scheduled to be released late Summer 2006. Their first single "Don't Feel Right" dropped earlier this month.

 

..which spawned SOHH's article Is Hip-hop dead? where they start out by agreeing with Ghostface, Nas & others then change their minds by the end, so the young up & comers can eat. Quality shit, like Lil Wayne, and others with equally forgettable names...but that's just my opinon.

 

Anyway, that root's singe "Dont feel right" is good, like usual.

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