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July 17, 2008



finally the first to comment


I've been a bit on the fence about whether to buy this album--it was hard for me to tell, throughout the name saga, if Nas was being genuine or was just trying to goad old civil rights horses (*cough*JESSE*cough*) into giving him free publicity. I shouldn't have doubted Nas's sincerity...this brotha is Da Troof. Can't wait to get my copy.

Looking forward to checking out this new album....No matter what Nas puts out, I always hear Olu Dara's (his dad's) Your Lips in my head for days. That's okay by me, though, because it's one of my favorite songs.
House of Jules


i'm not into this kind of music (hate Rap - more old school) but appreciate your take on this.


Ooh exciting, a review of a rap album... (sarcastic)


I will admit that the album slipped my mind b/c of The Dark Knight and I was a little hesitant about from the jump. Thanks for your review, it sounds like Nas is still on his game.


He won anti-Patriarchy points with me when he married Kelis, even though she won't call herself a feminist she was straddling genres and classifications (hook girl, rock star, diva) and having her albums held back when Santogold was but a gleam in young Santi White's eye. Being a strong enough man to choose to be with a woman he views as an equal really made me love Nas even more than I already did.


I'm so excited to see Dark Knight. Also so excited to see you in most of your glory at Jezebel.It's alarming what a little nipple shot can do.


the video in your "my hero" section just blew my mind a little bit.


Jesus, only 9 comments on this post? I really love your analysis of the album. I just got it today and so far I'm digging it.


Urgh after reading the comments I'm a little upset. This album (like all of Nas' album) is so poetic. God, the haters are strong on this post.


you're such a nerd. don't stop

Brandon H

I was having this discussion with my friend and I came to the conclusion that Nas is a fan of "fake it until you make it." Sounds ridiculous now but let me explain. I don't fell that anything he's done since Illmatic has compared to its success- not that he hasn't produced quality work since then- but nothing has come close to that album. And he knows it. So I feel Nas' posturing and the need to overanalyze and almost force feed the audience a lesson (as you can see in his album cover) is a testament to him trying to achieve the artistic tantamount that is Illmatic.

We then brought up Erykah Badu's last album as comparison to drive home another point. Although you can tell she's put in her fair share of work on the album, nothing feels too labored over or forced- so the music flourishes. I would love to see Nas take on this trait. I honestly feel that if you listen to his flow and tone on Illmatic and then to the album now- he will sound more hurried and out of breath in each verse trying to get more out of it. True, it's been over 10 yrs since then so a change is inevitable, but you hope it's one of progression instead of frustration.

It may not sound like it but I'm a fan of his and of hip hop which is why I'm soo critical. I see too many of the artists I like only make it but soo far with their message and music before they're slapped with an underground label and put on the back shelves.


This was a great read and a spot on analysis.


Hero is without a doubt the best song of any genre I have heard in it seems like ages. To quote Ashanti, "it's bananas". I love these posts, you are absolutely fabulous.

Queen Lena

Thank you for writing this. I can't believe there are so few comments on this post. I've come to realize that Nas is the only hip hop artist out there that can effectively create a concept album. If you consider his discography, it seems that his albums always have an overarching theme or approach (some done better than others, of course). I'm not sure if this is intentional or not, but if it was, then he even more of a fucking genius than I thought.

Scott T Sterling

The new NaS album is a poignant and timely dissertation on being "black" in America 2008--period.

And for the record, While "Illmatic" will always stand as his accidental classic, there is PLENTY of amazing NaS music since then.

I mean, will people crucify the Strokes for "Is This It" forever? Yeah, probably...

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