Nas (Explicit) (2008)
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|This title is scheduled to be released on July 15, 2008.|
"It's refreshing to hear a complicated record that doesn't shy from grown-up ambition. Entertainment Weekly
"Ho & bling free rap of the highest thought provoking order. Hot Press
"The beats beat Green Lantern's. And what the finale has to say about Obama is so sane I may just check out van Sertima myself. MSN Consumer Guide
"...a more mature, emotionally-driven, and philosophically-complex piece of work [than Illmatic]. It's also a masterpiece. PopMatters
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Personnel: Johnny Polygon, Stic.man (vocals); J. Myers (guitar, background vocals); Kevin Mayer, Binky Griptite, Thomas Brenneck (guitar); Eddie Montilla, Idalia String Ensemble (strings); Neal Sugarman (tenor saxophone); Ian Hendrickson (baritone saxophone); Bruce Purse (horns, background vocals); Vincent Henry (horns); Victor Axelrod (piano); Brian Kennedy, Mikuak Rai, Jason Perry (keyboards); Homer Steinweiss (drums).|
|Audio Mixers: John Frye; Kevin Crouse; Mark Batson; Phil Tan; Billy Hume; Keri Hilson.|
|Recording information: Cinematic Studios, New York, NY; Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY; Encore Studios, Burbank, CA; Legacy Recording Studio, New York, NY; Manhattan Center Studios, New York, NY; NRG Recording Studio, Los Angeles, CA; Patchwerk Recording, Atlanta, GA; Roc The Mic Studios, New York, NY; Royal Z Entertainment, Westlake Studios, Los Angeles, C; SoundTrap Studios, Atlanta, GA; The Record Room, N. Miami, FL; Touch 510 Studios, S. Orange, NJ; Warrior Studios; Westlake Audio, Hollywood, CA.|
|Nasir Jones's controversially untitled LP follows the impressive trifecta of GOD'S SON, STREET'S DISCIPLE, and HIP-HOP IS DEAD. This latest record leans on gritty, often metallic production and a mission of personal catharsis, often in congress with a current sociopolitical pointedness. Nas's most aggressive eviscerations are saved for the hard-rocking rampage of "Sly Fox," which stands up for Ludacris and other MCs assaulted by conservative pundits, as if playing the role of the protective older brother. But for all the album's candid nihilism, perhaps the most moving moment is still one of hope, as articulated on "Black President." Poignantly sampling a 2Pac lyric about it seeming "heaven sent," Nas ponders the pros and cons of Obama's ascension. And the use of Shakur's words serves as a way for Nas to communicate a message to the fellow free-thinkers who inspired him, but who didn't live to see such progress in the face of relative chaos.|
Producer: Eric Hudson; J. Myers; Jay Electronica; James "Polow Da Don" Jones; Mark Batson; Mark Ronson; DJ Green Lantern; Stic. Man; Saleh; L.A. Reid; Nasir Jones
Engineer: Mikkel S. Eriksen; Gina Victoria; Derrick Selby; Brian Sumner; Frank Socorro; Gabriel Roth; Rich Leissler; Kevin Crouse; Mike Wilson
|The Last Poets|
Associated Artists and Works
|Distant Relatives [PA] [Digipak] ~ Marley, Damian|
|Release Date : 07/15/2008|
|Original Release Date : 2008|
|Catalog ID : 001150502|
|Label : Def Jam (USA)|
|Number of Discs : 1|
|Studio/Live : Studio|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
|UPC : 06025177527642|
- Ranked #43 in Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums Of 2008 -- "[A] battle-rhyme tour de force..."
- "Nas delivers a 360-degree thesis on the African experience in America....With his unbridled originality and powerful prose, Nas delivers the perfect album for today's imperfect world."
Beginning with his classic debut, Illmatic (1994), Nas stood tall for years as one of New York City's leading rap voices, outspokenly expressing a righteous, self-empowered swagger that endeared him to critics and hip-hop purists. Whether proclaiming himself "Nasty Nas" or "Nas Escobar" or "Nastradamus" or "God's Son," the self-appointed King of New York battled numerous adversaries for his position atop the epicenter of East Coast rap, none more challenging than Jay-Z, who vied with Nas for the vacated throne left in the wake of the Notorious B.I.G.'s 1997 assassination. Such headline-worthy drama informed Nas' provocative rhymes, which he delivered with both a masterful flow and a wise perspective over beats by a range of producers: legends like DJ Premier, Large Professor, and Pete Rock; hitmakers like Trackmasters, Timbaland, and will.i.am; street favorites like Swizz Beatz, Megahertz, and the Alchemist; and personal favorites of his own like L.E.S., Salaam Remi, and Chucky Thompson. Nas likewise collaborated with some of the industry's leading video directors, including Hype Williams and Chris Robinson, presenting singles like "Hate Me Now," "One Mic," and "I Can" with dramatic flair. Throughout all the ups (the acclaim, popularity, and success) and downs (the expectations, adversaries, and over-reaching), Nas continually matured as an artist, evolving from a young street disciple to a vain all-knowing sage to a humbled godly teacher. Such growth made every album release an event and prolonged his increasingly storied career to epic proportions.
Born Nasir Jones, son of jazz musician Olu Dara, Nas dropped out of school in the eighth grade, trading classrooms for the streets of the rough Queensbridge projects, long fabled as the former stomping ground of Marley Marl and his Juice Crew as immortalized in "The Bridge." Despite dropping out of school, Nas developed a high degree of literacy that would later characterize his rhymes. At the same time, though, he delved into street culture and flirted with danger, such experiences similarly characterizing his rhymes. His synthesis of well-crafted rhetoric and street-glamorous imagery blossomed in 1991 when he connected with Main Source and laid down a fiery verse on "Live at the Barbeque" that earned him up-and-coming notice among the East Coast rap scene. Not long afterward, MC Serch of 3rd Bass approached Nas about contributing a track to the Zebrahead soundtrack. Serch was the soundtrack's executive producer and had been impressed by "Live at the Barbeque." Nas submitted "Halftime," and the song so stunned Serch that he made it the soundtrack's leadoff track.