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Nas (Explicit) CD (2008)

Artist: Nas

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Product Overview


Label Universal Music Group
SKU 208164314
UPC 602517752764
UPC 14 00602517752764
Format CD
Release Date 7/15/2008
Author Nas
Artist Bio
NasBeginning 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; 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.
ReviewSource Dot Music
Review This much we know already: Nasir Jones's ninth full-length arrives on a raft of controversy, its title, "N*gger", expunged after US retail chains refused to stock it. "Hip Hop Is Dead", its predecessor, crystallised the debates raging around rap's relevance and the music's direction...This record is "Hip Hop Is Dead"'s follow-up in every sense, as Nas homes in on questions of race and language that were intrinsic parts of the previous album's multi-layered argument...On the most cogent and consistent album-length polemic since Public Enemy released "Fear Of A Black Planet" in 1990, Nas examines his topic from every relevant angle. Even supposedly lighter moments, such as the Mark Ronson-produced "Fried Chicken", are waist-deep in the muddy waters he's chosen to wade into. The tirade against biased news reporting, "Sly Fox", is an immediate high, but this vitally important and uniformly excellent record is filled with tracks that gradually yield their erudition and wit to careful attention...Brilliantly sequenced, the album reaches a euphoric climax with the "Yes, we can change the world" hook of "Black President", a close cousin of Lupe Fiasco's "Superstar"...But it is "Hero", the first single, that gives the album its pulse. Over a Polow Da Don beat that's the aural equivalent of sunlight painfully dazzling as it shimmers on rippling water, Nas abandons his customary laid-back flow to almost shout about responsibility and purpose, before addressing his own immediate present..."I been preparin' this album my whole life", Nas raps on the video to "Be A N*gger Too", a mixtape-only track omitted from the LP. He's not wrong: there is a lifetime of patience, growth and understanding poured into this record. Forget the rest - yes, even the near-perfect "Illmatic": this is his magnum opus - the one history will judge him by.
Reviewer Angus Batey
ReviewRating 10
Product Attributes
Artist NAS
Label Universal Music Group
Music Format Compact Disc
Billboard ...the Queens MC impresses his listener while provoking social and political thought.
Entertainment Weekly It's refreshing to hear a complicated record that doesn't shy from grown-up ambition.
Hot Press Ho & bling free rap of the highest thought provoking order.
MSN Consumer Guide 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.
PopMatters ...a more mature, emotionally-driven, and philosophically-complex piece of work [than Illmatic]. It's also a masterpiece.
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