Dear Nas Fans, Let Go Of ILLMATIC And Let Him Be GREAT Again

So Nas just released his new album Life Is Good to excellent critical acclaim. It recently received an XXL rating from XXL Magazine [if you care about that sort of thing] and many people I know personally you’ve heard it, LOVE it. But for everyone who goes out and buys his album, supports his concerts and tells their friends how GREAT it is, there’s always ONE frowsy-dude who REFUSES to acknowledge any work he puts out – not because he HATES Nas, but because he’s NOT making Illmatic Part 2.

Bruh, you NEED to get over it.

Now let me premise this piece by saying this: In MY opinion, Nas is the greatest lyricist hip-hop has ever seen – in a LANDSLIDE victory. I also think Illmatic is one of the top 3 hip-hop records of ALL TIME and definitely the greatest debut album by a solo rapper [although “Ready To Die” is in a close second]. I remember the tracks off Illmatic like the back of my hand, and I get equally bummed out today [in 2012] over the fact that his album was only 10 tracks deep, just like I did in 1994. I also think Nas’ verse on “Life’s A B*tch” was one of the most brilliantly relatable and in-depth thoughts ever caught on a track:

“I woke up early on my born day, I’m twenty years of blessing
The essence of adolescent leaves my body now I’m fresh in
My physical frame is celebrated cause I made it
One quarter through life some God-ly like thing created
Got rhymes 365 days annual plus some
Load up the mic and bust one, cuss while I puffs from
my skull cause it’s pain in my brain vein money maintain
Don’t go against the grain simple and plain
When I was young at this I used to do my thing hard
Robbin foreigners take they wallets they jewels and rip they green cards
Dipped to the projects flashin my quick cash
and got my first piece of ass smokin blunts with hash
Now it’s all about cash in abundance, niggas I used to run with
is rich or doin years in the hundreds
I switched my motto — instead of saying f*^k tomorrow
That buck that bought a bottle could’ve struck the lotto

Once I stood on the block, loose cracks produce stacks
I cooked up and cut small pieces to get my loot back
Time is Illmatic keep static like wool fabric
Pack a four-matic that crack your whole cabbage”

Basically, I LOVE Illmatic and I wish I could be transported back to 92 and 93 to convince Nas to make the album 18 songs long. But as much as I LOVE that piece of artwork, it was ignorant dudes like me that refused to realize the brilliance of his modern day work, simply because it’s not a repeat of his debut. And as someone who has recently seen the light, I want to advise all the OTHER Nas fans to FREE UP yourselves and give the “NEW” Nas a chance.

Now I’m NOT saying that you MUST love his new album or that you must lower your musical expectations from your favourite artists. All I am simply stating is that it would be in your best interests to give his NEW music the same discerning and unbiased ear you gave his OLDER material, because you may just fall in love with some of his new sh*t.

From the time I heard “Daughters” I knew I would probably like his new album, but if you can listen to this track of his new album called “Bye Baby” and not tell me he’s amazing, I’m gonna be inclined to believe your musical taste is 2-decades behind – which is NOT necessarily a GOOD thing.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.

18 Comments

  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    07/18/2012 at 6:36 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, Have You Heard "Life Is Good"? What Do You Think Of It?

    Also, Have You Been UNABLE To Feel Nas' Music Since Illmatic?

  2. Jomo

    07/18/2012 at 8:35 AM

    9 tracks deep on Hip Hop is Dead, Untitled, + Life is Good… NaS been doin it! Also deepest & best unreleased catalogue since Pac!
    J

  3. @WheresRonald

    07/18/2012 at 9:01 AM

    Aint nothing but greatness been coming out of Nas since Stillmatic dropped. Jay-Z lit a fire underneath dude and he's just been killing it… That album with Damian Marley was so pure!

  4. Neil

    07/18/2012 at 11:12 AM

    Mannnnn, I had packed away "It Was Written" and started listening to it again. Underrated….That joint had brilliance….w/ the standout track, "I Gave You Power." IMO….the remixes from 'Illmatic' were 'fire' compared to the originals….like, "It ain't hard to tell", "The world is yours (Q-Tip)"……

    Great Post, Linc!

  5. MistaHarsh

    07/18/2012 at 1:59 PM

    I kind of missed the Nas train when he first came out. I was skeptical of all the hype but when I heard the song I Gave You Power and I used it in a debate in high school about the misconception of hip hop lyrics I was proud of the dude. When people were dissing nas for his 2nd album I was actually loving it and loved his introspection(black girl lost, if I ruled the world, the message). Loved how he purposefully put out positive songs as singles instead of ignorance to capture the minds and attention of young folks instead of coping out to capitolism like Jay z(Jay hasn't made one positive minded single to DATE and he has EVERYONE at his fingertips!!) I didn't listen to Illmatic fully until maybe7 years ago, go figure

  6. Adrian

    07/18/2012 at 3:27 PM

    Excellent post! Been saying this for years. Glad I'm not the only one with some frickin' sense! Nas FTW!!

  7. Neil

    07/18/2012 at 5:11 PM

    "I think the saying short but sweet is best for albums. All these Albums with 25+ songs (Started with No limit??) its mostly filler. Most classic albums are of the shorter kind in my opinion."

    Couldn't have said it better myself!!!!

  8. Maurice

    07/18/2012 at 5:57 PM

    I Knew the album would be good but I was skeptical on buying it because I didn't want support kelis

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