Review of “Nasir” | NAS

This review was written the day after the album dropped, but held back till the smoke cleared from all the opinionated culture enthusiasts.  Bloggers, writers, tastemakers all that.

Those muthafucker’s are everywhere, yet, they really don’t say nothing.  It’s funny and sad.  They really don’t understand this culture when they write these dissertations for their own to understand.

I haven’t read a single review from any blogger or music site and don’t care to, this is strictly my opinion based off my love and understanding of the culture.  They don’t know any more than person on the street and definitely don’t know about the foundation of rap from experience, only word of mouth and delving into the world claiming ownership.

I was born in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.  Raised on Video Music Box and all the Hip Hop radio stations.  I saw the emergence of Nas and Queensbridge, watching while holding the antenna on channel U31 so that the reception was clear and shit.

We debated Hip Hop and dope lyricist on the train and in the the lunchroom of Murry Bergtraum H.S. (later Bethel H.S. in Hampton, VA.).  Our debates would build the culture to what it is today, a multi-trillion dollar industry that’s still growing.

Please don’t put my opinions in the same category as the “gentrified taste” of Hip Hop hobbyist writing on their laptops in coffee shops or plush lil offices in Red Hook or Williamsburg.  I am rap and hip hop bitches.

With that, let’s begin.

This is the tracklist for the Nasir album:

“Everything,” “Bonjour,” “Not For Radio,” “Adam & Eve,” “Simple Things,” “Cops” and “I Can Explain”

Not For Radio:  comes on with importance.  The intro features Puffy and as the track goes on, it’s clear… Puffy ad libs are back!

The beat drops, it’s an ethereal downtempo track with a big presence.  There’s a choir, a full orchestra sample chop or live and then sampled (not sure).

This set’s a strong tone as the first track, Nas doesn’t dissappoint with God Body lyrics for the peoples.  The hook is dope and the rhythm grows on me.  My mind is switching from listening to the beat, to trying to break down what Nas is saying in real time.  I kinda don’t want to, I just want to hear Nas get it in cause it’s been awhile.

Kanye did a dope job in regards to switching the energies between the albums.

While Kanye’s album was more of a look into his personal journey, it wasn’t a fun album that you’d want to listen to and party or cruising through the city blasting in the Summer.

It was a good album, that’s a great album, if you are going through similar pain and such.  Nas’s album, is a different direction and so far it’s feeling real happier.

Cops Shot The Kid:  oh yea, this is what i’m talking about.  The Slick Rick sample loop is perfect.  That track already has a party energy attached, partygoers will immediately relate to this joint.  I already see all the hands in the air and dancing.

Dope shit, this is a gonna be a classic track right here.  Nas is in a powerful zone when you break down the lyrics.  Ye‘ joins in further drilling in the empowering message thats being delivered to all races, creed and religions.

That hook is dope… i’m starting to get a feeling of it sounding a dope movie.  Like it needs to be a soundtrack.  Hmmm, this is a soundtrack of the times.  I dig it.

White Label:  the production is what heads have been waiting for from Yeezy.  It was the perfect alleyoop, wit Nas slam dunking it for the culture.

The messages continue through the melodicaly minimal vocal driven hook.  Nas has a lot on his mind as well.  It’s quite reflective and show his growth since the QB days.

Bonjour:  just beautiful!  I’m loving the production direction.  Dope tracks tell a story on it’s own, with the Emcee adding or creating a new world at whim.  Here the tracks is so good, it almost overshadows Nas.

I want more Bars on this joint, but nahhh, we are getting teased here.

Oh yea, the message switches up… it’s for the ladies.

Everything:  Ye is singing again, i’m not mad at that as long as the build up involves dopeness at the end.  Another beautiful track.

I didn’t even research it to see who’s on it, i’m just raw doggin it and as stated earlier, writing in real time as it plays out.

This is track is more messaged based, a jewel for young minds to mine later in their lives as they mature.  Nas is more descript creating a visually stunning imagery in my mind.

Fist and lighters up from everyone once this is played on tour.  It’s the superman track of the album.  A Superman track is that joint that makes you feel invincible when you listen to it.

ps… the other voice is The Dream, yea he sounds good, i wanna hear more from the brother.

Adam and Eve:  aight, Nas got that vintage flow on this 90’s type production.  It reminds me of “Verbal Intercourse” off of Raekwons Cuban Links album,

but different.

Nas’s flow is much looser as he bar up with words on top of words.

Simple Things:  is another downtempo head nodder.  The rhythm draws me in here, particularly the rhythm hits the minor chords… oooh, sounding delicious.  It sounds like a carnival song being played through bad speakers but in a dope way.

I wanna see this video shot in Coney Island and along the board walk.  I wanna see mad slo mo and the matured QB King and crew posting up on some throwback hype williams ish.  Oh yea, sexy shorties eating cotton candy, candy apples and those twirly lollipops.

Final Review:  It’s an album thats very mature minded and powerfully delivered.  The majority of the tracks is classic Nas speaking wisdom with his smooth QueensBridge flow.

The energy in my opinion is in a different space than his past albums, here’s why:

  • The production made limited use of harder kicks and snares, opting for softer almost electronic kick instead.  That makes sense given Kanye’s extensive time in that musical space.  Plus it’s what today’s music consist mostly of.  Nothing wrong with that production decision, his personal choice.  My point is merely that adding that natural sound creates a different and more potent energy.  The Bonjour track energy is more memorable innately, as vintage kick/snares were used.  Classic rap essentials and purist typically deem this a must have, though not necessary.  A slipper slope, when that production choice is made either way.  Here are a few classics Nas and you’ll understand my point more…

  • The bmp is slower than on tracks that are considered classic:  the vibe of the album is mad chill and subdued except for a joints like “Cops Shot The Kid”.  It felt like, if you give Nas a faster track, he’ll be more energetic and pay more attention to the delivery than a slower lazier type flow.

  • The album being limited to 7 tracks:  so Illmatic had 5 joints, all the rest had over 10.  And while that’s not an industry standard any longer, it allowed him to get out different sides.  The party side, the street side, the God Body side and you get the point.  I’m thinking there is a part 2 to this Album like there is way more that will be released in the future, who knows.
  • Lastly, even though Nas has always had that smooth flow, he feels tired.  If you really feel music, you can hear it when compared to earlier works.

All that was from the first listen.  I’ll sit down and understand it differently as time goes on as well as analyze Nas’s bars for self.

It’s message, well I’ll leave it for you to interpret.  Not everything should be told…

and that’s The Brooklyn Word.

 

 

 

 

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