Nas 

Hip-Hop Is Dead

Nas on Def Jam seems so ... right. The teaming of the best MC of his generation on the hip-hop label should be the perfect combination. But while this album falls pretty short of perfection, there's still a lot to like about it. Its lyrical brilliance overcomes its uneven execution. Nas may never fulfill his stellar potential, but his ambition is admirable. He went all out in securing a production lineup featuring a murderer's row of hip-hop hitmakers: Dr. Dre, Kanye West, will.i.am, and Scott Storch, with longtime partners L.E.S. and Salaam Remi. Most bring their A-game. Nas raps to his strengths, waxing introspective while lamenting hip-hop's death and the loss of its soul to big business and the hustle. "Black Republican," the long-awaited Jay-Z collab, is a high-octane track. Other winners include "Play on Playa," a smooth duet with Snoop Dogg, and "Can't Forget About You," Nas' reworking of Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable." Hip-Hop Is Dead occasionally goes bafflingly wrong, notably when Nas raps like Edward G. Robinson on "Who Killed It?" or uses a Southern-rap-on-Quaaludes flow on "Blunt Ashes" (produced by the Golden State Warriors' Chris Webber). Despite these missteps, the album is a solid testament to Nas' love of hip-hop, and serves as requiem for the music's passing.

Tags: ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in CD Reviews

Author Archives

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

Fall Arts 2017

Our Picks for the Best Events of the Fall Arts Season

The Queer & Trans Issue 2017

Stories about creating safe spaces in the Queer and Trans community.

© 2017 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation