Ayo whattup...yall in the presence of greatness once again. The Hands of Zeus aka Volcano Hands aka the mighty powerful Cocaine Biceps also known as Galaxy Knuckles n the illustrious Phantom Raviolis is now in the place to be nahmean. Turn my muthafuckin mic up tho cuz Im bout to get on my MC shit. Nowadays ey'body n they moms...they nannies...they kids...n they fuckin pets is tryin to rap namsayin. Forreal tho...anybody can rhyme two words together b. That dont make that shit poetical tho...dont get it confused son. Theres niggas that RAP n theres niggas that EMCEE. Theres niggas that spit bars n theres niggas that create poetry...that timeless shit. Word is bond. I dont fuck wit all that YO IMMA JUS SAY SOME WILD SHIT mess but the whole verse aint even poetical like that. Naw...get that amateur shit outta here yo. The boy Nas tho? Ayo pardon that...the LEGENDARY Nasir Jones tho? Not him...you dont address that dude as a "rapper". Callin Nas a "rapper" is like callin Mike Jackson a "singer" or sayin "yeah...durin World War II...niggas wasnt really gettin along" or sayin Jimi Hendrix kinda did his thing on the guitar n shit. Fuck all that. Son been in the game 21 years n he still challengin muthafuckas half his age to come wit some better shit whenever he drops a new joint. And like that...ya boy back. We BEEN waitin nahmean. Son had the streets starvin for damn near half a decade yo.... The fuck kinda shit is that Esco? Anyway lets get into this shit g.
1. No Introduction - This shit is probably the most elegant track Nas ever started one of his albums off wit ever yo. J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League known for all that....they got some elegant beats son. But its like Nas wanted to come right out the gate showin muthafuckas that he aint lose his touch. Matter fact his touch got more extraordinary than it was nahmean (pause tho). These might be summa the flyest bars that son spit since It Was Written son. He speakin on his evolution right here namsayin. He takin it back to his own essence...he paintin vivid portraits of his childhood n shit. Next he walkin us thru his adolescent shit namsayin. Then he bringin us to the present nahmean...his grown shit. He speakin on his marraige fallin apart...he enlightenin yall. Like that...he settin the tone for the album. This whats on the menu b. Next he gon break all that shit down for you nahmean. He gon go chef that shit up. He got that shit on the grills right now. He let that shit marinate n now its all on the fryin pans n in the ovens n shit...he got the pots n pans on the burners. He sprinklin his little herbs n his spices on the joints...he addin the secret ingredients n shit namsayin. He bout to serve that. Get ya plates ready... this that gourmet shit. "Relate to me...only a few will. This how it sounds when you too real...they think its jus music still"
2. Loco-Motive ft. Large Professor - Ayo the legendary Exrtra P blessed this joint son. Nas really makin a statement right here namsayin. For yall little rugrats n 90s babies out there who wasnt part of that era who be havin the high waists n the short torsos n got necks that be lookin like a baby's forearm n shit...little niggas who got heads the size of grapefruits n shit like that...yalls might not kno who that is...but this the man who put Nas on when son was still a teenager like yalls namsayin. Large Pro was the leader of Main Source...which was basically Large n two DJs from Canada. They had a classic album called Breaking Atoms nahmean. Nas was on a little joint called Live From The BBQ. Son was like 17 yo...n he bodied that shit par. Son was talkin wild shit bout shootin nuns n physically assaultin the Son of God...shit I dont necessarily agree wit...but he was definitely ill yo. So now we back full circle. What better way for son to start off this shit...he done spoke on his childhood n now he bringin it to the next stage. My man No I.D. laid out a gritty track that got quotes from the pianos on the New York State Of Mind beat...n Nas spittin like he transported hisself back to '94 to pen this shit n hop in the booth at Battery or D& D Studios to spit it namsayin. Son sounds like NASTY Nas on this shit. Meanwhile Large Pro doin his thing to take this shit back to the 90s on the "hook". Large aint really doin nothin but remindin niggas bout the legacy. This shit make me wanna go bomb a train n slap the shit outta some transit cops b. You can almost smell the train yards...the tar...the dried up urine inside the cars...the scent of the dust blunts n green Polo cologne niggas use to rock back in the day. Son took it back. This my shit yo. "So much to write n say yo I dont kno where to start...so I begin wit the basics n flow from the heart"...Word life.
3. A Queens Story - More of that fly elegant shit...but son sounds like he rhymin over some shit from the openin credits to Miracle on 34th Street on this muthafucka. If I had peeped this shit without no vocals I mighta told niggas to get the fuck outta here wit that George Gershwin shit forreal tho. Word. But the homie Nas put that grime on that shit n dirtied that shit right on up. Niggas bumped the BPMs up a little on this shit so Esco spittin like its '88. The shit came out kinda fly tho. Plus son back on his "way back when" shit reminiscin on his past n whatever whatever. He paintin the virtual images for yall on some celebration of life shit for the niggas who "made it out the stash spot n here to tell the story". Three n a half minutes in...the beat switches up to some dark piano chords...n son starts reflectin on the downfall of the hustlers n crime partners he use to roll wit namsayin. The realest line tho..."I kno a few dealers...n some accident murderers / They act like the killed on purpose...liars brag they put work in / You aint mean to merk him ya guns a virgin..." gon bring us to...
4. Accident Murderers ft. Rick Ross - SON... No I.D. did his MUTHAFUCKIN thing on this track. Ayo Imma break the shit down for yalls. First you got the quiet fade in wit the church organs n niggas ticklin the ivories on some Issac Hayes shit namsayin. Next you got the snares from MC Shan's "The Bridge" kickin the beat in. From there...SON....this track is like some dragons wit gonorrhea yo. I aint kno what else to say b. This shit is so much fire that you might gotta splash the speakers wit water after the joint finishes. They might gotta ban this shit from niggas thats locked up in the pen forreal son. Matter fact they might gotta hire some muthafuckas to listen to the cassette tapes niggas is receivin n makin sure that this joint aint nowhere on the tapes unless they want riots jumpin off anytime a nigga got this shit bumpin in his walkman headphones in the yard b. Niggas might start throwin barbells at each other n end up killin other niggas by accident. Might sound like a joke to yalls but you put this joint in the hands of some niggas who aint got no type of regard for life like that n you liable to see innocent muthafuckas losin they lives over that shit son. Nigga might be gettin they little shoulder press on n hear this shit n start wildin out n throwin the 50 lb plates in the air on some jubilant shit n catch bodies not even on purpose yo. Niggas might forreal get on some accident murderers shit...jus by coincidence. I aint even speak on the fact that Rawse killed this shit too. Straight up...I fucks wit this joint forreal son.
5. Daughters - Lotta yalls was taken by surprise when you heard this shit the first time. "How son gon drop a joint bout raisin daughters as a single yo? The fuck is you thinkin b? Niggas aint tryin to hear all that par... The nerve of this dude yo." But yo...this some fly shit right here son. You dont even gotta have a daughter to relate to this shit b. You jus need to be a normal ass muthafucka witta soul n a conscience to be able to relate to how son was feelin when he recorded this shit . The video was probably my favorite shit I had seen in a minute too. This was jus one more ill ass concept that no other dude in the history of rap had ever touched on that the lil homie came up wit. The REALEST line hands down had to be "They say the coolest playas n foulest heartbreakers in the world...God gets us back he makes us have precious little girls"...REAL talk yo. The Lord is seein how yall trill muthafuckas move.
6. Reach Out ft. Mary J Blige - Ayo the god had expected this to jus be some regular ol R&B type joint thrown into the mix for some commercial appeal n all that...but son...this joint is another throwback to that fly ass 80s shit Nas be on. Mary took it back yo...on some Teena Marie or Evelyn Champagne King type shit. Nas payin tribute to QB again wit the little Ike's Mood sample that the legendary Marley Marl had flipped on more than one occasion for one of his classic joints n shit nahmean. This jus some memory lane shit for muthafuckas who was round durin the crack era....not as babies tho. Im sayin niggas who use to aspire to own Jettas n M3s n shit. If you aint never rock no Coca Cola rugby or a Benetton sweater you might not kno the feelin yo. Thats my word. Ayo like Nas says... "My British Knights could rival ya foamposites...dont make me pull my Lottos out the closet".
7. World's An Addiction ft. Anthony Hamilton - Personally yo...the god woulda pushed this shit more to the end of the album to like track 12 maybe...cuz the shit is type depressin b. I aint sayin I dont like the joint. But forreal son it kinda fucks up the good mood of this shit so far. Like you at a pool party n Lupe Fiasco jus walked in on some "Yo...hol up...yall females dont gotta be disrespectin yallselves like THIS..." type shit. But I fucks widdit. Son definitely kinda lookin at the glass half empty on this joint...but its cool.
8. Summer On Smash ft. Miguel & Swizz Beatz - Theres mad joints that I can think of that was cool until a certain muthafuckin individual hopped on that shit n sprayed his lyrical urine all over it n took the magic down a few notches. So whenever I be thinkin 'yo this whole album been dope as fuck so far..' I jus kno that THIS muthafucka bout to come surfin in on a wave of dicks to fuck ALL that shit up yo. Lotta the time I be askin myself why Swizzy even still here... Why son even still here par? ...Still lookin like the in between stage of Snoop Dogg morphin into Joe Budden n shit. The nigga still here gettin his "ONE HAND IN THE AIR IF YOU DONT REALLY CARE LIFE CAN BE SOMETIMES RIDICUOUS" on. Bad enough this nigga tainted the fuck outta Alicia Keys (Still love you tho boo...holla at me) but do he really gotta be jumpin in recordin booths like that? I dont want my seeds growin up in a world that lets Swizz "Rape Face" Beatz record hooks on dope albums b. That aint right namsayin. DMX droppin his joints on DatPiff while this kangaroo faced ass muthafucka been gettin features on all the Jay n Kanye joints of the last 4 years? Now he on Nas shit too? Word? FUCK. THAT. SHIT. But I aint gon front...I aint gon front... That whippet lookin muthafucka did his thing behind the boards...n the god actually still kinda fucks wit this joint regardless of the fact Swizzy all up on the hook like that again. Pretty sure he dont even make beats these days that DONT got his ass on the hook in the first place yo. But Miguel really had to squeeze a couple bars in there like that tho? Fuckouttahere wit that shit Miguel....singin ass muthafucka...
9. You Wouldnt Understand ft. Victoria Monet - Truthfully...Nas commercial joints usually aint the greatest shit to me b. Not since like the It Was Written days anyways. After that it was all You Owe Me...Rule n Hero type shit. He jus dont sound comfortable on shit like that tho. But this joint got more of that 80s crack era feel to it...like some Rakim jumpin on a Jody Watley track type shit. Yall little soy milk babies probably dont kno what the fuck Im talmbout right now cuz yalls wasnt even zygotes yet when that shit was happenin nahmean. Yalls wasnt even cells clustered together in the egg after yalls dads had bust his nut in ya moms n whatever namsayin. So these is probably some references yall muthafuckas wont understand nahmean. But do the knowledge n wikipedia that shit or whatever whatever. This shit is defintely Esco's lane tho.The nigga Buckwild did his thing on the beat too.
10. Back When - This shit is like another tribute to em QB legends Marley Marl n MC Shan namsayin...niggas who paved the way for all the other artists who came outta that big ass projects n shit. Thats whats up tho. The homie Nas never been afraid to pay ultimate homage to those who came before him nahmean. This joint is all the way New York b. Course he shoutin out his PJs too. But he also touchin on mad other topics that dont really got nothin to do wit each other like he been known to do. Thats what makes him Nas tho. One minute he tellin you bout ridin the train in the 80s n rockin Pro Keds...the next he talkin bout testicles n how Mel Gibson hates Jews. Thats that Nas shit. Nobody else can do it like that neither. Thats what makes his shit authentic like that namsayin... "Nas...my real name, stage name...same thing/ How could you let these lames claim king?"
11. The Don - Nas the don Nas the don Nas the don Nas the don Nas the don Nas the don Nas the don Nas the don... This that single muthafuckas hate to love. Personally....I think if it was any other artist this shit coulda been annoying as fuck. Nas makes the shit work tho. But had this been some corny dude or some basic ass nigga wit no personality the shit coulda come out kinda wack namsayin. Like if this shit was a J Cole song the shit probably coulda been a Nyquil caplet b. And Cole the dude that these lames said was gon pick up where Nas left off n shit. Fuckouttahere. The dude who gave us SleepinPillmatic? Those the same muthafuckas that woulda believed Bleek was really gon be able to carry the torch for Hov on the Vol 2 intro. Maybe thats cuz Nas n Jermaine is jus cut from different fabrics b. Nas BEEN 1/2 man 1/2 amazin.......n Cole jus 1/4 moisturizing cream. Feel me? No disrespect tho.
12. Stay - This joint is jus too real yo. Son really waited a whole minute before he spit the 1st verse even. Then he came in on some fly shit after lettin that shit ride n hit us wit the goodness. First he jus talmbout trife broads n bein lonely when he travel...but when he got to the second verse bout how muthafuckas can develop attachments to they worst enemies...niggas they wanna put in the ground even...thats some real shit right there par. You kno like when you be havin a mosquito bite or some shit n you be scratchin that itch n pretty soon that irritation be turnin to pleasure nahmean. After a while it dont itch no more n you be kinda wishin it still did. Thats what the homie sayin basically. "I might kill you but do I got love for you?"
13. Cherry Wine ft. Amy Winehouse - This beat is jus elegant as fuck my nigga... Some real classy shit namsayin. This aint jus some shit where the singer shines on they little 4 bars durin the hook or some shit neither. Amy singin all over this bitch yo. This shit more like a duet b. Word. And really this shit is like a love joint...but without the corniness namsayin. Like even the most livest killers can relate to that shit where you jus lookin for a broad to compliment you nahmean. She dont gotta be exactly like you...but yall click together like those little pendants that be broken in half but you spose to give one half to whoever n when you put em together they say some shit like "Best Freinds" namsayin. Summa yalls mighta seen those before. Thats when the broad be lookin like a perfect fit TO YOU n shit. But at the same times...ya mans might be like yo I dont get what you seein in her b... n you be like chill. Cuz he aint the piece that would click wit her piece n shit. Thats real. Word.
14. Bye Baby - Another throwback to that cool ass 80s shit yo... The Guy sample really gives it that nostalgic flavor n at the same time it works for tellin his story....why he holdin part of Kelis's wedding dress on the cover of the album n whatever namsayin. Supposedly son found that part of the dress hangin in a closet at his crib after she left nahmean. The shit aint all bad memories to him tho...n he jus reflecin on the good shit mostly on this joint. But at the same time....its like he still holdin on to her memory n shit. Like its some bittersweet shit basically namsayin. Which is a beautiful thing b. But at the same time again he lettin her go. Ayo I cant even lie b...I connected wit that shit son. The god aint no emotional dude but this shit brought me back yo. Word. I could feel the tears son. They aint jus burst out my face like some corny niggas be doin tho. Im still a man b. The tears roll down the inside of my face namsayin. The tears come down under my cheeks. I cry like a man b. I dont cry like no little girl n be makin the fucked up breathin sounds n scrunchin up my face like I be pushin out a baby like some broad when I weep son. That aint how the god do it namsayin. Dont get that shit fucked up cuz I still smack a nigga n break his jaw in 18 places even when I be weepin son. The god dont jus be curled up on the kitchen floor clucthin blankets n shakin n cryin on some guhuuuhhh huhhhhh huuhhhhh wuhhhhaaaa wuhaaaa shit b....like some bitch namsayin. Lets jus get that straight my nigga. That bein said tho...this shit pulled on the gods heart strings a little nahmean. Fuck yall.
Now I aint jus gon jump into all the bonus tracks like that cuz in my opinion that shit aint really part of the package or nothin nahmean. But theres one joint that BELONGED on this muthafucka n that shit was...
15. Nasty - This shit is jus ferocious b. The beat is like a stampede of minotaurs rushin thru the projects n shit. Its that ultra gritty hood shit mixed wit the fact that dudes like Nas is endangered species like the white tigers n silverback apes n chinese dragons n whatever whatever. But its up to real niggas to procreate off a some shit like this...pause. Not on some transsexual shit....I mean like real niggas gotta birth more of those fly joints n basically be like "Yo Imma throw some seasoning on that shit right there n Imma have my little concubines wit me givin me backrubs n Imma splash some lava on that shit n Imma make that shit straight gutter like how Nas be doin..." feel me? Like this shit is the attribute. This shit should inspire niggas to rebuke that shit where a dude be writin his words on the bathroom mirror while his girl sleep n when she wake up n go have shower n her mirror fogs up it be some shit like "Girl....you dont say you love me to your friends when they ask you :'( " written on the mirror namsayin. Meanwhile he somewhere sittin on a hill makin necklaces outta dandelions n shit like that tryin to get her to come to him. That fuck boy shit basically. We rebuke that hoe shit son.
The thing wit Nas is he always got some fly lines...he got those. But its sons entire verses that give you the real effect son. He never really been no punchline rapper namsayin. He a storyteller n a poet. 20 plus years into the game n he still iller than most b. Matter fact niggas might wanna chill wit all that "Nas lost" shit tho cuz it aint a lot of artists who had careers like him. Son probably gon still be top of all time 10 years from now nahmean. Its jus like that yall. Word. We win some we lose some...but in the end life IS good yo.
4.5 Zeus slaps outta 5