Nas/ Hip Hop Is Dead/ album review
Global rating of the product: 4.5 stars
Nas is known as a giant in rap music. Not only is Nas a highly skilled wordsmith who always puts lyrics first, the powerful emcee proudly takes black American folks to their African roots and history. His characteristic use of instrumentals such as trumpets underline Nas’ great musical knowledge of many jazz, soul and blues legends.
Nas’ music is pure blackness. Whether people like or dislike him, one must recognize Nas’ immense talent.
Hip Hop Is Dead has some Illmatic accents. The masterpiece raises the insightful question of hip hop’s survival.
Hip hop is dying, because of the commercial influences, the fake players with huge cars who want to act like hustlers while real, lyrical hip hop from the hood is literally chocking.
Money Over Bullsh*t is built on dark instrumentals such as keyboards, dark piano sounds, rhythmic drum beats that contrast with flute and lighter piano sounds. The instrumentals suggest a strong opposition between posers and real persons. So many people use hip hop for the money and neglect the beauty of the music and words.
Nas is telling you the truth: the commercialization of hip hop will lead it to its demise. Let real emcees stand up for the love of their music and culture.
You Can’t Kill Me enlightens Nas’ lyrical skills. The complex instrumentals totally match with the tension that is expressed in the song. You can’t kill true hip hop soldiers. Nas’ words will merk you with no mercy.
Carry On Tradition is pointing out the very truth about the current state of hip hop. More than ever, hip hop faces a 911 emergency situation. Too many untalented, weak bigmouthed rappers are killing the game, outshining the geniuses, because they get more exposure. Besides the commercial emcees, too many little emcees don’t even deserve the « M.C » title.
It is up to the listener to pay attention and to make a difference between good and bad hip hop.
I really loved the sounds provided on Where Are They Now that reminded me of the brilliant and dynamic James Brown style. The rhythmic tracks pays tribute to the hip hop legends. Don’t sleep on this one!
Organ sounds combined with electric guitar sounds start Hip Hop Is Dead. The track intelligently mixes a rap and rock flavor. Heartbeat alike drumbeats fully underline the emotional dimension of the track. Don’t worry, Nas won’t let hip hop die.
Who Killed It is a swinging track that points a finger at hip hop killers. Violins and trumpets have accusatory accents while drums and claps will exorcise the demons who constantly destroy the music.
On Black Republican, Nas collaborated with his long term rival Jay Z. I’ve never really been a Jay Z fan, because I don’t like his nasal voice at all. I ‘m not so fond of this one.
A good track that attracted my attention is Hustlers featuring legendary D Dre. Not only is the track rhythmic, it also combines both artists’ talent. Violins and drum beats will beautifully enhance the NYC- Compton flavor of the song. I recommend it to all of you.
Nas concludes with a gospel sounding acapella. Beautiful female vocals and Nas’ lyrical bullets make this track a total masterpiece.
Globally speaking Hip Hop Is Dead is a masterpiece of work. Often underrated, Nas is one of those artists who won’t compromise their souls for the money. Nas’ vibrant final prayer is the testimony of his passion for his music.
My advice: cop the CD with no remorse!
Copyright © 2006 by Isabelle Esling
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