What up yall? Shoutout to Phonte for today’s title. Anyway it’s Tuesday, July 17, the Nas “Life Is Good” album dropped today. It’s Dope. Cover to cover, very little missteps. In my very humble (yeah right) opinion, Nas is the best song writer Hip Hop has ever seen. His versatility, creativity, originality and very high level of skill are all contributing factors. He’s able to adapt and continue to put out quality, RELEVANT, music. The pictures he paints with his pen allow you to smell what’s going on in the background. A very eccentric dude, but a lot of geniuses are. My favorite Nas records (that aren’t produced by DJ Premier) are the concept joints. A concept record is where an MC steps out of the usual mode of matter of fact, storytelling, or braggadocio raps and comes up with a scenario that he writes within. I’m not sure if there is an MC with more concept records than Nas, as a matter of fact I’m sure there isn’t. It is in the spirit of creativity and these records I present to you the top ten Nas Concept Records.
10. Where Are They Now – This one off the “Hip Hop Is Dead” album is a dope joint saluting the pioneers of Hip Hop, as well as artist that were popular and put out quality music in an earlier stage in Hip Hop. It was a good idea, real educational and a dope way to have a remix to bring back some of the “legends” on song. Chip-Fu killed the remix.
9. Making of a Perfect Bitch – This creepy record off of the “Street’s Disciple” album is another joint where Nas uses his right brain proficiently. Mr. Jones talks about building the perfect woman using pieces from different places (some alive, some…not). Nas was getting’ his Buffalo Bob on over the L.E.S. track, crazy but quality.
8. Book of Rhymes – On this joint from “God’s Son” Nas tells Alchemist he found some old rhyme books and decided to spit a few joints out of them. He talks about topics ranging from his self as an old man, to Pun passing, to Gandhi and Rick James.
7. Fetus – A very interesting concept joint that a lot of people may have not heard. It was a hidden track at the end of “The Lost Tapes”. It has Nas rapping from inside the womb, detailing his fetal journey. Ill concept, great execution.
6. Money is My Bitch – This little ditty off of “I Am” had Nas as a pimp, and the dough-cheese as the hoe. It has a nice little catchy, sing-songy hook. He tells his “legal tender, lovely federal reserve note” they were the best couple since Trump and Marla Maple. Quality
5. Fried Chicken – This collabo with Bussa Buss off of Nas’ “Nigger” album compares the infamous yard bird with a no good woman. It really goes at the cornerstone of the soul food diet. Eating better is not a topic usually tackled by rappers. Well done (pun intended).
4. Last Words – Nas is known for his heavy subject matter, this song shows why. It is the last words of figurative slaves. Nas and Nashawn rap over another L.E.S. track. These songs get progressively more important as he get older. Nas is Dope.
3. One Love – A CLASSIC record. Nas + QTip=Quality. Nas is sending kites to his mans and them on a record. This is Nas’ first tangle with the concept joint, and he beat its face in. This record invokes a feeling like few do in the current landscape of hip-hop. This type ofime record makes Illmatic the greatest Long Play recording in Hip hop history. Who’s f’n with Nas when it comes to song writing as an art?
2. Rewind – What a smart record. Brave, inventive…crazy. This is another instance where Nas not only paints a picture, but does it like no one else before…he tells it backward. Like some kind of Hip Hop Yoda. Please tell me the feeling you got the first time you heard this record off of “Stillmatic” when the voice mail is playing at the end.
1. I Gave you Power – This record did it for me, the full musical experience. Dope beat, lyrics on point, ill concept, did I mention a dope beat? Nas details the exploits of a misused gun over a dope DJ Premier track. “How you like me now, I go blaow, it’s the shit that moves crowds making every ghetto foul, I might have took your 1st child, scarred your life or crippled your style I gave you power, I made you buckwild.” …and that’s just the hook?! This record even has the intangibles, a sinister feel but somber at the same time. To me, this is Nasir Jones at his best.
So there you have it, my top ten Nas concept records. Writing this reminded me of why I was a Nas fan in the 1st place. So in closing get at me on twitter @illfam79 , it’s was a hot one, only 49 days until Dallas Cowboys Football, go cop that album, and to reiterate Nas is the best songwriter Hip Hop has ever seen, if you disagree with any of that…Your Opinion Is Wrong. Peace