So, anyone who knows me knows that I’m an unabashed Nas fan. Like, I legitimately believe he’s incapable of spitting a wack verse. Side bar, if given the chance, I’d even argue with Jay-Z about Nas’ “Oochie Wally” verse. Now, was that Nas’ finest moment? No, but those bars weren’t straight trash, son. In any case, lyrics were never Nas’ problem, man. On the real, his beat selection has always been suspect as fuck. With that being said, the trend (sadly) continues on the first single for this The Lost Tapes II album.
Ok, for those who are unaware, Nas is releasing a follow-up to his classic compilation album. Now, the original The Lost Tapes featured a bunch of songs that were supposed to be on I Am… and Stillmatic. However, thanks to early internet bootlegging, those songs didn’t make it out in their initial forms. Anyway, when that record came out in 2002, I was fucking HYPED, fam. Seriously, that album has some of my favorite Nas tracks, like “Blaze a 50,” “Everybody’s Crazy” and “Poppa Was a Playa.” Needless to say, when Nas teased a follow-up, I was ready to go, bruh.
Now, it finally seems like he’s ready to drop the record, son. So, as a warmup for the audience, Nas put out “Jarreau of Rap (Skatt Attack).” The song features the legendary Al Jarreau and showcases Nas’ lyrical dexterity. The problem is, the beat fucking sucks, man. Like, it REALLY sucks, fam. On top of that, the hook is super weird and wastes the Jarreau feature. All in all, this is not what I wanted to hear from this album, bruh. Shit, when a project lists Swizz Beatz, Pharrell, RZA, Pete Rock and Kanye West as some of the producers, this ain’t the vibe I’m looking for, brethren. Frankly, I want to know who sanctioned this shit, folks.
Listen, Nas’ ear for beats has always been his Achilles Heel, son. The truth is, he’s always made his best albums when a notable figure gave him guidance. For example, MC Serch and Large Professor were the glue for Illmatic. Trackmasters were the glue for It Was Written. Large Professor returned for Stillmatic. No I.D. was the glue for Life Is Good. The way I see it, I don’t know if I can trust a Nas album when he’s left to his own devices, man. Keeping it a buck, I wish he would get Rick Ross to pick his beats. Hell, that might end up being one of the best albums ever, fam.
In the end, Nas will always be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Ultimately, I can’t take anything away from his ability to put words together. However, I was seriously unimpressed with this first single, bruh. By and by, I hope this isn’t a reflection of the whole album, son. If it is, it may have to be a hard pass for me, man. At the end of the day, that would hurt my rapper heart, fam. That is all. LC out.