Thursday, August 12, 2004


why it's really good: i love the big spreadout picture in the booklet, black and white, nas leaning against the bentley and his crew arranged to his left, wearing the same jacket as him, discreet finger signs and gold watches, range rover behind them, and behind them half of the nyc skyline across a guardrail and flat water. there's all these great pictures of him in the book (especially compared to i am... which is the ugliest cd booklet ever): nas in shiny red leather jacket and pieces and chains coming down his shirtless, smooth chest and belly, rag and tilted fitted, dark glasses; var. shots of nas in brown jedi robe and knotted bandana on his forehead, looking pensive and everything. if you stare at the front cover long enough it feels like he's reading your mind. i have nothing to fear because i wish him well and have always supported him. and i bet he can't use his nastradamus powers anymore because he's already become god's son and then back to being the street's disciple. and, yeah, why it's really good? this is why:

god love us - fuck kanye and his lame even the strippers/doves out of bricks shit, nas gets all earnest and poetic and still sounds real. he sings a hook about god having love for hood niggas (cause next to jesus on the cross was the crook nigga but he forgive us) and responding to himself with sung "i know!"s and it's all these little xylophone sounds on the beat and fake horns and he breaks it down with overrefined nas superverses about life and death and god.

family ft. mobb deep - i think prodigy: i got that i don't give a fuck in me / it's stuck in me / that's our advantage over yall niggas / you too pretty, we too gritty / like sanford and son / too grimey like pig pen with diamonds on!! and the best dopedealer nas verse ever, rapping about getting packs off and robbing prostitutes. okay. cinematic dame grease beat. okay.

nastradamus - i love when nas does a verse that anyone else would shout and go crazy with but he just spits it cool/doesn't give a fuck. play the ante up beat in your head and spit it like lil fame then play the one love beat and spit it to match that: I NEED AN ENCORE YALL, YOU SHOULD WELCOME ME BACK / YOU WANNA BALL TILL YOU FALL, I CAN HELP YOU WITH THAT / YOU WANNA BEEF, I CAN LET A SLUG MELT IN YOUR HAT / CAUSE I'M A WILD BARBARIAN, TOO HARD, I'M SCARIN EM. then he says something about a solar eclipse, which lil fame wouldn't. it's overall hotness, real hip-hop l.e.s. sampling james brown hook and nas all gully and that hook. (the verse about ill will with the beat dropping out halfway through is one of my favorite nas verses ever.)

project windows ft. ron isley - i hope i sound lame when i'm talking about how much i love nas. i don't give a fuck. this is the best nas track. it's everything good about him ever. the first verse is like something he could have used on a ny state of mind iii, just compressed non-sequitorial realness. verse 2: hopeful blunted teacher nas telling people to teach their daughters karate and their sons not to hate because the world kills people slowly. verse 3: we hear about his dad, "pops was smooth / from his top to his shoes / sang the blues, guitar strings / he played, smokin his kools / duke ellington hat, picture this yo 70s cat / he wrote his music in the back of the crib, i did my homework / at night the windows were speakers, pumping life out / a fight, people screamin cause someone pulled a knife out / i was impatient to get out and become part of the noise out there / i used to stare five stories down, basketball courts, shot up playgrounds / and I witnessed the murders and police shakedowns / yo the hustlers and hoes, drugs and four-fours / this was the life of every kid lookin out project windows." the beat has this liquidy fast piano (first track after the intro on cormega's last album) and gently crashing drums and ron isley.

come get me - nas was bringing back real hip-hop four years ago!! this is what real hip-hop is all about right here. premo laces nas with some crazy heat, vintage premo shit, and nas proves he's the realest rapper ever to step in the game. YO POWER AND CRIME / THE THUGS SLINGIN 20S AND DIMES / 20S OF D IS YO NIGGAS WILDER THAN MINE?? / MY NIGGAS BUST NINES PUFF LYE AND STICK UP COWARDS / FOR SHINE, YOU RESIST, THEN PUSH UP FLOWERS / I'M LIKE LUCA BRASI VITO'S BEST HITMAN / THAT'S GODFATHER SHIT, BACKSEAT, NEXT LIT PLANS / REVOLVERS SPIT I'M TOO TOUGH TO BARGAIN WITH. i hope street's disciple is all like this. (he even says "stay crunk like the dirty south"!! he could just straight reuse it.)

life we chose - i meant to put this song first in the list because it's the first song on the album. the first songs on nas albums are always the best (the nastradamus intro sucks dick though). he always puts his favorite songs first. this is like the soundtrack to that big picture of nas and his crew in the booklet. it's got all these big horns (Featuring samples from the Fred Wesley and the Horny Horns Featuring Maceo Parker recording "Peace Fugue") and those shivering bells that l.e.s. always uses and it's just nas taking a boring nas verse and spitting it like a soundtrack to a picture of himself leaning against a bentley.

a brief note on you owe me and general comments on bad songs on nas albums: this is an unpleasant song. it's got a horrible, ugly timbaland beat. nas is always very awkward when he talks about sex. he usually starts off okay and then it all turns into this weird shit about bitches on leashes. still, i think you owe me is the only big dud on the cd. nastradamus has the best hit/miss ratio of any nas album! and you owe me doesn't even come close to being as bad as the bad tracks on i am... and stillmatic (only three nas albums contain bad songs, not counting intros or outros [shit, that reminds me of the horrible little weed drops skit between um come get me and shoot em up, i think. it's supposed to be futuristic like some brave new world future drug thing, i think]).

and the intro and outro: SUCK.

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