Tuesday, November 16, 2004

nas - coon picnic (these are our heroes) -- one of the things that made the highpoints on mid 90s nas albums so stunning was the way they came out of nowhere. like the way-- what's the last track on i am...? everlasting love? something like that. the way that comes up on you after trudging through, like, coast to coast a.m. paranoia tracks and a failed doubletime experiment and the dmx feature (nastradamus is the album that gets no love, not even from nas himself but, i don't know, i always rated it pretty highly. i am.. is the only real failure out of all the stuff he's done)-- you get to this amazing closing track, some storytelling shit with sound effects and breathtaking, nicholson baker of rap details and it blows your mind. okay, but this, coon picnic, he's figured out how to get serious with it, do the boring and necessary stuff, but make it sound loose, and joke around, get rid of the grim plodding beat and rock some i've got a story to tell shit.
the title explains what he's going to be talking about, sort of echoing the stuff the things he's been saying in interviews.

master used to breed us to be bigger, to go play
athletes of today in the nba, make me proud
but there's something they don't say
keep getting accused for abusing white pussay
from oj to kobe, aww let's call em toby
first he played his life cool just michael
now he rock ice too just like i do
yo, you can't do better than that?
the hotel clerk who adjust the bathroom mat?
now you lose sponsorships that you thought had your back
yeah, you beat the rap, jigaboo fake nigga, you
you turn around then you shit on shaq
who woulda knew, mr. goodie two shoes?
he love a little buttcrack, got enough cash
little kids with they bus pass who look up to you
to do something for the youth, stupid spook
but you let them use you as an example
they would rep, but our heroes got they hands full

"I Am..." has "You Won't See Me Tonight," "Undying Love," "Nas is Like," "NY State of Mind pt. 2" and (erm...) "Hate Me Now" which I don't really like but I understand some ppl dig it. Anyway I've always felt those high points were leagues ahead of the best tracks on Nastradamus which I listened to again for the first time a couple weeks ago when I read yr piece on it in this blog. Anyway its definitely better than I remembered but I dont really think there are any tracks that reach the heights of I Am...but to each his own. Anyway good looking out on Nastradamus, its perhaps unfairly underrated although in my mind it ranks as one of his lesser moments still.
"At the end of the track Nas thanks role models like Tiger Woods and Cuba Gooding Jr." -streethop.com

I think Nas can probably really identify with someone who won the Oscar and then went and did some shit like Snow Dogs.
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