Filed under: Killa Queens,Nas Is A Douche,Not Your Average,The Unkut Opinion
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
“With the exception of G Rap, Nas has more dope songs then anyone from Queens and just as many as any other rapper in the world” – Johnny Hardcore
Following this challenge of sorts by a guy who seems to have taken his screen name from a male pr0n star, let’s take a look at Nas’ discography to see how many great tracks he’s released (not including his seemingly endless unreleased catalog):
Even though this isn’t quite the perfect rap album it’s claimed to be, it’s hard to front on how incredible most of the songs are. ‘Halftime’, ‘It Ain’t Hard To Tell’ and ‘NY State of Mind’ are unfuckwittable.
Classic Songs: 7 [‘Halftime’, ‘It Ain’t Hard To Tell’, ‘NY State of Mind’, ‘One Love’, ‘Life’s A Bitch’, ‘The World Is Yours’, ‘Memory Lane’]
It Was Written
A lot of people were pissed-of at this album due to the more ‘universal’ style of production on here, but that’s only because the first album was so raw. Lyrically Nas was still in top form in terms of concepts and style, and the top-notch ‘Live Nigga Rap’ with Mobb Deep more than compensates for that embarrassing Dr. Dre song.
Classic Songs: 5 [‘The Message’, ‘I Gave You Power’, ‘Affirmative Action’, ‘The Set Up’, ‘Live Nigga Rap’]
At this stage it’s becoming clear that Nas is terrible at making ‘pop’ records, yet he keeps trying. ‘NY State of Mind 2’ and ‘Nas Is Like’ attempt to recapture that Illmatic feeling, but come off a little like token efforts to compensate for shit like ‘Dr. Knockboot’. ‘Hate Me Now’ is classic though…for a comedy record.
Classic Songs: 3 [‘Nas Is Like’, ‘NY State of Mind 2’, ‘Hate Me Now’]
The title track was half decent I guess, but when you start looping up Toto’s ‘Africa’ it might be time to cut down your daily weed intake a little. ‘You Owe Me’ should be renamed ‘You Played Yourself’.
Classic Songs: 0
This seemed great when it dropped – especially when compared to the last two albums – but even now it holds up pretty well. ‘Rewind’, ‘Poison’, ‘2nd Childhood’ and ‘Ether’ all win.
Classic Songs: 5 [‘Rewind’, ‘Poison’, ‘2nd Childhood’, ‘Ether’, ‘You Da Man’]
The good news: ‘Made You Look’ is the best Nas song of the last ten years because he doesn’t try to make it sound like his old shit, and the beat is epic. The bad news: ‘Thugz Mansion NY’ and ‘Zone Out’ make me not want to listen to this album ever again.
Classic Songs: 4 [‘Get Down’, ‘Made You Look’, ‘Last Real Nigga Alive’, ‘Book of Rhymes’]
Double album? No thanks. A couple of bright spots, but making a song called ‘Getting Married’ is a recipe for disaster. Also has numerous examples of Nas trying to paint himself as a ‘deep thinker’, which doesn’t always work out so well.
Classic Songs: 3 [‘Theif’s Theme’, ‘Streets Disciple’, ‘Disciple’]
Hip Hop Is Dead
Will only be remembered for the failed shock-jock tactics of the album title and the anti-climactic Jay-Z feature. ‘Success’ >>>> ‘Black Republicans’.
Classic Songs: 0
Another case where an interesting concept is undermined by some wack beats. ‘Queens Get The Money’ and ‘Fried Chicken’ are dope though.
Classic Songs: 2 [‘Queens Get The Money’ and ‘Fried Chicken’]
The Lost Tapes
aka All The Good Songs Cut From I Am. Some of the production on here isn’t all that, but Nas showcases some of his best concept tracks here.
Classic Songs: 6 [‘Doo Rags’, ‘Purple’, ‘No Idea’s Original’, ‘U Gotta Love It’, ‘Fetus’, ‘Drunk By Myself’]
The verdict: There’s no denying that Nas is one of the greatest MC’s of all-time, but in terms of making great records – 35 dope songs from ten albums? Meh. It looks like I might need to compare that to his friend/foe Jay-Z to get some perspective, since not many other New York rappers have churned-out that many full length projects.
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