How Can Nas Be Garbage?
Thursday March 18th 2010,
Filed under: Killa Queens,Nas Is A Douche,Not Your Average,The Unkut Opinion
Written by:

“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):

Illmatic

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']

I Am…

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']

Nastradamus

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

Stillmatic

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']

God’s Son

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']

Street’s Disciple

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

Untitled

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.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on TumblrDigg thisShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

148 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Yep ! Way too much filler on most of his albums. I’m sure there’s still a good album left in him if he gets with the right producers.

Comment by CrateDigga78 03.18.10 @

It’s hard to say how right or wrong you are right now, because you’re not too specific with which actual songs you consider to be the classics on the LPs.

Comment by b-ease 03.18.10 @

can you be more specific about which songs of each album are classic in your view.

Comment by vcsom 03.18.10 @

And I’m confused, are we talking “classic” or “great”? Cause you use both terms, but they mean completely different things.

Comment by b-ease 03.18.10 @

i am looking forward to the nas and damian marley collabo album that drops april 20th, jr gong is by far my favorite marley after bob

Comment by gstatty 03.18.10 @

too vague

Comment by shotta 03.18.10 @

“Project Windows” wasn’t classic?

Comment by Dip 03.18.10 @

SMH@ no mention of ‘You’re Da Man’ on Stillmatic. Extra P murdered that shit.

Comment by Keyboard K 03.18.10 @

jay z doesnt have that many classic songs either .

he does have a classic album that has all classics in it . blueprint .from the rulers is back to the girls girls girls remix … all classic stuff

Comment by kedordu 03.18.10 @

like to see this done to Jay-Z albums

Comment by Mr.Londoner 03.18.10 @

@b-ease: Updated…

Comment by Robbie 03.18.10 @

let us know the tracks off illmatic that ain’t classix, please.

Comment by Chulee ManSun 03.18.10 @

ya man,
this is all opinion, so I’ll disagree.

I was happily suprised with the 6 on the lost tapes, love that album.

regardless, not a TERRIBLE look but aren’t you guys usually hatin on Nas. which is why there is no fact in opinon.

Nas maturing, has moral/consious rap, people don’t like the message as much, I respect him for it. SHows versatility, like Jay-Z did on the 2 songs he wasn’t talking about money girls and what he did 20 years ago.

Comment by mcb 03.18.10 @

by the way I’m hoping you mean classic/great as in REALLY great. if so, this list is more complimentary than it seems, as not a lot of artists have their albums contain over half great songs, like Nas has with the majority of his.

Comment by mcb 03.18.10 @

oh yeah, what about the Flyest?!???

Comment by mcb 03.18.10 @

Robbie, appreciate the update, but I gotta no-sign a lot of it. “Memory Lane” not classic? Represent? Shootouts? Silent Murder? Undying Love? Project Windows?

Comment by b-ease 03.18.10 @

Hate to get caught up in semantics, but I meant to type “great” in that last comment, as opposed to “classic”.

Comment by b-ease 03.18.10 @

@b-ease: Yeah ‘Memory Lane’ should have been there on second thought, he kills that shit.

Comment by Robbie 03.18.10 @

every track on Illmatic is classic. oh and “if I ruld the world” is classic

Comment by willdc 03.18.10 @

Yo, swear to god, Undying Love is a very underated song. That song was epic to me, VERY VISUAL. All in all, I think dude’s list is suspect. No classic songs on HHID?! C’mon son, I see niggas still tight about Nastradamus, when that album could still slaughter the comp. in this day and age.

Comment by SayyyWorddd 03.18.10 @

his catalogue is the higher ! come on son

jay got hit songs and club bangers, damn

but nasir jones has the fuckin’ best catalogue yall

Comment by yessir 03.18.10 @

Last Words…classic

Comment by shotta 03.18.10 @

Which New York rapper has more classic songs than Nas and Jay-Z combined over a career with multiple albums? Ghostface. He gets overlooked, but for sheer talent, flow, diversity, ingenuity, choice of beats, lyrical creativity it has to be Tony – Jay-Z and Nas have been coasting for years, their reps built on brilliant pasts but dull presents. Ghostface Killah never gives less than everything he has to a track.

Comment by gc 03.18.10 @

first and somophore lps are classic
third’s good
fourth is okay
stillmatic is dope
god’s son is a masterpiece
street disciple is a mix of great n good
hhid was good. but underrated
untitled is a masterpiece
distant relatives will be a great album no doubt
do not panik his tenth solo album will be on point

ps: the lost tapes iz a fucking great ish

Comment by yessir 03.18.10 @

How can you not put undying love, small world, favor for a favor, the joint where he was the chick, the life we live, stillmatic intro…y’all trippin

Comment by paychexx 03.18.10 @

No classic songs on HHID?!

^^
I actually agree with Robbie on that one. Quiet as kept, HHID is Nas’ weakest LP. Money over Bullshit is really the only superb track.

Comment by b-ease 03.18.10 @

Tracks I’d add:

Illmatic: every track except “One Time 4 Your Mind”.

It Was Written: “Shootouts”. Great storytelling. Oh, “If I Ruled The World” and “Street Dreams”. You can’t deny those records.

I Am: “Undying Love”. Again, great storytelling.

Nastradamus: “Life We Chose”. Best song on the album. People overlook this song because the rest of the album is so bad.

Stillmatic: “One Mic”. Creative and lyrical.

God’s Son: you pretty much covered it. I think this album is overrated.

Street’s Disciple: “Nazareth Savage”. “Getting Married” was a good song. This album is underrated.

Hip-Hop Is Dead: Next to Nastradamus it’s my least favorite Nas record. It’s not so much that it’s bad as it is lifeless. Dead if you will. “Still Dreaming” was dope tho.

Untitled: “America”, “Sly Fox”. I don’t know how you can deny “Sly Fox”. That’s a great song.

The Lost Tapes: “Blaze a 50″ and “Poppa Was A Playa”.

Comment by ctg 03.18.10 @

not to mention all the freestyles he used to murder on them clue tapes and shit like escobar 97′, blaze a 50, on the real, star wars…

Comment by beanoo617 03.18.10 @

word.u are so right.nas is gifted but his beattaste is elsewhere.i got his first two joints.and the doom bootleg.that’s enough.

Comment by swordfish 03.18.10 @

Never understood your Nas semi-hate, Robbie.
Plus i think there is more great songs almost in each album.

Comment by andrewfromrussia 03.18.10 @

God, I hate Nas fans.

I like to pretend Nas no longer exists after Thief’s Theme and Serious.

Comment by MF 03.18.10 @

So… “Hate Me Now” is one of those “ironically” good songs, but you leave off “If I Ruled”? Fuck outta here with this list.

Comment by ReyTheHussein 03.18.10 @

WTF? How is “One Mic” not a classic? How is “Represent” not a classic? How is “Money Over Bullshit” and “Where Are They Now” not dope Nas records? How can “The Set Up” be better than “If I Ruled The World” “Street Dreams” and “Watch Dem”? “Black Republican” > “Success” (Altho, that’s dope record too).

The most amazing thing about both Nas and Jay is the kind of nonsensical hate they both inspire. Lots of people seem to have bizarre opinions about them that for the life of me I cannot understand.

Comment by Incilin 03.18.10 @

Whatever man…

Comment by Deen 03.18.10 @

Also, “Will only be remembered for the failed shock-jock tactics” is not exactly a fair summary of HHID. After all, the album caused a huge amount of discussion, the album debuted at number 1 and outdid Jeezy’s first week numbers, and it eventually went Gold. Do you really think all of those things would have happened if Nas had named the album “NaS Daq Down Jones”?

Comment by Incilin 03.18.10 @

Nas is the GOAT…and other people’s opinions are like assholes and everyone has one! Nas’ catalogue is the BEST thus far IMO!

Comment by please stop the semi hate 03.18.10 @

The more these blogs try to hate on Nas the more rediculous they look, it is a shame these blogs try to discredit Nas music in under to hype their favorite artist! Nas got these niggas in a frenzy over his lyrical ability but haters can’t stop what is BLESSED by GOD….Nas is God’s Son!

Comment by wow!!! 03.18.10 @

Good till i got to I Am. Last 3 songs are classics..so I stopped reading. you fail on this post sir.

Comment by Belize 03.18.10 @

FAIL

Represent, what goes around, Stillmatic intro, the flyest, nazareth savage is bananas, theifs theme

All of IT WAS WRITTEN is amazing, “shootouts”

you’re bugging.
Do your homework instead of listening to some nonsense people think they heard Jigga say 10 yrs ago

Since when did pop become cool? I don’t want my favorite artists trying to cross over one some bullshit like Fabolous does. with 0 classic albums to his name.

Comment by BrooklynNY 03.18.10 @

Dude is trying to say “Represent” isn’t classic.
Like that shit is not timeless.

UNDYING LOVE is possibly the best story ever written in hiphop

Comment by BrooklynNY 03.18.10 @

Yo Robbie, first of all, I really enjoy your website, keep up the good work. Usually I keep my opinions to myself, but when it comes to Nas, somehow it doesn’t really work…

Anyways, there are two songs I wanna mention. Project Windows (Nastradamus) is one of my favorite Nas and hiphop joints period. Definitely food for thought right there…

Seeing how your the ultimate eastcoast boombap blog (one of the things that make this such a great website…) I am kinda surprised you left out stillmatic intro… straight banger to me

Well, that will be all

Peace from the ‘dam

Comment by AMSTERDAM 03.18.10 @

still love the beat on ‘Black Republicans..

this article needs to b redone though with more detail and clips

Comment by PHD 03.18.10 @

Yo Robbie that Stillmatic Intro wasn’t a classic? Or at least great? And what about ‘Autobiography of Rakim’? I wouldn’t say it was classic but it was a dope record for a weak ass album.

Comment by dj blendz 03.18.10 @

Represent on Illmatic is a fuckin classic.

The Nigger mixtape with Green Lantern was also dope.

Comment by d 03.18.10 @

The original version of “Project Window” IS classic. In fact the original Nastradamus album is leaps and bounds better than what ended up being released.

Comment by skinnyjoe 03.18.10 @

there are a lot of rappers who need to real eyes when to retire, get behind the boards or get into management… when ya thru, ya thru

Comment by er4se 03.18.10 @

C’mon son – Zone Out ain’t exactly classic (Jungle & them are pretty terrible) but the beat is fkn spastic! And hate on the production all you want, bu conceptually ‘Dr Knockboot’ is killer.

Comment by Chris 03.18.10 @

props to “black republican”

Comment by see 03.18.10 @

WHOEVER WROTE THIS ARTICLE IS A NAS HATER !!!!
Throughtout the history of MUSIC and not just RAP music…..
Rarely do artist make albums that have more than TWO classics songs on them !!!!! ALL albums usually have two songs that be classic, and the rest of the album be trash!!! In Rap, and R&B!!!

Comment by b hargrave 03.18.10 @

I haven’t read the comments yet, but how is “Ghetto Prisoners” (rise) not on here? HMMMMMMMM

Comment by dameSTATUS 03.18.10 @

I was going to call you out Robbie but I see the people know what’s up. I would like to see you do this for Jay Z, Ghostface or Redman too.

Comment by ENIG MUE 03.18.10 @

Yup, first and last visit to the shit you post. A quick skim over and no If I ruled the world? One Mic? Project Windows? You’re leaving out shit that isn’t even up for question, are you new to this?

Comment by kingp 03.18.10 @

Check yourself:

The Cross – God’ son. Easily the best track on the album.

Comment by Detect 03.18.10 @

First off, all of Illmatic is straight classic. But the thing that is so frustrating with Nas is that it blows my mind how someone who does shit as good as Illmatic does something as fucking terrible as Nastradamus. As straight classic as Illmatic is, Nastradamus is equally as terrible. That is one of the worst (not just hip-hop) albums of ALL TIME. When i first heard that shit it made me want to quit listening to music. It was the complete opposite of how I felt the first time I heard Life’s a Bitch or Halftime.

Comment by BIGSPICE 03.18.10 @

OK, let me take a crack at this…

Illmatic-Classic from “The Genesis” to “It Ain’t Hard To Tell”. ‘Nuff Said.

It Was Written-Back in ’96, I remember my man tellin’ me that, on the low, this joint might be a little better than Illmatic. As much as I was feelin’ this album, I thought someone slipped some dust in his L. Turns out, ten years later, I came to the same conclusion. My least favorite joint on there was “The Set Up”. Dope story but I thought Havoc could have hit him with something harder. The only thing Illmatic has over IIW is aura. Otherwise, this is his most complete joint.

Iam-Take away “You Won’t See Me Tonight” and that god-awful “K-I-S-S-I-N-G” and this is in his top 5. “Ghetto Prisoners” was the sleeper on that joint.

Nastradamus-On maybe 2 different occasions, I tried to listen to this album. Couldn’t do it. Other than “Come Get Me” (one of Premo’s bottom tier joints), it’s unlistenable. It’s been 8 or 9 years since my last attempt. Maybe I’ll youtube it.

Stillmatic-Not quite a classic but very close. “Rewind” alone is almost worth the price of admission. “Every Ghetto” is unfairly overlooked and “2nd Childhood” is one of the realest and most thoughful joints.

God’s Son-Other than “Get Down”, “Last Real Nigga Alive”, “Zone Out” (weird but grimy) and,of course “Made You Look” (lyrically, the LAZIEST Nas joint ever but with a track like that, all you have to do is show up), I do not really like this album but I’ll at least dust it off from time to time unlike Nastradamus.

Street’s Disciple-Like with most double CD’s, trim the fat (American Way, No One Else in the Room, Suicide bounce, etc.) and it’s not that bad.

Hip-Hop Is Dead-Nothing on there I wanted to skip but nothing on there I wanted to rewind, other than maybe “Where Are they Now” due to my soft spot for James Brown. And what happened to “Where Y’all At”? That joint smashed everything that made the album.

Untitled-Brilliant concept, near flawless execution, boring production except for “Fried Chicken” and “Black President”.

Lost Tapes-In my opinion “Blaze a 50″ is the best story I ever heard in hip-hop except for De La’s “Millie Pulled a Pistol On Santa”. The rest of the album: classic.

Distant Relatives-Novel idea but we’ll see…

Comment by oskamadison 03.18.10 @

mobb deeps the infamous and hell on earth better then any 2 nas albums both classic, hope when p gets out they sighn to duck down.

Comment by pmac 03.18.10 @

@
there are a lot of rappers who need to real eyes when to retire, get behind the boards or get into management… when ya thru, ya thru

Yes! A lot of them are. But Nas is surrely not. I think Nas is one of the few artists who can move Hip-Hop to next level. Where it will became grown man music (like jazz) not young man sport (like this whole fukkery thats on radio now). If you know what i’m saying.

Comment by andrewfromrussia 03.18.10 @

how is one mic not on this list? one of nas’ greatest tracks ever

Comment by trizz 03.18.10 @

Songs you didn’t mention on your bad list.
Illmatic:Track 1-10 classic.
It Was Written:Only song i don’t like is black girl lost.
I Am:Favor for a favor,Ghetto Prisoners, Undying Love
Nastradamus:Would’ve been good if it was bootlegged at first but project windows & come get me.
Stillmatic:Stillmatic(Intro!!!classic),one mic classic as well,2nd child hood,the flyest.
God’s Son:Get Down,Zone Out wasn’t that bad,Book of Rhymes was aitee,i like dance cause i can relate.
Street’s Disciple:Nazareth Savage was crazy,I messed wit Just A Moment,Suicide Bounce,
Hip Hop Is Dead:Where Are They Now,Who Killed It?,Still Dreaming,Hold Down the Block,Blunt Ashes,Let There Be Light.I liked this album to me honest.
Untitled:Sly Fox,N.I.G.G.E.R.,Project Roach(my second favorite song on the album),Black President.
I think dude is just a big Hov fan and sleeps on nas but nas got hov anyday.

Comment by Cees 03.18.10 @

I think Nas’ catalogue is greatly overrated, and he hasn’t made a really great album since 2001, but yeah, there’s def. some serious oversight goin’ on here.

There’s no way his importance/greatness/history as an artist can be strictly concealed inside of the albums on a song-for-song basis.

I agree w/ you on most of those post-Stillmatic albums and whatnot, and ‘classic’ is forever a subjective thing. But this is a lil’ too polarizing to be a real analysis on Nas’ standing as an MC.

-D!

Comment by DANJ! 03.18.10 @

Alot of these posts must come from people under 30…jus an observation…but Illmatic is the only album I would even consider as an album…if he had a good song on anyother full length record it was just a present surprise…oh and one time for your mind is called Illmatic and Large Pro and Nas killed that…sefinitely classic…prob dont understand what hes talking about…im out

Comment by mercilesz 03.18.10 @

pleasant surprise

Comment by mercilesz 03.18.10 @

definitely…whats up wit my qwerty

Comment by mercilesz 03.18.10 @

How has ‘Take It In Blood’ not yet been mentioned. Far from being Nas’ greatest jawn, it’s quite possibly the best hip-hop song ever crafted.

Comment by Guy Fawkes 03.18.10 @

i never comment, but i gotta say…

-’represent’ is classic… like the rest of illmatic
-’take it in blood’=super classic. btw ‘nas is coming’ was lyrically insane. IWW>illmatic IMO. “street dreams” rmx is insane.
-’oochie wally’=classic
-verbal intercourse, mo money, eye for an eye, in bw us… dude also has countless classic guest spots.
-i saw nas do all these songs live once and he ripped it… i never realized how many classic songs he had since that day.

shit they played ‘you owe me’ in the club last night (i live in dc). heard it in vegas the other day, too… no offense, but you don’t ish about nas. he always delivers lyrically.

Comment by o 03.18.10 @

i don’t fuck with anything after illmatic but i always thought the intro to stillmatic was great

Comment by ben profane 03.18.10 @

Cause I don’t know the writer of this “article” or his backround i’m not gonna say much other than; How could you Leave off: “If I Ruled The World”, “Undying Love”. “Life We Chose”, “One Mic”and “Blaze a 50″ Just for starters. But Leaving off “If I Ruled The World” is just crazy and takes away from your credibility. And i’m tired of dick riders saying Nastradamus was wack! If anything i’ll let u say it didn’t survive the test of time because when it came out No one was saying that wack shit AND IT WENT PLATINUM IN A MONTH! (released 23 Nov 99, Platinum 22 Dec 99) Niggaz wuzn’t OD saying it was wack till Jay-Z said some shit about it.(where intresting enough he bit off the “Come n Get me Track”)
@Cees: You went in! And i agree with all your selections, and could even add a few more for real. “THAT’S NAS AINT IT/MADE IT RICH FROM ENTERTAINMENT/FRESH WALLY’S PAINTED AS HE TOLD THE KID HE CAME WIT….”

Comment by BronxBomber 03.18.10 @

YOUR F*CKN IDIOT…THE N!GGER ALBUM HAD ATLEAST 4 CLASSICS…AND FROM STILLMATIC HOW DO YOU NOT HAVE FLYEST GANGSTAS ON THERE AS A CLASSIC..

Comment by F YOU PAY ME! 03.18.10 @

joke post.. leaving off if i ruled the world was the first sign.

0 from hip-hop is dead? Really?

And then you pick two of the worst beats from Untitled.

fuck outta here

Comment by R1ZE 03.19.10 @

poppa was a playa was overlooked. ah screw it.. there are too many things wrong with this feature.. c’mon “remember the times” is amazing.

crappy job guys.

Comment by p 03.19.10 @

Wow…I thought “Take it in Blood” was the best song off of It Was Written.

Comment by wmack 03.19.10 @

YOOOOOOOO UR BUGGGGGGGINNN …STOP BEIN BLINDED BY THE NONSENSE IN HIPHOP….NAS MAKES RAP MUSIC THE FULLEST PERIOD IT AINT BOUT SALES OR LOOKIN GOOD ITS BOUT MUSSSSSIIIICCC N MUFUCKASS CANT FUK W NAS…ONE OF THE BEST EVER PERIOD …YOU DEF DONT NO CLASSIC WEN IT COMES TO RAP

Comment by sonero 03.19.10 @

Cosign “Take it in Blood” is missing on your list.

Comment by scjoha 03.19.10 @

I’ll wait for the Jay-Z one,but overall i can co-sign this.

PS: RD/Vol.1 >>> Illmatic/IWW

Comment by Eastern_Digital 03.19.10 @

I know you’ve had issues with Nas for awhile Robbie but c’mon son. What is the criteria here? I have no idea why that commenter got so mad you gotta take shots at him over him taking issue with Nas not being mentioned but damn son, really?

HHID had 0 classic records? Look I think the title track holds up, Money over Bullshit is dope, Hustlers, Let there be Light, Black Republicans delievered and ditto for Still Schemin. Even tracks with underwhelming beats like Carry on Tradition were on top form.

Also even Nas’ weakest LP had classsic records. How on earth did you forget the Primo-Helmed Come and Get Me? Or Project Windows?

I would even argue his commercial song-writing ability isnt that bad. The Aaliyah track on I am had solid single potential and was no different than the records of that era crossing over. If we are critizing his radio-making penmenship

Theres as few other songs you didnt mention. Take it in Blood, You Cant Stop Us Now, Y’all my Niggas, You’re da Man, War….thats some of Nasir’s best stuff.

Look we can sit here and be mad he never made another illmatic but when you delve into catalogue further he actually has one of the better discographys out there. Whether its because of illmatic or we’re really gonna believe everything Jay says, a lot of people are actually sleeping on his work because of what its not rather than what it is.

Comment by prophecy 03.19.10 @

Jay > Nas
Take over > Ether (facts vs. lies & camel jokes)
Rockefeller wasn’t gay and never died of aids.
“just because you don’t understand him don’t mean that he’s nice, just means you don’t understand all the bullshit that he writes, damn Jay)

Comment by little homie naz 03.19.10 @

‘Thugz Mansion NY’

^ No love for this???

Comment by Kell-EL 03.19.10 @

I guess like many on the website, I’m a lurker (visit everyday but don’t comment much), but I can see that if you want to raise the comment section robbie just mention Nas’ name!…lol.

I’m definitely a big Nas fan, and it’s funny to look back at albums, 10 to 15 years later to see what we think about them now. I disagree with robbie selections like most of us on here but I think Nas is the type of artist that either slants you one way or another, not much grey area.

Comment by Sublime 03.19.10 @

@ prophecy

You said it all. I totally agree.

Comment by Sta 03.19.10 @

see i like nas but dude plays to the public too much, i think he reads columns such as this, where people dissect his work and then thinks i of what to do next based on what the public say…. he is still one my fav emcee
black girl lost fav track it was written , one more dance thats nas being nas which is dope

Comment by reason 1 03.19.10 @

To say that HipHop is Dead has zero classic songs is myopic to say the least. The entire album is flames except for “Not Going Back,” “You Can’t Kill Me” and “Blunt Ashes”

As for Nastradamus, it was for sure not his best but how you gonna overlook “Come and Get Me” produced by Premier?

On God’s Son, you forgot Made You Look, Warrior Song with Alicia Keys and Heaven…

And on his last joint Untitled you forgot Project Roach, N.I.G.G.E.R., Sly Fox and You Can’t Stop Us Now

Get the wax out ya eardrums!

Comment by yeah yeah 03.19.10 @

Some Nas features are definitely classic, especially Verbal Intercourse, Mo Money Mo Murda Mo Homicide, Road to Zion…

Comment by neocoltrane 03.19.10 @

Is there some sort of bat-signal that went out to all the Nas stans?

I mean, I’m with ya, Nas is dope as fuck, but damn, where’d all the new readers come from?

Somebody’s Google game is tight!

Comment by Frost Gamble 03.19.10 @

When I was a kid I found a Stones record of my Dad’s and asked what they were like, he said the music’s not bad but they’re such wankers he can’t really listen to it.
I didn’t understand at the time, but after following Nas from Illmatic to Streets Disciple I completely get it. Even the old shit I used to love is now wrecked for me after all his little hissy fits and various Kanye West-outs over the years.

Comment by Bergs 03.19.10 @

Damn Robbie, you missed a ton of great Nas material. I would call you out, but the other commentors beat me to it. All I’ll say is that the Nigger album is a great peice of work that people determined they weren’t going to like before it was even released. 10 years from now fans will come around to it the way they have with It Was Written. And I thought we already determined that IWW is stellar front to back?

Comment by hl 03.19.10 @

NaSty NaS=G.O.A.T. PERIOD!!!!!

Comment by dmitry aka brooklyn jew 03.19.10 @

Come Get Me off of Nastradamus should be listed.

Comment by LEX 03.19.10 @

“Nas is Like” isn’t a “classic”??? Kill yo’self!!!

Comment by Prince 03.19.10 @

How the fuck is “One mic” not a classic song? Are you serious?…. (I can’t believe I’m actually mad right now, sorry)

Comment by Shawn 03.19.10 @

This post is EXACTLY why Nas is hands down one of the Top 5. Except Jay-Z who else has 10 plus albums worth us dissecting???

Nas has way too many joints from so-called ‘classics’ to ‘great’ to just ‘good’ to remember. Certainly WAY MORE than 35 songs! GTFOH!
and that doesn’t included collabos and guest appearances.

Off the top of my head his first 2 albums and God’s Son are my favorite. GS was a masterpiece. Mad gems were dropped on Mastermind,Warefare,Heaven and I felt his agnst on the song about his moms:Dance.

Comment by BKThoroughbred 03.19.10 @

After thinking about it, I realized that a lot of Nas “hate” is ironically coming from a place of love. Think about the intensity of the discussion when dude’s name is brought up. If we’re talkin’ about, say, Melachi the Nutcracker from Group Home, the convo goes like this: “he’s wack, next topic”. I mean, how do you come in the door almost single handedly changing the game with not one but two ground breaking classic albums and spend the rest of your career playing hit or miss? His level of artistry on those first two albums to a degree spoiled us into expecting that level on EVERY album. Do we listen to every new Ghostface album expecting to hear another “Ironman” (or for that matter “Supreme Clientele”?), Do we even expect every Hov album to be “Reasonable Doubt”? Granted, when Nas goes left, sometimes he goes so far left he ends up going right but expecting someone to change the game with each album is just a tad unrealistic. Basically, even with all his ill-advised joints (and there’s more than a few), when he’s motivated and got something to say, you’re hard-pressed to find anyone that can fuck with him. One last thought: imagine if “Illmatic” would have done the numbers that it deserved to do at the time, say 1-2 million. how different might his career have been?

Comment by oskamadison 03.19.10 @

OK, my final, final thought. While we’re talkin’ about his overlooked joints, this wasn’t on any of his albums, in fact it might have been just a mixtape joint or something from his demo but if one of y’all have heard this joint, let me know: “Understanding”.

Comment by oskamadison 03.19.10 @

damn this post definitely polarized the Nas stan community, i used to stan out on Nas pretty hardcore, but i gotta agree with Robbie, his shit has been pretty hit and miss these days, plus i don’t know about johnny hardcore’s comment about Nas having more quality and classic releases than any other qb rapper, i’m sure there are others that either rival nas or could even beat his track record, i for one would like to see Johnny hardcore’s comment rebuffed with a critique on other qb rappers in terms of classic releases, fuck hov that guy makes pop music for teenagers, his only relevance is in his older classics, dude is a brand now not an emcee

Comment by gstatty 03.19.10 @

“…the only nigga Sadé dated / the most hated / NaS nigga…”

Comment by Frank 03.19.10 @

nas hustlers on Hip Hop Is DEAD??? By Doctor Dre? You kiddin me

Comment by for real? 03.19.10 @

What is the purpose of this?? Seriously, there has been an ongoing attempt by Jay Stans worldwide to assassinate Nas’ legacy and standing in the rap game, just because he beat Jay in the battle of 2001-2002.

It burns them to this day that their “God” got his ass handed to him, and they’ve been steadily trying to belittle Nas, laughing at his personal life failures, and trying to use that to say “see, Jay won”. Some of these Stans have even gone as far as to say Illmatic wasn’t a classic.. Jay Stans, (including this author) please get over it, your man LOST. Even he had to admit it.. it’s been over 8 years now.. I’m sick of this never ending Nas/Jay isht.. they are both legends in their own right.

Comment by Q-Double 03.19.10 @

Ha Ha…Johnny Hardcore is my emcee name. It is sort of a joke but also it just means stick to your guns. Max Hardcore is the porn star,his M.O is making chicks gag and throw up with cock.

I in no way intended to start all this Robbie hate. I love UNKUT, especially the interviews and votes, I just disagree with Robbie on Nas. I meant what I said as a friendly challenge, dude is entitled to his opinions. I did like the break down although I would have picked different songs, but it is all a matter of opinion..for instance…I think OutKast were dope up till and including Aquemini…

Just like Robbie I’m a white kid from an island who loves his Hip Hop

http://www.myspace.com/therealjohnnyhardcore

Comment by Johnny Hardcore 03.19.10 @

Your pretty much justified except I would say all 9 tracks on Illmatic are classic, especially in this day and age. I thought different tracks were dope here and there.

You gotta re-listen to “Suspect” on It was written. I know we both love hardcore rap and that song is cold as ice.

With his unreleased tracks I got a few more classics. Counting guess appearances this list can go past 50

Comment by TheR879 03.19.10 @

i just listened to all of nastradamus last night and it was good, not great but it was good i think its slept on cause of the weak singles and noboday wanted to fuk wit it. and if the songs from the lost tapes wasn’t leaked it would’ve been close to classic.

Comment by Cees 03.19.10 @

If I ruled the world isn’t that hard but he kills his verses and it’s the most well known of all his songs. Classic

Comment by TheR879 03.19.10 @

Cormega > Nas

Johnny Hardcore you are an idiot…

Comment by Qwermoo 03.19.10 @

this post got me lookin’ for the original I Am.. album that was bootlegged – damn if that had dropped as originally inteded… *fire*

Comment by wax 03.19.10 @

It must make the HATERS sick to know that Nas does not have to boast himself like Jay or dickride the new/hot emcee in the game but yet he is the most criticized and hated on artist by his peers and the industry as a whole and STILL NO ONE Can fuck with him lyrically…NOT even Jay-z! These blogs are truly bias against Nas and are doing their worst to try an discredit his music but as Nas just told the Honolulu Weekly when the asked him:
Do you ever get tired of defending yourself against your critics?

Nas reply:
Critics?! I kind of forgot that they exist a long time ago. At times I got off on passing their expectations. Nowadays, maybe I’m playing with them, and then I wait for them to catch up to where I’m at. Some haven’t. Most never will.

Nas is very aware of his haters/critics and he defeats you guys all the time! When you haters think you got him against the ropes rather it be his personal life or music…Nas is BLESSED to surpass your hate!

Comment by stop the hate 03.19.10 @

Oh Robbie is white? That explains alot.

Comment by hl 03.19.10 @

Wow!! There sure are alot of NAS fans on here crying. Anybody that says all ten tracks on Illmatic were great has very low expectations. How can you call The Genesis which is an intro a classic; it’s filler. Nas was and is a great rapper that lost creative direction. From his introduction on Live at the BBQ to Back to the Grill Again to Halftime to the demo version of It Ain’t Hard to Tell he seemed to be an emcee with a solid foundation and a bright career ahead of him. Somewhere between his first songs and the release of Illmatic he started to become this wanna be deep and introspective rapper and he lost me. Track for track I would even go as far as to say Akinyele had the better debut. He is a good rapper that makes some great songs but he makes horrible albums. Nastradamus was a coaster/frisbee and Streets Disciple could have been reduced to an EP. Despite what alot of people would like for everyone else to believe Nas is good but he’s not that good.

Comment by Brooklyn 'Lo 03.19.10 @

“On maybe 2 different occasions I tried to listen to this album. Couldn’t do it…It’s been 8 or 9 years since my last attempt. Maybe I’ll youtube it.”

I took my own advice and I’m eating my words and chasing them with a Heineken. I don’t know if it’s because it’s been a long time since I tried to listen to it or the fact that in the 10 years since its release there’s been 20 shitloads of wack music masquerading as Hip-Hop but Nastradamus actually sounded dope to me. Nas is the official king of personification joints. If I Gave You Power didn’t get him the crown (OK, deduct a point or two for simply putting a different spin on Organized Konfusion’s Stray Bullet) then Last Words should have done it. Shoot ‘Em Up was ill even New World was tolerable (Toto sample and all). Anybody still hatin’ on this album, go back and listen to it with an open mind. Do yourself a favor and skip You Owe Me though, that shit’s still corn, lol.

Comment by oskamadison 03.19.10 @

good stuff here…id definately like to see this broken down for other artists…undying love immediately popped out as the missing cut from your list tho..memory lane too..the only thing i can think of from hip hop is dead is the intro he killed that…sly fox was nasty on the N album too..good look on showin the lost tapes crazy love i agree!…i think scarface, ghostface, jigga prolly the only ones gonna give him a run when broken down like this

Comment by stevep 03.20.10 @

i seen somebody mentioned on the real…that joint is crazy i laff everytime he finishes the sunny d line cuz he just murders it

Comment by stevep 03.20.10 @

Didn’t make the cut

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCOURZ-yx4E

Comment by Johnny Hardcore 03.20.10 @

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAcB4k5f95g

Comment by Johnny Hardcore 03.20.10 @


I dunno what yall sniffin young… Illmatic is
What defines a classic album. Its THE classic!
If that’s not classic wtf is?

Comment by brutalLee 03.20.10 @

The joker that wrote this is NOT HipHop. I totally respect a man’s opinion but c’mon did u even LISTEN to Nastradamus? Undying Love, Life We Chose,Shoot’em up? Even worse how do u overlook ‘Take it in Blood’ from It Was Written? That record(and most can testify to this) is practically the sum of NaS’ talent as a writer. This was just someone displaying their hate and discontent for the Nasir Jones. Makes me wonder what these so called HipHip Heads listen to…

Comment by Evers82 03.20.10 @

Robbie,

After seeing the pic you chose to throw up, I knew there was no way that this would be remotely objective. But, whatever, we’re all entitled to our opinions and I don’t begrudge you for yours on Nas. Personally, I think you overrate MOP far more than you underrate Nas, but I respect your knowledge and passion, so I’m cool with it.

And, frankly, I actually agree with you in spirit, even though I do think there were a few glaring omissions (most notably Silent Murder, Take it in Blood, and Represent). But, what’s lost here is that so much of his best shit isn’t on the albums. How you gonna evaluate Nas and set up the criteria to exclude The Foulness Freestyles, True Dialect, Understanding and so many ill guest spots like Fast Life, Mo Money Mo Murder, Serious, Verbal Intercourse, Calm Down, De Ja Vu, and so forth. That’s just nonsensical.

Comment by digglahhh 03.20.10 @

Wait a minute, you’re actually entertaining a serious hip hop debate with a dude who typed this:

I honestly have never heard of “On the Real” or “Calm Down” I would love to hear them all the same.

This is a waste of your time.

Comment by digglahhh 03.20.10 @

^sorry i missed two of Nas’s 50 to 60 good songs. If i find and hear them will you allow me to be in your Hip Hop Mickey Mouse Club…I challenge you to a game of Hip Hop Jeopardy…haha

Comment by Johnny Hardcore 03.21.10 @

Nas stans are the easiest people in the world to piss off. I love them, makes them easy to troll.

Comment by Soltan 03.21.10 @

the nasir fanboy armada isn’t amused.but i am.

Comment by swordfish 03.21.10 @

Ok so whats the point of all this?
In all actuality Rakim kinda had the same problem but who cares he’s nice!
We SHOULD be discussing these new cats albums like this but we cant lol
Nas is gifted with the pen game to the point where if you as a fan dont like him, YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER adores him lol….
so I guess that has to be annoying to some…
Nas will forever be the rock in jay-z’s shoe lol wack or not betcha that sh*t!!

Comment by QUNYC 03.21.10 @

I agree with digglahhh. Robbie, get your head out your ass and recognize!

Comment by Dune 03.21.10 @

So no mention of “Take it in Blood” have u ever even listen to It was written????????????????

Comment by GQ 03.21.10 @

@QUNYC:

“Nas is gifted with the pen game to the point where if you as a fan don’t like him, YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER adores him, lol…”

Nothing but the truth, word to Fabolous.

Comment by oskamadison 03.21.10 @

#Fail

First of all Nas’ “seemingly endless unreleased catalog” is half the reason he has so much classic material…I can’t think of another rapper (sans say Tupac) who has more dope unreleased material floating around, enough so to warrant an album ENTIRELY of unreleased cuts smh.

Second this “review” is so obviously biased from the language and song selection it’s not even worth reading for entertainment purposes. It’s a good idea, just let someone else write it next time cornball.

Comment by LikeJordan45 03.21.10 @

What clown wrote this blog… Nas has alot more classics than this… Black Girl Lost, Represent, If I Ruled The World, Project Windows, Come Get Me, Testify, Project Roach, etc…. and on and on and on… Its funny Nas is right, he definitely is the most Crucified Rapper ever!!! Yet when time passes, and we’re looking back at his catalogue 20-30 years from now… You’re going to be saying he was the best! And he kept it 100 while doing it.

Comment by SilkCityP 03.21.10 @

I respect your opinion but you’re being way too critical imo….I say a good 85% of the records on all of those albums were quality material if not more….

Comment by Queens-HipHop 03.21.10 @

Going purely on the points you made I’d say that easily make Nasir one of the greatest.

As many have pointed out there’s arguably a lot of other Nas “classics”, but the fact that many of the tunes you picked aren’t just Nas’ best songs, but some of the best hip hop ever created goes a long way to certifying his position.

You def’ should try comparing his catalog to Jay’s in the same way. I reckon it’ll just highlight Nas’ superiority, at least when it comes to the “real hip hop” credentials.

Comment by DUNC4N™ 03.22.10 @

This article is poor.

Comment by HOOD 03.22.10 @

Escobar is the illest.

Comment by StandOut FT 03.22.10 @

I challenge you to a game of Hip Hop Jeopardy

Unfortunately for you, Jeopardy, screens its contestants before allowing them on the show.

I’ll take “Joints that almost every regular Unkut commenter has on multiple original mixtapes from when they were in their teens (that feature numerous legendary MCs) that Johnny has never even heard of in 20-fucking-10, over a decade after the internet went mainstream” for 800, Alex. I mean, these aren’t even particularly obscure tracks.

Aight, whatever, it’s not really that serious. I just couldn’t resist the urge to type the above paragraph.

But anyways, I digress. Analogy – Nas is the A-Rod of hip hop. An absolute legend and one of the best to do it who is the subject of excessive, baseless, and largely arbitrary slander by the very people who are supposed to be knowledgeable enough to fully understand and preserve his legacy. Discuss.

Comment by digglahhh 03.22.10 @

@digglahhh

Unlike A-Rod, Nas “won the World Series” on his first LP. A-Rod played what, 15 years before getting a title. Ha.

Comment by turtle 03.22.10 @

I didn’t really see the point in you making this. Its hard to take these stats seriously considering, the quality of, not just Nas songs, but any song is easily debatable. Its all just a matter of taste. Someone might say all of nas’ tracks are good, others might say none of Nas’ tracks are good. I myself think that Hip-Hop Is Dead and Untitled were great albums. This dude clearly begs to differ. Like I said its all a matter of taste, and can all be easily argued. So what’s the point?

Comment by Gavin 03.22.10 @

Glad you broke it down for people about NAS. It’s kind of sad though his beat selection is not the best but, maybe he’s just not picky with tracks or he has a bad ear. I think he cares more about concepts than the song as a whole. I’m ready to see Jay-Z’s list in comparison though, I think Jay-Z cares more about how people receive how his music sounds. Nas doesn’t give a f*ck!

Comment by JAPIRO 03.22.10 @

U must be one of those corny ass niggaz who dont listen to real rap u just listen to the radio.
Illmatic- All 8 songs classic!!!
It Was Written- That Whole album is classic
I Am K-i-s-s-i-n-g money is my bitch undying love all classic
Nastradamus project windows last words classic
Stillmatic the whole album is classic man he has so many more classics that its senseless to keep naming them all u need to re listen and erase the hate.

Comment by Mo Money 03.23.10 @

Great article.
Great concept.
Co sign the others who said do Jay, Ghostface & Rakim.

Comment by PR2 03.23.10 @

Im sorry but you not that good at reviewing and listening to records and then extracting the true value of them. Not all albums are classic but Illmatic is considered to THE greatest album of all time. It Was Written was incredible it took me a while to realize how much of a gift it actually was but nonetheless…it’s fucking awesome.I Am !!!!! The Autobiography are you serious the bootleg version with Fetus, Drunk By Myself, Original Project Windows, Poppa Was A Player,Blaze A 50 are you serious ? Nastradamus was rushed but Project Windows was the shit.If you never listened to a Nas record this wouldn’t be the first album I’d recommend you to listen to.Stillmatic was dope but a little overrated it was to long it was dope but it should have been cut short.That Braveheart Party was terrible.God’s Son was great Made You Look will forever be one of those classics you never get tired of, the beats were solid on this one.Streets Disciple terrible, next.Hip Hop Is Dead hmmmm this album was almost all over the place it started off great but the beat selection just lost me. I never liked the Black Republican beat.Untitled was damn near a classic but once again some tracks made me scratch my head

Comment by Bee-HipHop 03.23.10 @

I can say NAS is one of the best MC’s,Poets and talented music artist out today. To keep it real with you I just coped the first album. NAS has a style of his own and I think with some official beats he can continue to keep going in the music industry today…

Comment by Bill Blast 03.23.10 @

Project Windows is one of his top 5 classics. And its Nastradamus’ saving grace.

Comment by nate goodness 03.23.10 @

Nas one of the best to ever do it PERIOD!
Just them beat choices… damn… Salami Rimmi again? That gy has a 1 in 20 nice to garbage ratio.

Nas over better production is a no brainer.

Comment by Big Rap6 03.29.10 @

Nas great rapper, 80% poor production. Get Pete Rock and Large Pro back on the boards!

Comment by M.Turn 03.29.10 @

I dunno how you don’t count Represent Robbie.

I stopped listening to Nas as soon as I heard If I Ruled The World. The only post Illmatic records I own are Star Wars, Nas Is Like, Stay Chissled and Made You Look.

Comment by Big Zed 03.31.10 @

NAS = 5%er MUSLIM he is very aware of whats going on specially about THE NEW WORLD ORDER you guys dont even know it buts its islamic hip-hop trying to awaken you. 2PAC BUSTA RHYME MICHAEL JACKSON JUST TO NAME A FEW WHO ARE ALSO MUSLIM lil wayne just recently converted

Comment by OSAMABIN666 04.10.10 @

I don’t quite agree. The dance, heaven just a mile away, soldier song on god’s son seem overlooked. To me this is one of the best albums in his catalogue.

On street’s disciple I love some songs that aren’t listed either.

The conclusion isn’t that far off just a lil worse in yours than in my opinion

Comment by Prev 05.31.10 @

Dude no classics on hhid? You need to be fired.
Black republicans, where are they now. The first two songs, the shit with kanye….nigga please

Comment by fogcity$lim 08.06.10 @

OSAMABIN666–I thought Nas was down with the New World Order and the Illuminati and all that stuff?

Comment by vollsticks 08.07.10 @

Nastradamus wasn’t his best album but I revisited it recently and it’s definitely not that bad…There’s good songs on there..Not to mention “Last Words” is a Classic to me…Mad no one has mentioned that track.

Comment by Los 08.14.10 @

Just stop it.

Comment by rnstyle 08.25.10 @

nas is the best

Comment by unikpoet 02.25.11 @

“Illmatic” and “It Was Written” are amazing albums. The rest of his albums are drink coasters.

Comment by KonstantElevation 06.20.11 @



Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)