Nas – Hiphop Is Dead

New Nas

Its not often I come with the exclusive music – I leave that up to the one Eskay usually… but here’s that new Nas in full before everyone else has it…

Nas – Hiphop Is Dead

The press blurb reads like this…

Nasir Jones has a message: Something is terribly wrong with the state of hip-hop today.

One of the greatest MCs to ever pick up a microphone, Nas has watched as his beloved hip-hop has gone from its innocent days of B-Boy battles and lyrical sport to today €™s fake-thug posturing and commercial excesses, and he €™s got something to say about it. Throughout his storied career €“ which began with 1994 €™s classic Illmatic and has spanned the last decade with over 12 million albums sold €“ Nas has been more than just the genre €™s foremost lyricist and thinker. He has become a statesman, some would argue hip-hop €™s €œconscience. €

As evidenced by last year €™s highly-publicized reconciliation with longtime adversary JAY-Z, and his subsequent signing to Def Jam Recordings, Nas has shown that actions speak louder than words: unity is more powerful than divisiveness. The time has come for hip-hop to grow. Now, with the December 19 release of his long-awaited Def Jam debut €“ the aptly-titled Hip-Hop Is Dead €“ Nas returns to his role as mentor and teacher, his legendary mic skills as sharp as ever, and takes today €™s young rappers back to school. The lesson? Hip-Hop €“ As Nas sees it €“ is very much alive.

€œWhat I mean by ‘hip-hop is dead’ is we’re at a vulnerable state,” Nas recently told MTV News. “If we don’t change, we gonna disappear like Rome. Let’s break it down to a smaller situation. Hip-hop is Rome for the ‘hood. I think hip-hop could help rebuild America… We are our own politicians, our own government, we have something to say. €

Nas keeps it vital from jump. On €œQ.B. True G, € featuring Compton €™s The Game, the two MCs trade verses over a vicious Dr. Dre beat; the student pays homage to the teacher, remembering standing on line to cop Illmatic. On the Nas-produced €œWhere Are They Now, € Nas runs through a litany of classic, bygone MCs over a monster James Brown sample. The theme continues on the Scott Storch-produced €œCarry On Tradition, € a warning to students of the game. €œStill Dreamin €™ € features a soul-heavy beat and hook from Kanye West. Elsewhere, Snoop Dogg shows up on the west-coast tinged €œPlay On Player. €

Will.I.Am productions show up twice on the album: the title track, €œHip Hop Is Dead € is set to a heavy rock beat interspersed with old-school breaks and showcases some of Nas €™ most dexterous mic work in years. €œUnforgettable, € featuring Def Jam songstress Chrisette Michelle, riffs off a Sam Cooke sample, with Nas €™ looking forward to the golden years, while looking back on his past: €œWhen was the last time you heard a true anthem/Nas, the millionaire, the mansion/When was the last time you heard your boy Nas rhyme/Never on schedule, but always on time. €

Finally, Nas brings an uncompromising political stance on €œWhite Man €™s Paper (War) € featuring Damien Marley. Set to a throbbing Bob Marley sample, Nas flirts with controversy, chanting: €œI get my news from that white man €™s paper/So I get my views from that white man €™s paper/ My people act a fool for that white man €™s paper/And I don €™t think it €™s cool, Fuck that white man €™s paper/ No books in our school cuz that white man €™s paper, Is droppin €™ cruise missiles on the head of our neighbors/And I €™m like why? €

The tones and themes throughout Hip-Hop Is Dead should be familiar to Nas fans: defiance and wisdom, mourning and hope. However, his perspective, focus and intensity have changed. There is a new sense of urgency in Nas €™ pleas for change.

“When I say ‘hip-hop is dead,’ basically America is dead,” Nas continues. “There is no political voice. Music is dead. Our way of thinking is dead, our commerce is dead. Everything in this society has been done. That’s where we are as a country. €

Hip-Hop Is Dead, and the remarkable circumstance leading up to its creation, marks a new passage in Nas €™ story. While the past is certainly gone, and the present is constantly changing, with a new label and an incredible new album, Nas €™ future is an open page, waiting to be written.

9 Replies to “Nas – Hiphop Is Dead”

  1. I think it’s a bit poo.

    Me: Hello is that William?
    William: Yes
    Me: William you need to get some new drums.
    William: What like these Apache ones?
    Me: No, stop pissing about.
    William: Okay. Sorry.


  2. Hiphop is dead alright!But wait,that means the one who siad this is dead too…after all,isnt he a hiphop MC?

  3. I’m still on dat dial up son. The track is still downloading. I heard the intro and Will-I-Am is on some next shhh! I loved his work on I Luv my Biii. Nas has been that dude I cant wait 2 cop it. I threw out my Hova albums when Nas didn’t drop in August. The concept & message is deep!!!

  4. Nah, the album is great. One of the better hip hop albums. Creative, deep, introspective and tight. Didn’t like the joint produced by cweb though and where are they now was alright. Also, at first, I couldn’t stand who killed it. Then I listened again and realized the brilliance of the track. Dude may very well still be the greatest m.c. to touch a mic. I’ll give it to him. this album was crazy!


  5. The cd is really good. I had to listen to it over and over just so I didn’t miss something. I feel like NAS… yes HipHop is dead… where are the forgotten soldiers and the true emcees? Something has to give… We are in a musical workd of HipHop INFLUENCED music… or rap… Not real HipHop. HipHop was fun and inspirational.. it is now BORING and anything that isn’t the radio friendly look of what HipHop is portrayed as is now weak, fake, or wack… Give me Nas any day over the glamHop that I hear daily…

  6. Best album of the year. maybe hip hop will wake up and stop partying. Nas is an intellectual who spits things the average person can relate to. He touches on everything important about hiphop. He is briliant because he forces alot of emcees to step up. Nas is anything but a sellout for signing with defjam he is a modern day hiphop pioneer who deserves to get paid. Every one of his albums is consistant in my eyes. If you dont like nas than you dont like hiphop

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