Nas


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Illmatic (1994), 7/10
It Was Written (1996), 5/10
I Am (1999), 4/10
Nastradamus (1999), 3.5/10
Stillmatic (2001), 6/10
God's Son (2002), 5/10
Street's Disciple (2004), 4/10
Hip Hop Is Dead (2006), 4/10
Untitled (2008), 4/10
The Lost Tapes (2002), 5.5/10
Life is Good (2012), 5/10
NASIR (2018), 4/10
King's Disease II (2021), 6/10
Magic (2021), 6/10
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(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

New York rapper Nas (Nasir Jones), who had debuted in Main Source's Live At The Barbeque (1991), rejuvinated the street scene with Illmatic (1994) that contains classic narratives like NY State Of Mind and The World Is Yours . This album didn't change hip-hop but it's a phenomenal representation of the quintessence of early 1990s hip-hop, thanks not only to Nas' vivid lyrics but also to a cast of rising producers that included William "Large Professor" Mitchell of Main Source, Jonathan "Q-Tip" Davis of A Tribe Called Quest, Peter "Pete Rock" Phillips and Christopher "DJ Premier" Martin of Gang Starr.

Nas rapidly abandoned the streets in favor of the mainstream with the unoriginal and uninspired It Was Written (1996) in the vein of the "mafioso rap" that was fashionable back then, produced by high-profile names like Trackmasters (Jean-Claude "Poke" Olivier and Samuel "Tone" Barnes), I Am (1999), and Nastradamus (1999), possibly the lowest point of his career.

Stillmatic (2001) pretended to return to his roots, but and was certainly a surprising comeback (at least One Mic is), but God's Son (2002), containing Get Down, the double album Street's Disciple (2004), Hip Hop Is Dead (2006) and Untitled (2008) showed the exact opposite.

Ironically, some of his best post-Illmatic material appeared on a collection of leftovers, The Lost Tapes (2002).

Life is Good (2012), a stylistic detour, continued to disappoint despite two numbers produced by Dion "No ID" Wilson of Common fame (Loco-Motive and A Queens Story), and the more ambitious The Don, produced by Dwight "Heavy D" Myers shortly before his death.

After a six-year hiatus, Nas returned with the brief 26-minute NASIR (2018), produced by hip-hop superstar Kanye West, but both the lyrics and the production were second-rate, and the lyrics were sometimes disturbing (the seven-minute anti-vaxx rant Everything). The Lost Tapes 2 (2019) was more than disappointing. King's Disease (2020) contains Blue Benz but also a lot of embarrassing lyrics and generic trap beats. King's Disease II (2021), much better produced by Chauncey "Hit-Boy" Hollis, marked a return to form after a long stretch of disappointments, with songs like Death Row East (worthy of Illmatic), Nobody (with a great verse by Lauryn Hill) and Moments (an elegant display of jazz-hop). Nas' artistic resurrection continued on Magic (2021), again thanks to Hit-Boy's soulful and jazzy boom-bap beats. It contains at least three of Nas' classics: Speechless, Meet Joe Black and Wave Gods (also featuring Dj Premier).

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