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Hip Hop Is Dead

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Reseña de álbum

Hip Hop Is Dead is not Illmatic. Illmatic stands as one of the most impressive debuts in rap music, and consequently has set up inevitable, and often unfavorable, comparisons with each of Nas' subsequent releases. And so it is practically a given that the two albums in fact do not compare, that the beats, the rhymes, the insight, the flow Mr. Jones had on Illmatic have not been duplicated here, and in all honestly, probably never will. Nas himself seems aware of this — though he would never admit it — as throughout the record he references the MCs, the producers, the DJs who made the music what it was and what it is today, many of whom were releasing material in the early '90s, when Nas first made a mark. He himself is one of them.

The statement that "hip hop is dead" is clearly meant to be controversial, and was, as rappers and rap fans alike exploded into debate after Nas declared it to be the title of his next album. But it's also a statement that the MC doesn't completely adhere to. He flip-flops between declaring that it has already gone, to warning of its imminent departure, to promising "to carry on tradition," to resurrecting it. But these inconsistencies don't come from contradictions in Nas' beliefs; rather, they stem from the fact that his biggest problem with hip-hop has nothing to do with current talent, but what hip-hop itself has become — how it's magnified from an art form, from a way the ghetto expressed itself, into a commercialized, corporate entity that Nas himself is part of, something about which he feels more than a little guilty. This is most openly addressed on "Black Republican," which appropriately features an equally guilty (in terms of both improving and commercializing rap music) Jay-Z, who spits out better lines than anything he did on Kingdom Come. The track, which ingeniously samples "Marcia Religiosa" from The Godfather II (a film that, in many ways, parallels Nas' ideas about hip-hop as it deals with the dark side of making money and the problems that befall an overly zealous pursuit of the always crafty American Dream), finds both MCs lamenting the state of the genre while also acknowledging their own participation — and enjoyment — of what it's given them. "Black Republican" is an understanding and admittance of hypocrisy, and this sentiment continues in "Not Going Back" and "Carry on Tradition," the latter in which Nas rhymes, "We used to be a ghetto secret/Can't make my mind up if I want that/Or the whole world to peep it." Nas enjoys the fame, but he also realizes that it has hurt the very thing he loves most, his "first wifey."

Yet Mr. Jones is not completely blaming himself for hip-hop's demise. In fact, he gives more of that responsibility to those who don't respect it, who don't know its originators, and he takes stabs at them more than at himself (he did release Illmatic, after all). He's also willing to ease up on his criticism and rhyme in more general terms, although it is these tracks (specifically "Still Dreaming" and "Hold Down the Block," but much of the second half of the album as well) on which he loses some of the intensity and intelligence that he displayed earlier in the record. Still, he's able to regain his strength by the end, bringing together the East and West Coast on the Dre-produced "Hustlers," which features a great verse from the Game about trying to decide between buying Illmatic or The Chronic and being the "only Compton ni**a with a New York state of mind." Nas finishes up Hip Hop Is Dead with the spoken word piece "Hope," which, despite its seeming simplicity, shows off his indelible flow, how he raps as easily as he talks. Consciously or not, listeners are reminded that there's a reason he was the one who made Illmatic, and why it, and therefore Nas himself, will continue to be held in high esteem.

Reseñas de clientes

Nas - Truest MC in the game

Enough of the snap music, the hyphy movement and all other imitations of what great rap should be. Nas gives us truly a classic disc filled with great songs that deliver from all angles. His lyrics are unprecidented and his flow is masterful. Street's Disciple was decent, but this proved to be much better. The ratings are: 1. Money Over Bu*****t - Grimey beat, classic Nas flow, simply amazing great opening - 9/10 2. You Can't Kill Me - Beat isn't the greatest, weak track - 7/10 3. Carry on Tradition - Deep lyrics, great message and great beat - 9/10 4. Where Are They Now - R&B flow, talking about other rappers that have been in the game - 8/10 5. Hip Hop is Dead - Hip Hop was on the verge of dying but thanks to Nas, Lupe and others its gettin back to the roots of greatness - 9/10 6. Who Killed It? - Great exotic beat, weird voice but still a catchy song - 8.5/10 7. Black Republican - Oh my, two of the greatest on one song, great lyrics - 10/10 8. Not Going Back - Great slow beat, reminiscin', Nas brings it hard on this one - 9.5/10 9. Still Dreaming - Kanye makes a great appearence on a laid back beat - 8/10 10. Hold Down the Block - Nas truly raps about things that matter in society and the ghetto - 9/10 11. Blunt Ashes - Nas tries to go back to the flow of I Am...not the greatest but good - 7.5/10 12. Let There Be Light - Nas is rhymin like hes replicatin Illmatic, not exact - 9/10 13. Playa on Playa - I guess there needs to be one song like this, Scorch's beat is weak - 7.5/10 14. Can't Forget About You - Amazing flow and beat, classic nas, C. Michelle with a great chorus - 10/10 15. Hustlers - Words can't explain this song, amazing Game, Nas and Marsha of Floetry jus kill the song completely - 10/10 16. Hope - Just lay back and hear the old school lyrics and chill, great ending - 10/10

Tied for best album of the decade

SO FAR (we still got 3 more years) this has been tied for the best album since 2001.Since then, rap has had no heart.The only CD on the same level as this was Eminem's The Marshall Mathers which droppe in 2001. And also, one person who didnt feel this CD gave Bow Wow and Pretty Ricky 5 stars.Hmmmm.And the other has no idea what he is talking about.He is obviously incredibly shallow, and another great quote "Not everyones capable of graspin' what I spit." If u dont know who said that, do some research.If u think this CD has no heart, u obviously havent the heart urself for Hip Hop to even hope to grasp what level this CD is on.After all, rappers arent here to write straight foward in order for shallow ignorant people that enjoy leaning and snapping to understand. To the CD, best NaS CD since Illmatic.Easily.Way better than his other 2 classics, It Was Written and Stillmatic.Its just amazing this CD.Every track on here put me in a mood I havent been in since Game Theory by the Roots dropped a few months ago. Money Over B*******-my 2nd fav, track on the album.No punchlines, no wordplay, He just spits it completely raw.Best line in this song? "I'll put a barrel in a capos mouth"Subliminal diss to someone from Harlem? Hmmmm. You Cant Kill Me-Probably the hardest beat that really just hypes u up. Carry on Tradition-Ahhhhhh I love this song.Not the best, but NaS tells it real raw here. Where Are They Now-Tied for best joint on the album.It has an old school feel thats just amazing and NaS's flow just absolutely slaughters the beat.Probably my favorite song since uhhh wow all the way back to Shook Ones Pt. II quite possibly Hip Hop Is Dead-the title track.I love NaS's flow and lyrics on here, and lord knows how true they are (everybody sound the same, commercialized the game, Reminicising when It wasnt all buisness)However, I am not a fan of and I dont think this was a good song to be the single.With all the hype around NaS and Jay together I think Black Republican shouldve been the first single.That or Play On Playa, which wouldve gotten more play in clubs and radio and MTV/BET. Who Killed It?-A very strange song, and yet I loved it.I just cant stop listening to this song, NaS isnt on the majorirty of it, (or is that NaS doing a funny voice?) but its one dope song.The beat is just creepy and mysterious, and I personally fell in love with it Black Republican-the other track that could be the best.Ive been dieing to hear what NaS and jay would do on one track together for years, and I wasnt disappointed. This definanatly shouldve been the first single. Not Going Back-Sick Song, a real song, in fact probably NaS's realest song since Street Dreams.Well, untill u get till Blunt Ashes anyway, which could be his realest ever. Still Dreaming-Probably one of the most catchy songs.kanye did a nice job on it too, but NaS overshadowed him Hold Down the Block-FAR from the type of track youd think, not some ghetto bang em up song.This is a very very real, ill and dark song.Reminds me of It Was Written. Blunt Ashes- The most personal song.Easily has the most heart into it, u can tell NaS really gave this song his all.This is a type of song u throw on when ur in a bad mood and need to calm down. Let There Be Light-A real inspriational song, the perfect song to follow up Blunt Ashes.One of my personal favorites. Play On Playa-Lol if my favorite club-banger since Big Poppa by Biggie.But, this song isnt like most club bangers.This is a song the more underground, lyrical hip hop fans can enjoy too.I think if a DJ or radio station or MTV/BET wanted to be smart and draw in biggest audience, this would be a great choice because every rap listener should enjoy it. Cant Forget About You-A great choice for a second single if Black Republican or Play On Playa isnt.A type of song that wont rock the clubs, but can definatly capture many different audiences.Its kinda a slow song and I was defiantly digging it Hustlers-THIS SONG IS ABSOLUTELY SICK.NAS MUSTVE TURNED THE BOOTH TO A SLAUGHTER HOUS ON THIS JOINT.PROBABLY DRES HOTTEST BEAT ALL YEAR.Its so catchy and a real anthem.In Fact, this is NYs best anthem since New York New York by Ja Rule. Hope-Classic.Just NaS spitting it raw.If u want a track to dance to look elsewhere.What iTunes didnt include was that Hope is an Acappella song no matter where u listen to it.This isnt a song to just throw on, its hard to listen to this and not be focusing on his lyrics.Unbleviable flow, I havent heard NaS spit like this since Halftime.True Story, In other words, this CD is a classick.I loved it so much,I went to school late today just to buy it.THis is my favorite CD in years and years. And in a dull era of Hip Hop, this was the light we needed.COP THIS RIGHT NOW.Dont buy Jeezy or Bow Wow.Cop this CD right now!!!!

Tru MC

This album is for mature listeners only. Real Hip Hop ya dig. Hip Hop needed a push and Nas is the MC to do it...Wake up hip hop start droppin gems on ya listeners, the world need to hear it. NaS is the Greatest of All - Peace (Prince Hajib - Trenton NJ)


Nacido/a: Long Island, NY, 14 de septiembre de 1973

Género: Hip-Hop/Rap

Años de actividad: '90s, '00s, '10s

Beginning with his classic debut, Illmatic (1994), Nas stood tall for years as one of New York City's leading rap voices, outspokenly expressing a righteous, self-empowered swagger that endeared him to critics and hip-hop purists. Whether proclaiming himself "Nasty Nas" or "Nas Escobar" or "Nastradamus" or "God's Son," the self-appointed King of New York battled numerous adversaries for his position atop the epicenter of East Coast rap, none more challenging than Jay-Z, who vied with Nas for the...
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Hip Hop Is Dead, Nas
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