Wednesday, August 30, 2006

It Was Writtin Review

When this album was released in 1996, it became an instant classic. Nas was able to rap about important topics such as the value of life, riches and wealth, gun violence and many others. With his crafty word play, Nas was able tell facinating stories. For example, in the song "I Gave You Power," Nas raps from the prespective of a hand gun. Nas mentions, as a gun, he was able to see all the fear that comes from it.

I see n***** bleedin runnin from me in fear, stunningly tears/
fall down the eyes of these so-called tough guys, for years/
I've been used in robberies, givin n***** heart to follow me/
Placin peoples in graves, funerals made cause I was sprayed/

After seeing all the damage he can bring, Nas decided to jam himself from firing the next time his owner were to pull his trigger because he was disgusted by what he seen. When the event finally came, Nas put his plan to work. He held the bullet and prevented it from firing. As a result, Nas's owner was shot in the head by a rival gunman. At that moment, Nas felt happy that he would be fired anymore because his owner in the end. To his dissapointment, in the end of the song, some random person was able to pick up Nas before the cops came, and Nas has to start all over again.

This was just one of many clever stories was able to rap about in this album. Overall, most in the songs in CD were quite good. Basically each song has intellectually written lyrics.

Though this album was all about the story telling, listeners tend to forget the producers who contributed to the album's success. Well known producers such as Dr. Dre, DJ Premier, Havoc of Mobb Deep, and L.E.S composed the beats that help Nas with his song. The beats were pretty good quality overall.

The only negative part about this album is the tone or atmosphere of some of the songs. This album was somewhat mafia related. Nas used words such as Don Juan and also refered to himself as Nas Escobar. It just didn't feel right due to fact that Nas is from the streets and now he is talking about fancy cars and cigars. As an Nas fan would know, this album would be the start of his "Sell Out," time period in his rap career.



Notable Tracks

The Message, Streets Dreams, I Gave You Power, If I Ruled The World featuring Lauryn Hill.

Monday, August 28, 2006

God's Gift Mixtape Review

Eversince Nas squashed his beef with former rival Jay Z, hip hop fans have been waiting for the two to start collaborating together. Though it has been rumored that Nas's next album will feature a song with Jay Z, his album won't be released till the end of 2006. The closest thing to an official Nas and Jay Z collaboration would be this mixtape.
This mixtape contains past Nas rap verses and blends them with Jay's verses. Along side with these legendary verses, notrious mixtape DJs such as Mick Boogie, Joey Fingaz, and Terry Urban provides production that suits the rapper's sentences. Also, this mixtape cd includes a live recording of the actual reunion of Nas and Jay Z on stage.

This is one of the best Mixtape cds I have ever heard. Just hearing Nas's lyrical verses back to back with Jay Z's hardcore rhymes totally blows my mind away. Nas has been know for his poetic genius while Jay's been know for his energy. Having both of these rap legends on a track tends to balance it. Also, it was great to hear these emcees together because each track seems like Nas and Jay were communicating with each other. For example, on the track titled "24 Years to Life" Jay talks about his experience in the ghetto while Nas talks about how the ghetto brings the worst of people. Excellent word play from both of them.

Though this album sounds to good to be true, it does contains some flaws. Not all the tracks are good. On some of the songs, Jay Z just lacks intellegence to keep up with Nas's word play. Also, some of the production doesn't fit well with the two rappers. Other than these flaws, It's a pretty good mixtape to listen to.


Notable Tracks

24 Years to Life, Most Incredible, In Between Us, What's Beef?, Analyze This