Yea, I'm back!
This time Nas, the legend, the streetpoet.
Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, or as we know him, by his artist name Nas or Nasty Nas. Nas grew up in Queensbridge, the same neighbourhood of many famous rappers etc. such as Havoc and Prodigy from Mobb Deep and hometown of the Juice Crew. His father, Olu Dara, is a jazz/blues musician. Two tracks of Nas' first album feature his father playing instruments. He also has a younger brother whose artist name is Jungle.
Nas' first album Illmatic came out in 1994, it was critically acclaimed and still is considered to be an amazing classic in Hip-Hop.
His second album It Was Written was released in 1996. The album was more mainstream based coming from the raw, underground sound Illmatic had.
Nas was a member of the group The Firm (Nas, AZ, Foxy Brown and Nature with Dr. Dre as their producer) but in 1998 The Firm split up. He also was in Hip-Hop supergroup Group Therapy with B-Real, Dr. Dre, KRS-ONE and RBX.
In 1999, Nas' third studio-album was released called I Am.... Critics claimed that Nas' music was edging to the mainstream. Nas' label back then (Columbia Records) wanted to release the leaked material from I Am... under the name Nastradamus but just before it would be released Nas decided to record a new album for Nastradamus.
Nastradamus was his fourth album and also came out in 1999. Critics weren't too kind but there was a minor hit on the album (You Owe Me)
In 2001 Nas got into a highly publicized fued or 'beef' with Jay-Z. In Jay-Z's track Takeover he accuses Nas to be fake. Nas responded with the track Ether. Later in 2001 Jay-Z responded with the track Supa Ugly. On Hot 97 a poll about who 'won' the beef was issued and Nas won it.
Ether was featured on Nas fifth studio-album Stillmatic which was released in 2001. It helped 're-establish' Nas' as he was criticized to be dissapointing with his album I Am... and Nastradamus. Stillmatic received a 5/5 mic's rating (just like Illmatic) from Hip-Hop magazine The Source.
Another album was released in 2002 called God's Son. This album was also generally received well by fans and critics.
After this album he started helping his brother's group working on their album and he released a seventh album called Street's Disciple which was also critically acclaimed in 2004.
In 2006 Nas released yet another album. This time it was Hip-Hop is Dead. The title generated a lot of controversy. Nas became some kind of leader of this movement and rappers like Ghostface Killah seemed to agree with Nas and cited southern crunk and snap music as primary reasons why hip-hop is dead. A lot of southern based rappers such as Lil' Boosie, T.I., Dr. Dre, Young Jeezy etc. took offense to the title because they thought Nas targeted their region (Dirty South) Andre 3000 who is from the south however stated in an interview though that hip-hop was dying. (Lines like these on Nas' Hope which was featured on Hip-Hop is Dead:
Cause if you're askin' - Why is hip-hop dead?
It's a pretty good chance you're the reason it died, man
It's a pretty good chance your lame ass, corny ass, is the reason it died, man
You don't give a fuck about, you don't know nothin' about it
You want this paper, be a hustler
You a hustler, you ain't a rapper
Nas ninth album was released in 2008. Nas announced it to have the title Nigger. Alot of controversy was generated by the title and Nas' management feared that a lot of stores wouldn't want to sell the album. Nas changed the title to Untitled and stated: 'the people will always know what the real title of this album is and what to call it'.
Nas released another album together with Bob Marley's son Damian Marley. The album would consist of tracks that were mixes of Reggae and Hip-Hop. Personally I think it came out really well. The album is called Distant Relatives.
Nas announced he was working on his tenth studio album and in September 2010 he announced Lost Taped Volume Two would be the tenth album.
Nas - New York State of Mind (in my opinion this is his best track ever)
Nas - Life's a Bitch (Feat. AZ) (one of the tracks Nas' father did the instruments)
Nas - One Mic
Nas - Ether (the Jay-Z diss)
Nas - Made You Look
Nas - Book of Rhymes
Hip-Hop is Dead:
Nas - Hip-Hop is Dead (Feat. Will.I.Am)
Nas - Hold Down The Block
Nas - Hope (Yes, accapella, that's how it is on my album and it sounds way better than what they say is the original on Youtube in my opinion)
Nas & Damian Marley - As We Enter
Nas & Damian Marley - Africa Must Wake Up (Feat. K'naan)