Ladies and gentlemen where do we start? Do we talk about the illmatic Queensbridge rapper or the Wu-Tang Clan member. Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, better known as Nas, is a masterful maestro in the booth whether that be alone or amongst a group. Nas’ album illmatic was the soundtrack to many young niggas lives. Let us truly take a second to analyze this mans discography!
Rapping wasn't even really a genre or art until 1979 because of the come up of Rapper's Delight in the mid-late 80’s. Soon thereafter in 1991 a new sound arrived on the scene. A rapper who introduced himself as Nasty Nas, talking much sh*t about murdering police, hanging n*ggas, and kidnapping Barbara Bush.
Fast forward 25-years and this same man is telling a new story! Nas has released a new album this past week (July 19) The Lost Tapes 2. An overdue sequel to “The Lost Tapes” originally released in 2002, the sequel was set to follow the next year in 2003 but due to discrepancies between his record labels the project was postponed until further notice.
The pertinence of the original The Lost Tapes was so important to the growth of Nas as an artist! He was supposed to release a double album, a concept album if you will. It was to be called “I Am… The Autobiography” one side was to recollect his life from start to finish portraying a death by suicide and the other side was supposed to be dedicated to his afterlife.
Unfortunately the album was leaked in the early 2000’s causing his record label to scrap the whole idea and release new music (The album I Am.) So small fragments of what would have been the hardest album of its time was lost to the universe forever… or so we thought! In 2002 Nas released the original album “The Lost Tapes” which was a compilation of all the original tracks from the concept album!
The Lost Tapes 2 is only a sequel by title as this album released this year is all new music. Bringing an authentic Nas feel with new lyrics. The album consists of 16 songs, ranging from old school Nas, with hardcore rap lyrics to the musical genius sampling Al Jarreau’s jazz piece “Round, Round, Round” which dates back to 1981! Nas grew up around music his whole life. His father, a jazz musician, prompted his love of music. Growing up in America’s largest housing projects, Queensbridge, he was surrounded by the sound of the streets. Turning his surroundings into a craft he found his own avenue of music to work with. And ever since this man has been arguably the best rapper of his time.
Saying all of that to let you Divah’s know the new album is not short of what we expected. With beautiful ballads and an A list team of producers working on the project it was bound for greatness. Some of the producers featured are Swizz Beatz, Pharrell Williams, No I.D., and Kanye West. https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/nas-the-lost-tapes-2/
The track “Tanasia” pays homage to his New York upbringing and other tracks have a slow burner vibe like “No Bad Energy.” Nas has maintained a very pivotal role in Rap for the past 25 years and is not letting up anytime soon!