Nas. What can be said now about the renown Queensbridge, New York MC that hasn’t been said already? From his first 2 studio albums illmatic & It Was Written to The Lost Tapes & Life is Good, the man has really cemented himself as one of the greatest spitters in all of hip hop. He is fresh off his overhated Kanye West produced comeback NASIR last summer & now, he’s back with the sequel to his iconic rarities compilation.
The comp starts off with “No Bad Energy”, which is of course a positivity anthem with a Swizz Beatz instrumental with some beautiful background vocals. The next track “Vernon Family” talks about being rich over a funky instrumental from Pharrell & despite the decent braggadocio on “Jarreau of Rap”, the jazzy instrumental is absolutely HIDEOUS! The track “Lost” proclaims himself as a prophet over a lavish boom bap beat from Statik Selektah while the song “Tanasia” talks about a woman over this orchestral RZA beat.
The track “Royalty” is a mediocre dedication to this young queen over a decent Hit-Boy beat while the song “Who Are You?” brags over some keyboards. The track “Adult Film” needs no further explanation & the piano instrumental from Swizz Beatz is pretty while the song “War Against Love” is an ode to Africa with a relaxing instrumental.
The track “The Art of It” talks about smoking weed over a funky boom bap beat from Pete Rock while the song “Highly Flavored” talks about his fate & the sample that RZA uses is very creative. The track “Queens Wolf” talks about his evolution over a DJ Toomp instrumental with some prominent keyboards & strings while the song “It Never Ends” talks about ongoing violence in the hood over an ominous piano instrumental from The Alchemist.
The track “You Mean the World to Me” is a corny story about a woman that leaves her partner just to be with Nasir over a Kanye instrumental that samples “Don’t It Make You Feel Good?” by Leroy Hudson while the penultimate song “Queensbridge Politics” pays tribute to Prodigy over a boom bap beat from Pete Rock with some dark piano keys. The album then finishes with Beautiful Life”, where Nas addresses Kelis’ slander towards him over a luxurious No I.D. instrumental.
Been a long time waiting on this album & at the end, I think it’s pretty dope. The production is better than half of the albums that they were originally made for & Nas’ pen game overall is a step up from NASIR.