Nearly 2 years since listeners heard the phrase “Nas Album Done”, fans finally receive a gem. Kanye tweeted and he delivered. The Yeezy produced Nas album hit all platforms on June 15 with a slight delay. Previewed over a live YouTube feed and a few popular Instagram accounts the night prior. 7 tracks of Nasty Nas over Kanye West beats, some say it’s a gift from the Hip Hop Gods. This collaborative event even made itself an entrance on streaming platforms with technical difficulties lasting until the final hours of the day.
About 80-percent through a G.O.O.D June, NASIR, is the 4th Kanye produced project released. Nas sticks to his political, knowledgeable, and storytelling ways over Kanye production. Only features from Kanye himself, Tony Williams, The-Dream, and a nostalgic intro with Puff Daddy.
“Fear will make you reveal who you really are”
Honestly, this album may be a decade too late or long overdue. Due to a little riff between him and Jay Z in the early 2000s, Nas and Kanye haven’t had a chance to collaborate until 2006. Late Registration introduced the world to the damage that is done by Nas being featured on a Kanye West track. The fans wanted that, heavy samples looped over for Nas to get nasty on. Lyrically, Nas made his points and touched on issues throughout the project. A positive trend by artists as of late through these disastrous times. Perfect time for these lyrics to say the least.
“If Starbucks is bought by Nestlé, please don’t arrest me I need to use your restroom and I ain’t buy no espresso”
Majority of Hip Hops youthful fans may not understand the significance behind Puff Daddy adlibbing on track one. ‘Not for Radio’ is meant to be a continuation of “Hate Me Now”. A controversial time in both artist’s careers, the nostalgic song allows fans to reminisce on what once was. Astounding budgets for rap videos and bootlegging was at an all-time high. Long before rappers needed social media presence to make it on any kind of list.
Even if the project is a bit anticlimactic, there are some takeaways. Three standout tracks deserve the repeat button.
There’s “White Label” a collaborative production effort between Ye, Mike Dean, and BoogzDaBeast. Starts out with someone letting you know what it is regarding who’s coming first if someone’s life is on the life. Then it starts rocking with a light sample from the Shahram Shabpareh track “Prison Song”. Still impressive on the amount of music Kanye West is aware of. In a flurry of lyricism, Nas reminds us what trends he set over the years.
“You are an extension of what I’ve worked hard to build”
Nas gives us a sample of his French dialect in the Tony Williams featured song “Bonjour”. Not to be confused with the deceased drummer. This Tony Williams is a long-time associate of Kanye West and had worked on several projects. He’s even won a Grammy for his vocal abilities while working with Ye. Piano patterns laid in the back along with an angel chorus, like some film in the 40s. Nas goes over his trip in Paris from the beginning to ending. While reminding us to not take for granted the fruits of our labor. The World-Famous Tony Williams carries an amazing tune to the chorus using a bit of French English translation.
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“You wealthy when your kid’s upbringing better than yours”
The piano brings us to “Adam & Eve” featuring The-Dream. Starting with a poetic flow, Nas delivers a prayer in hopes his seeds don’t take on his sins. Dream brings it all together with his vocals. The way the beat drops is like the start to “Otis”. There’s no bouncing your head into your knees like the Watch the Throne track, but you feel it.
“I’m just good at existing, existin’ in my truth As long as I enjoy the fruit, yeah”
Overall, this album isn’t a disappointment. However, there was a bit of hype behind this release. Imagining what there was 10 years ago with Nas’ guest appearance on “Late Registration”. One of Kanye’s most popular projects due to his ability in producing as being a monster. It seems a little late for such a collaboration. Especially with the phrase “Nas Album Done” being known since that banger on DJ Khalid’s Major Key album. Honestly, Nas is still a Hip Hop legend and like most of our idols of 90s to early 2000s Hip-Hop, it’s simply a victory lap.