Thursday, November 5, 2009

What's with the name Masir Jones?

"NaS is like the Afrocentric Asian. Half man, half amazin'"

If you're a huge fan of hip hop like I am you'll recognize where I came up with my blog name right off the bat. Any true hip hop fan will concur that Nasir Jones AKA NaS, Nasty Nas, Esco, God's Son, etc. is one of the best rappers of all time. He is a rapper's rapper. A poster child of hip hop. He maintains his allegiance to the sub-culture that nurtured him to become the prolific rapper he is while balancing out thought provoking lyrics with beats stylized to captivate the mainstream. Aside from Eminem and Jay-Z, there aren't many other emcees in the industry who are not only on his level lyrically, but also capable of crossing over and appealing to both audiences.

NaS entered the scene during the early to mid 90s, hip hop's "golden age", when hip hop was at its lyrical and beat production apex. Just as how Eric B. and Rakim's Paid In Full revolutionized hip hop music, NaS's Illmatic would follow suit. I once read that if you wanted to illustrate hip hop in a single album, then Illmatic is it. I 2nd that notion and still listen to it on a regular basis like Michael Jackson's Thriller.

Nowadays though I'm a bit disappointed with his recent work. I just don't feel the same kind of vigor in his music I once heard on albums like Illmatic, It Was Written, Stillmatic and God's Son. There were only a couple of tracks I enjoyed listening to on his latest Untitled. "Hero" being one of them. Nevertheless, I still place NaS up there with some of my other all time favorites: Eric B. and Rakim, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, AZ, Lupe Fiasco, Jay-Z and Wu-Tang.

NaS, if you're reading this, please make some new jams with Premo and Pete Rock again!

Favorite lines from NaS,
"You couldn't catch me in the streets without a ton of reefer, that's like Malcom X catchin' a jungle fever."
"Slammin' emcees on cement, 'cause verbally, I'm iller than an AIDs patient."
"I squeeze nipples like pimples to get the puss."
"I got sons with guns, they all done crimes. They so wild they even scare my ass sometimes."
"My first album had no famous guest appearances. The outcome? I'm crowned the best lyricist."

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