Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Nas's "Hip Hop Is Dead" is quite a stellar collection of hardcore NYC tracks. What I liked about it was that it was typical Nas-gritty urban drama laced with an updated version of the 90s Queensbridge gangsta sound. Its the musings of one of the last men standing in a day and age when rap is dominated by alot of non NYC corny MF's who are making monotonous commercial crap rap.

A review of each track:

Money Over BS- This cut has a nice melodramatic track, though the beat is okay, its got those lyrics about street life values and its a good opener to the album.

You Can't Kill Me-This song has a strong beat, and he's talkin' about hitting a spot, you know, the club, and this kinda reminds me of his "It Was Written" album. Me being a Capricorn, I dug the lyric "Son of a capricorn, my Dad's a Don."

Carry On Tradition-He's talking about this new school of rappers he don't like, but paying tribute to the old school rappers, and the need to take hip hop back to its roots!

Where Are They Now-Roll call of old school rappers to a James Brown (RIP)beat. Dope.

Hip Hop Is Dead-I thought this was the best song; I liked how he used the Iron Butterfly sample (the song is called In A Gadda Da Vida, for all who dont know. Of course this is all over BET, dont know if the radio is liking this though.

Who Killed It?-Sounds like one of those mobster Soprano type songs; I liked the beat at the beginning, kinda reminded me of Rakim's "I Aint No Joke".

Black Republican-Straight up, this was some fire from 2 great rappers of the same era, and its got a hot beat, lyrics and is a good radio type single. Plus the title, though vague (I dont know too many RICH Black Republicans, or Black Republicans known for their wealth), I know what they are getting at.....

Not Going Back-Starts out with a skit about a drive by; kinda chilling that this would be taken so lightly......

Still Dreaming-I like the Kanye beat, and Nas is talking about not being a lazy nigga.......

Hold Down the Block-Another of my personal favorites on the album, its got a hot chorus and a hot beat, and he's talking about, well, holding down the block.....

Blunt Ashes-I dont know why, but this song reminds me of "One Mic", which was good, but this song is so-so.

Let There Be Light-By now, the hip hop and street life thing has worn thin, but I like the chorus of this song and Nas's flow on this one.

Play On Playa-Another song about street life with Snoop Dogg sampling Marvin Gaye. Original....

Can't Forget About You-On this track he samples some song from the 50s, with a basic hip hop beat and something you dont hear to much in hip hop these days, some good ol' DJ scratchin'

Hustlers-Song with the GAME; good to hear them on a track together, but not the greatest.

Hope (Acapella)-gospel sounding ending to album; choir sings "Hip Hop will never die, Hip Hop is forever." Amen to that.

IPOD KEEPERS-Hip Hop Is Dead, Black Republican, Hold Down the Block, Can't Forget About You, Let There Be Light

SONGS I LIKE BUT WONT STAY ON THE IPOD: Money Over BS, You Cant Kill Me, Where Are They Now, Still Dreaming, Play On Playa, Hope (Acapella)

SONGS THAT ARE "ALRIGHT":Carry On Tradition, Who Killed It, Not Going Back, Blunt Ashes, Hustlers


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