Thursday, 28 June 2012

Track Review: Nas - The Don

Illmatic will forever be remembered for kick starting one of hip-hops's most defining and excelling voices. Manhattans's right wing on the east coast has always been prominent for producing big name rappers, with Nas, B.I.G and Jay Z coming and going as the three king's of New York City. It was Nas who gave the world N.Y. State of Mind,  The World Is Yours and One Love. It was Nas who released NYC's hip-hop masterpiece, and it's Nas who continues to top the game with his lyrical flow, 1994 or 2012, Nas is Nas.

He did however, declare hip-hop dead in 2006. Yet he has resurrected himself in the 'new age' of hip-hop with hype master Kanye doing his 'thang' and the ever increasing number of hip-hop artists reaching the wall street of music. We won't include those who focus on popping out their music, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A, Drake. It's the Kanye's and... Odd Future's... That keep this music relevant, talked about and modern.

The Don has this very basic bass driven beat, with an increasingly catchy and imaginative vocal sample. Apparently, as Nas states... Veteran and now deceased rapper "Heavy D gave this beat to Salaam (Remi) for me to rap to." Salaam Remi being the producer of The Don, to add to his ever growing list of excellent productions. Nas raps "All I hear is sirens" / "20 years in this game, looking 17." The Don has a constant stream of iconic rhymes made for a modern Nas audience. Two decades have passed and he stills sounds as fresh as a Panera chicken ceasar salad sandwich.  
Life Is Good will decide Nas's fate in his third decade. This track will no doubt be a highlight on this album. With other tracks slowly making their way over to my listening stream, the excitement brews. The Don is not just another Nas track, it's a step back from the gimmickry production and irrelevant lyricism. He is definitely moving forward. 

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