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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nas is back

Right now I want to talk about the enigma of hip-hop Nas. Well the original enigman, because while he has many many fans, there are those of us who feel as though he is very uneven and erratic as an artist. This is a guy who could easily have been the best but a couple of missteps have made him more of a top five of all time, yet he is still a huge question mark. About 2 years ago he made some steps at getting back to the height he was in the late 90's with his duo album with Damien Marley, however, as is his custom he still had questionable moments on the album where you kind of weren't sold on whether or not he was back.


In preparation for his new album, Nas, who has yet to drop a mix tape as just about everyone else has done, first released The Don which is a good song. It's a throwback to the good Nas of old that once challenged Jay-z for rap supremacy, however, I am more impressed with the most recent song to drop from Nasty  "Daughters".



On this track, Nas talks about seeing his daughter grow up and enter her teenage years, doing things that he has seen guys of his ilk do to young girls such as getting them to write to them in prison. He tackles a tough discussion on how to reconcile his public image and persona with the reality that he doesn't want the same for his baby girl. He also hints at the new troubles from social networks and such that come with being the child of a celebrity which magnifies the crazy things that you try to teach them to avoid.



Let me tell you some of why I love this song. One, it is where rap music needs to be right now, a growing up stage where the grown men start to realize things that they have done come back to affect them. It's also a message for young guys who are just having kids about things they portray now and how it will come back in the future for them to deal with.The other thing I like is very nuanced, on the hook he makes mention that he's 'not saying that our sons are not important' which is a great way to say he is talking about a daughter because he has one, but at the same time, take this time to talk to your sons as well. This is responsible rap music and while I may feel like this seems a bit late overall, it's timely for Nas just as it was timely for Jay-z's open letter to his daughter just after her birth.




Now he may not have said it in the most eloquent manner, but this is a song and purpose that should hit home for more artists (I'm looking at you Snoop, Puff) who have older children who are starting to step out on their own independent of their parents. Whether you as an artist think you did enough and can't understand your kid, or if you think you didn't do right, we the public need to hear about it. This is the stuff we really relate to no matter how much we say we feel Ross talking about flying in g5's and flipping coke. This represents way more of our lives. Now if only we can get their female role models like Nicki Minaj to promote more positive and productive images and we can get rid of some of the bickering Bad Girls Club stuff that girls are thinking is legitimate we would really be going somewhere. So what do you think about Nas' new single "Daughters"?

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