Contact Us

The Listening

By now we all know El Presidente is coming to save hip-hop on November 21st. But the question still remains: Is his former foe turned friend Nas really following in his footsteps a few weeks after? Well YN doesn’t like questions. He likes answers. So I hollered at Antonio and the crew and took my lazy ass up to Def Jam to hear 5 new Nas songs. Now I recently got a new Blackberry that I don’t fully know how to work (plus I have wide fingers) so I didn’t really take notes while the music was playing but here’s what, to the best of my recollection, I can recall. Word to Ronald Reagan.

Track Un
The “Hip-Hop Is Dead” title track. It’s a higher-level Luda-like intro that lays out Nasir’s new blueprint. His various rhyme references will satisfy you hip-hop students as he name-drops everything from “the bigger the cap the bigger the peeling” to Dem Franchise Boyz white Tees. Only catch is it’s produced by Will I Am. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger? It knocks. Preemo, who?

Track Deux
Another one with the Black Eyed Pea behind the boards. The song played off that old standard “Unforgettable” and has never-blew singer Yvette Michelle hittin’ more high notes than Mariah. A little too musically all over the place for my taste.

Track Trois
Reggae-flavored joint that sounds a little similar to Cam’s “Bubble Music.” The Marley boys lend a hand. I ain’t mad at it.

Track Quatre
OK. Here’s the kicker boys and girls: Nas and Game together on a Dr. Dre track. I repeat: Nas and Game together on a Dr. Dre track. That’s right, rap scholars: Game can’t get a Dre beat for his album but he’s on one on Nas’ LP. Might be last time we ever hear Game on an official Dre beat. Surprisingly, Jones and Taylor are a good combination. Still I like the Doctor’s Advocate Nas/Game connection better. I also secretly heard that one and the QB soldier spits some shit on there like “Pro-black, I don’t even pick cotton out of aspirin bottles.” That’s some “Back to the Grill at the BBQ” shit.

Track Cinq
Only song I heard today with legitimate single potential. It’s called something like “Let Me In The Light.” Mr. West produced it, used some-old-school breakbeat drums and one of Nas’ homies does a good Anthony Hamilton impersonation on the hook. I might be buggin’ but the shit sounded hot to me. Maybe it was just Massa Reid’s boomin’ system.

3 Other Facts Y’all Give Way More Than 2 Shits About

1. Final album is gonna be Illmatic-like length. Maybe 12 songs.

2. Kanye has another track on there that he’s rhyming on.

3. And finally, yes, there’s a Nas/Jay collabo. Not on Kingdom Come but right chea. They knocked out 3 songs in 1 night and one is making it. Produced by Just… Large… Salaam… Timber… well of course, L.E.S. Life’s a bitch, ain’t it? Kudos, Leshan.

Still I did make a decision today. I’m really gonna give Nas his cover. No more back page tricks. Internet geeks: Rejoice!

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for XXL Mag quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!