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!