Don’t you forget about Nas
I didn't really care for Nas' "Can't Forget About You" as much when I heard it on Hip-Hop Is Dead (which I haven't listened to in ages), but I've come to appreciate it more now that I've seen the video.
Part of it's that I'm a young guy, only 25 years old and not quite three years out of college. So I can't relate as much to a guy in his mid '30s (which is not that old either, but ancient for a rapper) looking back on his life and career, of which I obviously have neither.
Also, as a lover of music that doesn't suck balls, I'm naturally suspicious of anything associated with will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, not to mention rap songs with choruses sung by R&B bitches. What can I say, I'm close-minded like that.
To be sure, I'm still not that impressed with the song itself. The Nat King Cole sample that runs through it, which I suppose is not as egregious as, say, Diddy looping up "The Message" and singing Matthew Wilder's "Break My Stride" over it, is still fairly bothersome to me.
In general, you get the idea that this was made the second single because a) the Nat King Cole sample cost a shiteload, so they had to, and b) the similarly schmaltzy "Bridging the Gap" got played quite a bit on VH1 a few years ago, so maybe this can tap into that same market.
(You'll recall that Bridging the Gap just so happens to be the name of one of those pre-Fergie Black Eyed Peas albums. Hmm...)
Usually it's the case that if I come to like a song before I've seen its video, I can't help but be kinda disappointed by the video, regardless of how good it turns out. The video never seems to match how I envisioned.
But when the song itself isn't that good to begin with, obviously that's not going to be as much of an issue. If anything, the clip for Nas' "Can't Forget About You" actually makes the song somewhat more enjoyable. It's not gonna make me pull out my copy of Hip-Hop Is Dead, but if it happens to come on MTV, I probably wouldn't change the station.
My guess is that you've already seen it once or twice by now, so I'll spare you describing it in depth other than to note that the shots of the little homie on a park bench outside a project building and riding on a flat bed through Times Square, which were obviously reminiscent of classic Nas videos, were a nice touch.
In general, I have to say that I'm fairly impressed with the way Nas and Def Jam have gone about promoting Hip-Hop Is Dead. Last week's "Where Are They Now?" remixes were obviously a stroke of promotional genius that got heads buzzing on the Internets, and now they've followed them up with this, which I think is one of the better big budget rap videos in a minute.