“One Love” or “One Mic” – Chose One as Your Favorite Nas Track

If memory serves me correctly, I was doing research for an article on Nas or Queens when the idea hit me. I was searching YouTube for video clips and started to type in “Nas One…” and stopped as the auto-fill popped up and there was “One Love” and “One Mic” listed back to back as the first and second options.

As I stared at the two song titles I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to hear first. Both tracks are classic for different reasons. “One Love” is nostalgic Nas at the start of his career and masterfully crafted letter to his boys wylin’ on the Island over a melodic Q-Tip track. “One Mic” is a completely different experience. Here is reflective Nas droppin’ jewels about the ills of the world over a unique track that starts off slow and brooding before crescendoing into a aural collision of rapid-fire drums, piano keys and police sirens, courtesy of Nasir himself.

Coincidentally, “One Love” appeared on Illmatic as track 7 and “One Mic” was on Stillmatic, also as track 7.

Both songs were popular singles and equal highlights in the Queensbridge MC’s massive catalog, but the question on my mind was; which was the better of the two? That’s not to say that “One Love” and “One Mic” are my personal picks for best Nas songs ever, but paralleling these similarly-titled tracks makes for an interesting debate.

Here’s a visual refresher of both tracks’ musical potency:

NAS “ONE LOVE”

NAS “ONE MIC”

Now that you’ve gone back down memory lane, I want to know which “One” you’d pick as your favorite. —Anslem “I’m Not Jewish” Samuel

LATE PASS: Coincidentally, today is also Nasir Jones’ birthday. Salute to God’s Son. Guess this post was fated.

  • oskamadison

    Gotta run with One Love. One Love represents a special time and place in Nas’ career that we will never see again.

    • Dom Night

      I agree with u son

  • http://www.Twitter.com/Pierzy Pierzy

    I’m going with “One Mic.” Illmatic is one of my favorite albums but “One Love” might be my least favorite track on there and the way he goes from low to loud to low on “One Mic” was on another level…

  • M. Baby!

    Come on, there’s no need to question this…”One Love” all day

    • yoprince

      ^^^this

  • that nigga

    Unfair question. My vote is BOTH, and fuck whatever y’all say!! And both songs number 7 on seperate albums! Classic!

  • W. J. Rice

    One Mic is my joint but One Love has an ill story so I’m going with One Love

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    Ima have to go with One Mic. Why? to cosign piezry its almost my least favorite song off illmatic. One mic like builds. Its a great song and its much later in his career. Im a true believer that the artist gets better with time. Fans may not grow with the artist but the artist grows.

  • Worley

    There is no way to choose between those two gems.

  • Chilly Willy

    When I hear “All I need is one mic…”, I’m always tempted to say 2 turntables, a DJ mixer and so on. For me personally, I like One Mic, and I applaud the audacity and the concept of the track, just like I would appreciate Who Killed It, which is a very underrated track on HHID. I just don’t feel like being taken to a journey to a completely unique universe when I listen to it, which is the case with One Love. Its simplicity makes it that more powerful. He tells you what’s happening, just as it is, point blank. Nothing else. And I think One Time 4 Your Mind is the weakest track on Illmatic, that’s just me.

    • Curtis75Black

      It’s not just you homie !! I feel the same way about “One Time 4 your mind”. It is the weakest on that cd. One Mic for me on this vote though. I love how he builds the track. Nasty !! I just wish he could perform it !!!

  • RetroKidbk83

    Lmao!! Looks @ CD rack #7 on both lbums respectively. I’m going with ONE LOVE for the simple fact that was as real as you can get it was a special time in my fav rappers career & it was an ODE to his homies & Hood!!! Nothing realer than that.

  • dbys12

    neva buss up at da crowd catch em solo make the right man bleed…one love all fuckin day

  • BeerGangsta

    All Nas songs sound good. He have wack beats at times. He still make the song sound good. Nas shitted all on Jay Z!! Nas drop out of school in the 8th grade and still Rich!!

  • JC

    One Mic…there isn’t anything like it…

  • TonyStakz!!!

    DAMN WHAT A FUCKIN WAY TO FORCE YOU TO LISTEN OR WATCH ADS NOW A DAYS SHIT! THAT SHIT MAKES NOT! WANT TO BUY IT (ITS NOT LIKE I EVEN CONSIDERED IT ANYWAYZ)….I LIKE ONE MIC BUT I DEFINITELY GOTTA GO WITH ONE LOVE C’MON Y’ALL ITS ONE LOVE IS IT EVEN FAIR TO COMPARE THOSE TWO?!!!

  • Jobbster

    “One Mic” easily.

  • that nigga

    “What up w/ Cormega did y’all see him, all y’all together”?
    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Still aint votin’!!

  • gaddic

    “One love” that q-tip beat was fucking bananas!!!
    Even to this day I can’t resist pressing the repeat button on that shit
    One mic is better produced and Nas is at a better position lyrically
    But “One love” had the raw hunger in it-one for the ages nas can never make a track like that ever again

    By the way “One/Love or Mic” isn’t nas’ best track

    he has way too many classic bangers to narrow them down just to two
    I find that disrespecting probably the greatest rapper/poet of all time
    There are definitely among the best but when you consider tracks like “It ain’t hard to tell” and”the world is yours”, even “no idea’s original” and “what goes around” it’s fuckin endless

    • beaver

      “it aint hard to tell”i think is nas’s best track..
      classic madd dope joint.

      co-sign.

  • El Tico Loco

    This like making someone choose between their seeds man. They both god tracks and they’re still ill(matic) so why choose? At least you didn’t have us choose between “Rewind” and “Memory Lane” that’s even tougher.

  • terronmack716

    Happy birthday, Nas! For the record, I hope you pick better beats for your next solo album!

  • DV8

    “One Love” gets my vote.

    It represents a special time in hiphop and the streets in that era. Its like a time capsule in song. The storytelling was flawless. His voice was as if it was the letter that his partner locked up was reading.
    Nas and Q-Tip sowed this track together like a tailor made suit.

    Dont get me wrong I like “One Mic” too. It was a different approach that was well put together. Lyrics may have went over most peoples head. The overall song is a creative gem.

  • Eddie Blanco

    One Love of course. It was a hungry NaS, spitting with total fury, a NaS that I will never see again. One Mic was hot too, but it was a more differint hunger. At that time NaS was facing Jay-Z, NaS did One Mic with anger thanks to Jigga, while One Love was just NaS. In the end they were both classic. The World is Yours is the best NaS song.

  • DJ Postman

    Is there really any question? Illmatic is one of the greatest albums of all time, in any genre. Of course “One Love” over “One Mic.”

  • nynyc174

    NAS GOT SO MANY CLASSIC SONGS BUT IMA GO WITH NAS IS LIKE.. THAT ONE OF MY TOP 10 NAS SONG.

  • jusadream

    anything NAS do is classic!
    that why i name my sun Nasir…
    playing Illmatic right now!

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

    Anslem “I’m Not Jewish” Samuel

    ^ LoL

    ‘One Mic’

    Seen son perform this song live. Powerful song.

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

    AND…

    ‘It Was Written’ > ‘Illmatic’

    IN MY OPINION, the 2nd one sounds much better with age. I feel the same way about…

    ‘Follow The Leader’ > ‘Paid In Full’

  • Lord Maximus

    It’s close, but it HAS to be One Mic, at least for me. Every time I hear it I feel the emotion in that song, whereas One Love has a great story but the emotion Nas puts into One Mic is undeniable.

  • Q461

    Nas is my favorite rapper and dude’s got countless classic hits . I love One Mic for most of the reason alot of yall love it, it was just a groundbreaking song, from the minimal beat to increasing his voice volume as the track progressed. I also love One Love. That shit is still crazy quoteable to me, with the ill Q-tip beat and is a standout track on one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.

    ” I was like yeah, shorty don’t care , she’s fake too! fuckin with them niggaz from that fake crew that hate you”

    damn…so hard to choose lol too gems… I’ll go with both nigga.

  • sparkcity911

    ON 1 LUV LAST VERSE THAT SHIT WAS IN THE BELLY
    MOVIE WHEN HE IS TALKING TO THE YOUNG THUG AN
    LEAVES THE JEWELS IN HIS POCKET.

    LISTEN TO THE LAST VERSE THEN WATCH BELLY..
    THE CONVERSATION WAS ON THE SONG…

    nobody out but shorty dowop roll 2 phillys
    together in the hood we call them oh-wops

  • Money Mitch

    I think I gave you power is better than both of these songs! But both of these are prime examples of good hip hop that means something and comes from the heart!

  • LHC

    “Jesus died at age 33, there’s thirty-three shots
    from twin glocks there’s sixteen apiece, that’s thirty-two
    Which means, one of my guns was holdin 17
    Twenty-seven hit your crew, six went into you”

    This to me is one of the most insane lyrics of all time.

  • http://yahoomail.com Official!

    One love without any doubt, i was in middle school when I first heard this classic story telling and the video perfect portrayl!

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  • Notorious AGC

    One Mic