Nas, “Grown Man Talk” (Originally Published 2004)

For 10 years, Nas has dropped some of the hottest verses rap has ever heard. Still, he’s had plenty of rocks thrown at his throne. He’s been laughed at, talked about, and ridiculed—but never forgotten. Now, finally the QB poet has found peace of mind. Words Jon Caramanica Images Kai Regan “Back in ’83 I was an MC sparkin’/ But I was too scared to grab the mics in the parks and / Kick my little raps ’cause I thought niggas wouldn’t understand / And now in every jam I’m the fucking man.” Check the chipped-tooth smile: There it is, in all its glory. ...

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