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Today in Hip-Hop: Nas Drops ‘I Am…’

On this day, April 6, in hip-hop history...

1999: On April 6, 1999, Queens-bred MC Nasir Jones, known simply as Nas, added another notch to his belt in the form of his third studio album, I Am...

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Kendrick Lamar Keeps It Authentic With New Reebok Collab

"N.Y. State Of Mind Part II"

Producer: DJ Premier

Lyric: "Had eight partners growin up, eight turned to seven/Seven turned to six niggas, got two in heaven/Six of us, holdin it, now it's five rollin thick/The sixth one's parole flipped; five niggas, went to four quick"

Why It's Dope: An easy flip of the original takes some of the urgency of his introduction out of the beat, but Nas still holds things down lyrically. This particular line, where he counts down number of friends in his crew from eight to an eventual two, is a by-the-numbers dissection of some of the biggest issues facing young black men growing up in the projects—murder, prison, moving away, flaking on friends—that cut crews down in size and number.

"N.Y. State Of Mind Part II"

Producer: DJ Premier
Lyric: "Had eight partners growin up, eight turned to seven/Seven turned to six niggas, got two in heaven/Six of us, holdin it, now it's five rollin thick/The sixth one's parole flipped; five niggas, went to four quick"
Why It's Dope: An easy flip of the original takes some of the urgency of his introduction out of the beat, but Nas still holds things down lyrically. This particular line, where he counts down number of friends in his crew from eight to an eventual two, is a by-the-numbers dissection of some of the biggest issues facing young black men growing up in the projects—murder, prison, moving away, flaking on friends—that cut crews down in size and number.

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Nas’ 15 Best Lines From ‘I Am…’

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By The Numbers: Nas’ First Six Platinum Albums

Nas is credited for dropping arguably the best debut album in hip-hop history with Illmatic. After his classic 1994 release, the Queensbridge storyteller followed up with five more platinum solo albums in a ten-year span, pioneering a run that only Jay Z, Kanye West and Snoop Dogg have matched as the only rappers to claim such an impressive consistent stint, with 'Ye recently joining the ranks after the platinum success of Yeezus...

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Yo Gotti exclusive image for Rhymes and Dimes
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Yo Gotti Steps Into The Mainstream From XXL’s Oct/Nov Issue

When I walk outside my hotel, Yo Gotti is leaning casually against the nicest car I've ever seen. The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, all white and glimmering brighter than the watch on his wrist, is our ride to Revolution Live, the club in Fort Lauderdale, FL, that is the venue for the first night of Gotti's I Am Tour...

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Yo Gotti Previews New Album ‘I Am’ In New York City

Yo Gotti is gearing up to drop his first album for Epic Records, titled I Am (CMG/Epic) on November 19, and while he's out touring the country he took a quick break to swing through New York City's Jungle City Studios to preview the album for friends, the press and Epic staff...

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Yo Gotti Talks Working With Lil Wayne, T.I. On New Album, New Collabs With Wale And Cash Money

Yo Gotti Talks Working With Lil Wayne And New Album

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Nas Rank No.17 on XXL’s First 5 List

Nasty Nas is one of hip-hop's treasured MCs, but his album track record has been filled with highs and lows...

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Trackmasters Rank No. 2 As Nas’ Best Go-To Producers

XXL breaks down why Trackmasters come in at No. 2 as Nas’ Best Go-To Producers…

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XXL Ranks Nas’ Best Go-To Producers

Which beatmaker brings the best out of Nas? XXL does the math and lists Nasty’s Best Go-To Producers…

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