On this day, Dec. 13, in hip-hop history...

2002: After making a near-classic album in 2001's Stillmatic, the following year was a real roller coaster ride for legendary MC, Nas. Nasir's mother would die from breast cancer in his arms in April of 2002, which happened while he was engaged in a heated rap feud with prominent New York City rapper, Jay Z. Through all of this, Nas would create a solid, somber album, in which he discussed religion, violence, and his own emotional experiences when he released God's Son in December 2002 through his Ill Will imprint on Columbia Records.

God's Son finds the Queensbridge native dedicating much of the album to his mother, especially "Dance," which has Olu Dara, Nas’ father, playing the cornet as a tribute. The song "Last Real Nigga Alive" showcases Nas' masterful storytelling ability, while on "Warrior Song,"  which features Alicia Keys, we once again feel the pain of loss that saturates the album.

Self-examination is another major theme in the lyrics on this album, especially with the commercially successful track, "I Can," which sees producer, Salaam Remi, sampling Beethoven’s classic, "Für Elise," for the beat. Salaam Remi also produced "Made You Look," the bone-shattering lyrical beast that became Nas' second most successful single to come off of God's Son, reaching number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100.

God's Son marked the return of Nasty Nas and shredded any doubt of his greatness. The album was very open and filled with sorrow, yet stayed true to the street savvy and artistic style that Nas has become known for. With this LP, Nas further proved that he is a living legend and should undoubtedly be placed among the greats.

Ill Will/Columbia
Ill Will/Columbia

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