Where does NAS stand on the best ever list?
BY: Michael gonzalez
It’s been 24 years since “Illmatic," Nas' debut studio album was released on April 19, 1994 by Columbia Records. Nas recorded the album in New York City, with production by DJ Premier, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S. and Nas himself. The narrative of the album, Nas’ experience growing up in his home of Queensbridge, New York. Since it’s release “Illmatic” has become recognized as a classic piece of art. One of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time, and an LP that to this day, still brings on a mature approach to hip-hop lyrics that have been hard to match. With all of the praise that Nas has received over the years, it seems lately he is the forgotten great one.
If you ask people today to create their list of the best MCs of all time, it seems less and less Nas’ name appears on the top 5. When Lonzo Ball said “Don’t nobody listen to Nas no more,” is it a case of relevance in the 24/7 news cycle, where we only pay attention to the latest track or album to hit the Billboard list. Or worse, complete disregard of the lyrical genius that is Nas? His last solo studio album “Life is Good” was released in 2012, so we understand it’s been a minute. But to disregard his spot as one of the greatest of all time with songs like “The World Is Yours,” “Nas is Like,” “If I Ruled The World,” and “Made You Look” is plain ignorance (we talking to you Lonzo Ball). When Nas released "Illmatic," Rolling Stone described his music as "smooth and mellow, hard and biting" all in one. The rhymes and flow are hard to match. Coupled with a smooth raspy voice that takes over every track like a wise prophet spitting knowledge. He is one of many to come out of the New York 90s hip-hop scene with other superstars like Biggie, Jay-Z, and Mos Def. Biggies' untimely death robbed us of incredible music, but his two LPs cemented is legacy as one of the best ever. Jay-Z's long standing success, puts him on the list as one of the best ever. But Nas, with his undeniable talent and a resume that speaks for itself is not getting the same kind of love these days.
His is forever music and relevant today, tomorrow and decades to come. So when you are debating who are the best ever, we make the case that Nas should not be the forgotten MC. With a new album rumored to be on the works, we can’t wait to hear what the Queensbridge MC has in store in cementing his spot in the top 5 lyricist of all time. If you don't believe me, check out the list below of some of our favorite Nas tracks.
"IF I RULED THE WORLD"
NAS FEATURING LAURYN HILL