We did this for Tha Carter III, so it’s only fair we give the other most talked about album of the year the same treatment.
So here we are, about three months out and it’s time to revisit Nas’ Untitled. First of all, who’s still listening to it? Is the album still in rotation? When was the last time you listened? Does it still hold up as a great album?
For me, the album moved quickly out of my playlist. However, this does not reflect my opinion on the lyrical accomplishment Nas achieves with Untitled. The album is similar to a great book or essay in that I can appreciate the greatness, but don’t necessarily want to sit down and digest it. Bottom line, as a thesis on the current state of race relations and social issues, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more thorough album. Unfortunately, Untitled lacks as a body of music. This problem lies on the shoulders of Nas’ shaky production choices and overall sonic choices make for an album that’s hard to enjoy. It can be argued that Nas did this on purpose – the topics he discussed are not to be enjoyed as much as analyzed.
So how do you rate an album that lacks the musical conventions we have traditionally used to rate a great Hip-Hop album? Though I don’t listen to Untitled too often, I will definitely point anyone in its direction when I’m asked what a true representation of Hip-Hop is.
Heavy D – Vibes 2008