Jay is going to do numbers. Blueprint 3 is a major music event that is backed by major companies and a lot of dough. This is for all intents and purposes a mainstream album that features pop stars like Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Kanye West.
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II will most likely not do big numbers. It’s underground and as gritty as an album can get in this day and age. There aren’t any big moves to the radio. But nine out of 10 Hip-Hop heads are giving the grit face to their iPods listening to it.
These albums are on two opposite ends of the spectrum. Only one artist was asked to be on both: Nasir Jones.
This says a lot about the respect Nas has earned throughout his career. It also speaks to his body of work as a universally appreciated artist who can reach both sides of the tracks.
Unfortunately, Nas not showing up on either of those albums is a microcosm of the questionable decisions that have hampered his career. Think, only one artist would have been on the two biggest albums of 2009 and Nas seemingly missed the boat on both. Jay hinted that Nas would be on “Empire State of Mind” and Rae made public overtures to get Nas on his album in some capacity to relive the magic of “Verbal Intercourse.”
Still, no Nas. Of course, Nasty is understandably reeling from being cleaned out by Kelis, but damn, homie. These guest spots sure would help with cranking out those 40+ stacks a month, though.
Just think about how amazing it would have been to look back and think that Nas took place in both of these monumental pieces of work. Instead, this will just be another missed opportunity in a long list that has accumulated throughout Mr. Jones’ career.
Previously Posted — “…Smarten Up, Nas”