Words by Jesse H.
Every once in awhile, as is standard procedure for most Hip-Hop heads, I have moments of intense frustration when I think about the career moves of one Mr. Nasir Jones. It’s beyond my comprehension how the greatest lyricist of all-time can’t obtain beats that measure up to the beauty of his fantastically structured, detail-riddled verses (for the record: I’m not specifically targeting Untitled. I’m speaking in the broader career-long context).
But inevitably, there’s moments where I find myself walking around, the iPod on shuffle, and a Nas song will come on that just rinses all my anger away, quickly reconciling my pent-up aggravation and justifying why he’s my favorite MC.
Today the guilty song was “Blaze a 50,” an awe-inspiring lyrical exercise in storytelling that displays perfectly how Nas is a lap ahead of his peers.
With ridiculously vivid description, Nas takes the listener on a journey into a double-indemnityesque insurance fraud, dripping with scandal, sex, selfishness and humanistic revenge on two levels.
His ability to execute such a complex story complete with character development and plot twists galore in a mere 2:50 is testament enough to the man’s lyrical potency. The structure along with lines like the following: “Earlier I took the coke out/replaced it with crushed up glass” haunt the mind with cinematic images that linger in the mind far longer than the sounds of the beat’s backward strings.
I guess in some ways, Nas’ career up to this point reminds me of Usain Bolt’s historic 100 meter sprint. Clearly Bolt was in a league of his own on that run, and even if purists were sour that he threw away what could have been track’s first 9.5… chest thumping aside, one couldn’t help but be caught up in the majesty of the man’s sprint into the record books.
Same goes with Nas.
He came out the gates with an album that will never be replicated, recording with the swagger and skill of a veteran as a rookie. If he has to get a few moments of unnecessary diamond-flossing off his chest throughout his career, I can forgive him. After all, when you put it in perspective, we’re still seeing a hall of fame career unfold before our eyes.
Previously Posted – I Am… Nastradamas: Revisited