“Nas Is A Rebel To America…”

07.04.08 10 years ago 59 Comments

It’s the 4th of July, and like most of the Hip-Hop community, part of this holiday weekend will be spent digesting Nas’ new album Nigg…err….Untitled. Yeah that’s it. Regardless if you feel it’s a total classic or classic feces, chances are the music will be synonymous with this time of year for a good portion of your lives.

As these United States celebrate their independence for the 232nd time, Mr.
N.igga A.gainst S.ociety candidly exhibited a declaration of his own on the bluntly-titled “America.” But if you’re expecting the rap version of “America The Beautiful” , obviously you don’t know Nasir. Squeezed in between the electrifying “Hero” and ethering of conservative T.V. on “Sly Fox,” one might be tempted to skip the delicate melody provided by Stargate. But underneath the lush ambiance of the track, there’s lyrics with enough spark to put any firework show to shame…

Who’s the god of suckers and snitches/the economy/lipstick from Marylin Monroe/blew a death kiss to Fidel Castro/he want me to spit this…”

From crime to rhyme/my story is I’m from the home of the thieves…”

“…they can’t stand us/even in white tees/blue jeans/and red bandannas…”

If I could travel to the 1700’s/I’d push a wheelbarrow full of dynamite through your covenant…”

Yeah. Try and play that during the Betsy Ross parade or the All-American family picnic in the park. Smack, dab in the middle of the America’s big day, here comes Nas with a truckload of anti-patriotic quips, bigging up dictators and questioning the country’sbook of law. Who’s wrong? Who’s right? Surprised? You shouldn’t be. He’s definitely been here before…

I remember it vividly. Halfway through the two month mobilization process my Army unit endured before our year long tour to Iraq for all of 2005. The mornings were routine — wake up, shower, stretch, play music. I awoke with Stillmatic on the brain so I fed my mind’s hunger starting on “My Country.” Naturally I could relate to Millennium Thug’s witty portrayal of the Soldier, but most of the non-rap listeners present didn’t catch it. But they damn sure understood “What Goes Around.” Some found it enticing, others thought it was shocking. Caught off guard that there were actually Americans that were against the thought of war (this was directly in the middle of Bush vs. Kerry, mind you). I’m saying though: running on a campaign where those that question the blind support for every decision the government makes is considered un-American????

[Comments withheld]

But say all the above do apply to Nas: radical, fanatic, chief of propaganda. The fact still remains that here’s a guy not afraid to speak on the affairs behind the closed doors while the mainstream media like to portray images of a promised land when anyone can see the economy isn’t thriving like it could be. Nas’ America may be different from the one in your perspective, but whether the glass is half empty or half full, there’s still room for addition. Let’s hope we can come up with some solutions.

Happy Independence Day.

Nas – America

Nas – What Goes Around

Untitled in stores Tuesday, 7.15.08.

Previously Posted — Nas Is Okay With His Album Leaking…

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