The Hip Hop Mortuary

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10:21 PM

Nas/Street's Disciple

Posted by The Invisible Man


I've been meaning to drop a review on here for a while, so I thought I'd start with this beast of a two-disc album.
As much as I want to go track for track with this work as any Nas album deserves, I'll just touch on each track a little bit so this review doesn't go on too long.

DISC 1

1. Intro/2.Message to the Feds
"Peace."
That one word contrasting over the foreboding piano sets the mood for this dark, contemplative album perfectly. Crickets sound in the background and Nas talks quietly to the listener and let's us know that this is a conversation. Nas has often been looked at as someone who shoots ideas over everyone's heads, but he's always known how to speak directly to the listener, he just doesn't dumb himself down. The trick is not letting his status overwhelm you or make the overall meaning of his songs seem out of reach. The second the beat drops you can just feel the need to pump your fist in the air to this. Nas appropriately closes the first verse with "And they're aware of us though/and we don't give a flying 747 fuck though/staying on my hustle." Within the first minute of this album you know Nas is going to say some strong shit.
3. Nazareth Savage
First off this beat is a monster. The choir gives it a heavenly sound while Nasir paints gloomy pictures such as "Sons back with flows, they say mine is very scary/smell fear like a canine that finds buried babies." And let's not forget about Nas' straight lyrical ability, "I squeeze nipples like pimples to get the puss/pus, get it?"
4. American Way/5. These Are Our Heroes
Back on ground level Nas starts looking at today's issues concerning politics and black leaders/influences. These tracks are like an early look into how Nas approached his new 'Untitled' album. Again, not enough can be said about Nas' ability to present an issue in a way that makes you think, even if that means saying some things that will make people hate him.
6. Disciple
As the title suggests, Nas speaks on the people he has inspired to follow in his footsteps. Good song, around average level of quality compared to the rest of the album.
7. Sekou Story/8. Live Now
In these two tracks Nas' story telling ability shines in an epic story about living life to the fullest told through a couple different perspectives of a man name 'Sekou.' These are definitely two tracks you should sit down and listen to, though I'd recommend that for most of the tracks on this album.
9. Rest of My Life/10. Just A Moment/12. You Know My Style
I grouped all of these together as all of these tracks are straight, but they aren't really stand out tracks either.
11. Reason
This is the sleeper hit of the first disc. Though it seems low key and out of place alongside the grimy/hard hitting tracks, this is such a good track lyrically, production wise, and the hook sounds real nice.

DISC 2

1. Suicide Bounce/2. Street's Disciple
This side starts off with a bang with Busta Rhymes on the hook and Nas doesn't even give the beat a chance. "To your power structure Nas is dangerous/ya'll the antithesis, the opposite/twitch and shit, all up in your body language." Nas makes absolutely sure that we don't forget he can tear the mic to shreds. The energy slows down for the title track, but Nas doesn't let up in quality here.
3. UBR (Unauthorized Biography of Rakim)
Cool concept, but I thought this kind of dragged the album down. It's basically just Nas listing off some facts about Rakim's life.
4. Virgo
Ludacris jumps on for this track. It's decent enough, maybe lacking a little bit in content but as always these two artists turn in competent verses. Doesn't take away from the album, but I didn't think it was necessary either.
5/6. Remember the Times/7. The Makings of a Perfect Bitch/8. Getting Married/9. No One Else in the Room
I love the energy on Remember the Times and Nas comes really creative with his imagery describing his past sexual encounters. This leads into The Makings of a Perfect Bitch, a cool concept executed really well where he goes into what he wants in a woman. Finally this leads to Getting Married where the trilogy of relationships with females ends. This one's the weakest of the three in my opinion but it's good enough and completes the idea. No One Else in the Room continues this a little bit but what I liked most about this track was the feel it gives off, from the beat and the way he spits it. I haven't even listened to the lyrics of it closely yet it just sounds good.
10. Bridging the Gap/11. War
Two good songs, they aren't favorites of mine but Nas still comes correct.
12. Me & You
A song dedicated to Nas' daughter. I'm usually not a huge fan of these kinds of songs since I don't have a kid and can't really relate to it, but I can't help but feel Nas' happiness and pride in his daughter on this track.
13. Thief's Theme
I can't say enough about this track. Such a good way to end an album of this scope, Nas spits grimy over the In-a-Gadda-da-Vida sample.

Personally, I consider this to be the best Nas album. Period. Going track by track and being a little iffy about the inclusion of a few tracks makes me take the score down a little bit but I think this is Nasir in his purest state, his potential more realized then ever. As always with his albums there is more than meets the eye (/ear) and Nas presents ideas that can't possibly be all taken in from one listening. Hell, I'm still deciphering this and every time I hear it all the way through I find something new. All of these songs are good stand alone but as a whole this is just a really complete album, which is saying a lot considering it's a double LP.

0-20: Terrible listening experience
21-40: Maybe one good song
41-60: A few good songs
61-80: Half are good songs, half are weak
81-100: Great listening experience, almost all are great songs

I give this album a 93. There are a few tracks that weigh it down so despite my personal opinion of the overall quality technically I shouldn't give it a higher score than Illmatic.


Can Find A Link Here

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

umm.. no download link?

Were Read 2 Def said...

I liked da way u reviewed da album, but I personally dont think it deserves that high of a ratin. I mean u skipped thru tracks that u didnt seem 2 appeciate so y would it deserve that high of a ratin?

The Invisible Man said...

not every track is classic but as a whole album they play their part in making it a complete idea. I didn't like UBR but it makes sense on this album. Virgo's the only one I thought didn't fit...I guess it depends on how you look at an album... if I was ranking tracks on their own some wouldn't be too high but as a whole I think it deserves a high rating

Kin'shar said...

hmmm, I love NAS

DanielG94 said...

the best nas album... but u rated illmatic higher...?

DanielG94 said...

the best nas album... but u rated illmatic higher...?

DanielG94 said...

the best nas album... but u rated illmatic higher...?

DanielG94 said...

the best nas album... but u rated illmatic higher...?

DanielG94 said...

the best nas album... but u rated illmatic higher...?

DanielG94 said...

the best nas album... but u rated illmatic higher...?