Monday, November 29, 2004


stoop wisdom

I said this last week but it bears repeating, The Wire is so on fire right now. Like nuclear fusion fire. Like solar fire. Like big bang, start of the known universe type fire.

The return of Brother Mouzone? Omar, a hunted man? Omar, a hunting man? Marlowe and Barksdale dropping bodies? The continued miseducation of Dennis (why do I have a very bad feeling he's not going to make the end of the season)? Stringer setting Avon out to get violated or get deaded? Oh man, what are we going to do when this season is over? Sopranos won't be back for a minute, nor Deadwood, nor The Shield. Damn ya'll, all that will remain is going to be Lost. It's a cold, cold winter ahead.


I don't have time to post up a full review but here's the short story:

I believe in Nas' potential as the greatest lyricist of our generation (yeah, sorry Eminem, Jay-Z) but this double album perfectly distills why Nas continues to frustrate all his loyal fans after alll these years. This is at least half a hot album but Nas, like other rappers before him, let his ego get in the way, delivering an unnecessary double album that's split between wickedly brilliant songs and tired ass filler. Had Nas been a little more selective and just put this out as a single album, he would have dropped an LP as satisfying as Stillmatic, maybe even as good as God's Son (though emotionally, it's not as deep or rich as GS). I'd still bump this new CD ahead of Nas' wackest albums but goddamn, you wish he'd just practice some restraint. Didn't he learn anything from watching Jay-Z f*ck up with The Blueprint 2, a double album so unlikable that even Jay went back and re-released it as a single CD? Study your enemies, son!

Seriously though, when Nas is hot, he's undeniably hot.
The Illy: the first four cuts ("A Message To the Feds, Sincerely, We the People" through "Coon Picnic"), "Sekou Story" (big up to the Dismasters!), "Street's Disciple," "The Unauthorized Biography of Rakim," even "Remember the Times" (though Nas really didn't need to out his entire sexual history. Sometimes, what happens with Nasir should stay with Nasir), "Bridging the Gap," "War," "Thief's Theme."

Not Rilly: "Live Now," "Rest Of My Life," "No One Else In the Room," "The Makings of a Perfect Bitch," "Me and You" (dude, give Slick Rick back his flow). There's a few more cuts that are being judged but the production alone left me bored on songs like "Reason" (um, De La used this sample for "Much More" already), "Suicide Bounce," "Disciple", etc.

This all said, for Nas fans, there's enough on here to keep you happy. Or at least holding onto the dream that Nas may yet come back, straight up illmatic.