Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Songs of The Day

The Genesis:  This is an intro.  Decent beat with some talking on top.  Intriguing way to start the record.

N.Y. State of Mind:  And so it begins.  I dig this track.  The beat is solid.  I especially like that the bass line is paralleled in the keys, and the chopped n screwed element of the chorus is cool.  The topic of the song is crime in the city, and how one gets by, and Nas depicts it well.  I'm not one for violent, gangsta rap, but the Nas does a good job at portraying inner city violence without it being over the top.  Favorite line: "Beyond walls of intelligence, life is defined."

Life's a Bitch:  Though he's not given credit in the title, rapper AZ the Visualiza is featured on this track.  His tone isn't my favorite - he's got a pretty young sounding voice, and his lyrics were difficult to decipher without reading them, but he makes up for that in his delivery.  He's responsible for my favorite line - "fuck who's the baddest, a person's status depends on salary."  Unfortunate, but true in this society.  Nas also delivers, preaching more on the drug scene and how he got out of it.  I can get down with redemption.  "Life's a bitch and then you die".... I don't know how much I believe that, but I'm sure that hook will be stuck in my head tonight.

The World Is Yours:  I have in fact heard this song before, but it was nice to take an in depth listen to it.  Love the beat on this one, my favorite so far.  The keys are sweet and I love the back beat.  Nas does a good job with the lyrical content, he's got a great flow that allows his words to come off with ease.  Favorite line: "To hold the mic I'm throbbin, mechanical movement/ Understandable smooth shit that murderers move with/ The theif's theme, play me at night, they won't act right/ The fiend of hip hop has got me stuck like a crack pipe."

Halftime:  There are sleigh bells in this beat... I can get down with that.  I can also get down with this funky ass bass line.  Tasty.  The horn sample in the chorus is also killin.  There's not one particular line that I find extraordinary, but the whole song and flow is pretty dope.  He really does have a way with words that is levels above the shit you hear today.  Solid.

Memory Lane (Sittin In Da Park):  This is a solid beat.  Really dig the keys part and the "ooo" vocal sample.  Dig the scratching in the hook.  The whole thing is nice and simple.  Another song about the struggle growing up in New York, Nas obviously writes about what he knows and it really comes across in his lyrics and flow.  You can feel it - I like that.  Favorite line: "I decipher prophecies through a mic and say peace."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Album Factoids


Released: April 19, 1994
Genre:  Rap
Label: Columbia
Producers: DJ Premier, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, Nas, Large Professor, L.E.S., MC Search

Week 38: Nas

Rock The Bells 2011 features a certain rapper performing a certain famous album in full, and so I thought I should check it out before I saw the show (which they STILL haven't put tickets up for!)  I actually saw Nas perform this month at Roots Picnic in Philadelphia, and I liked what I saw, and I want to go into my 2nd performance with a better knowledge of Nas' most famous album.  Of course I am familiar with Nas' music, but I've never listened to an album of his start to finish, and could name you no more than 4 songs by name.  I'm also looking for some lyrical redemption from last week, so hopefully this'll do the trick!

This Weeks Album...

let's see what I've been missing...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Final Grade: B-

So I have a little bit of a conflict with this album.  Musically, it gets an A/A-, and that's because the producers (namely Dilla) are infreakingcredible.  Now the lyrics.... not so much.  First off, I could barely decipher anything they were saying, but even when I read the lyrics, no lyric or phrase reeeeally stood out to me or held any kind of spot in my mind.  That said, lyrics are by far the last thing I listen to in a tune, so I can't say it was a serious issue, but still, I needed something.  Rap at its best is about poetry, and I wanted to hear some.  But, all that aside, beats were fat, and it got my head movin.  Not my favorite rap album, but it'll serve as good car/background music.