Review Summary: While Hip Hop fans see Stillmatic as Nas’s second classic, and the mainstream keeps looking for it. I say with God’s Son he already made it.
After his 2001 album Stillmatic not only restored his credibility but succeeded in Knocking reigning Hip Hop king Jay-Z off his throne (at least for a while), Nas needed to show that he could continue to make great music and not go back to his late 90’s pop antics. Before the release of his follow up God’s Son, there were numerous rumors about Nas joining forces with hip hop giant Murder INC. Highly successful but looked upon with scorn for their pop tinged hits that the hip hop community saw as everything wrong with the genre. Nas did nothing to squash the rumors even going as far as to appear on a song with Murder INC’s flagship artists Ja-Rule and Ashanti. Fortunately the rumors were false but many were still worried about the direction Nas would take on the new album.
All Nas did was release the most emotional Hip Hop album ever made. The two singles, Made you Look and I Can were the biggest of his career, and proved he could have commercial success without straying from his roots.
Here is a track by track review of every song.
1. Get Down- He starts the album off with a bang lyrically it’s astounding and may be the best he’s ever done. 5/5
2. The Cross- Produced by Eminem, the beat is mediocre but the lyrics make up for it. Listen closely to the second verse when he rhymes his albums together. 4/5
3. Made you look- By far the best single of his career and one of the top 5 hip hop songs of the decade. The hook is one sticks in your head for ever. “Made you look; you’re a slave to a page in my rhyme book” 5/5
4. Last Real Nigga Alive- This is where Nas takes us through a journey of the mid 90 conflicts between him Biggie, and Wu-tang. It’s also where the beef with Jay-Z truly ends, brushing him off as if nothing but a crumb. 5/5
5. Zone Out- The worst song on the album. The beat sucks, Nas’s verse is good but the Bravehearts continue to show why they should never be allowed anywhere near a mic. 2.5/5
6. Hey Nas- One of the weaker songs on the album, it’s a good but unspectacular song with a mediocre hook sung by Kelis and Claudette Ortiz. It is his best attempt at a ladies song though. 3/5
7. I Can- Criticized by some for being cheesy and a blatant attempt at radio; it’s a great song for the kids to listen to without being bombarded with curses and drug talk. 4/5
8. Book Of Rhymes- A clever track where Nas goes through an old book of rhymes, dismissing seemingly good verses as trash until the stunning last verse. 5/5
9. Mastermind- The other weak track on the album, basically tough talk over a weak beat. 3/5
10. Thugz Mansion- A superior remix to the original, with a mellower chorus that fits both Nas’s more laid back rhymes and Tupacs visions of heaven perfectly. 4/5
11. Warrior Song- Produced by Alicia keys, it keeps the emotional theme of the album with a great hook by Alicia. 4/5
12. Revolutionary Warfare- A great song featuring Lake the kid who continues the trend of making a great guest appearance on a Nas song only to fall of the face of the earth. 4/5
13. Dance- The emotional centerpiece of the album, Nas reminisces about his last moments with his mother dreaming of another dance with her. If it was anyone else it would be sappy but Nas makes it work. 5/5
14. Heaven- An excellent closer to an excellent album, with a great hook by Jully black. Nas wonders how we would behave if heaven was just a mile away. 5/5