Nas
God's Son


4.0
excellent

Review

by Bulldog USER (114 Reviews)
January 16th, 2011 | 34 replies | 16,487 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Was this Illmatic? No. But it came fairly close.

10 of 11 thought this review was well written

In a review of a Nas album it's almost inescapable to implement his 1994 classic debut Illmatic as a reference point. Whether you're just a casual hip-hop observer or a hardcore Nas fan, it's absolutely inevitable that you will weigh everything that he does on the same scale as Illmatic. Hell, even Nas him-***ing-self compares everything he does to that album. His Myspace bio kicks off by referencing, big surprise, Illmatic and he even references the title of it in his 'second-best' album, Stillmatic. The problem was that after the mind blowing sales, the critical acclaim, and the realization that he had a musical epic under his belt, Nas encountered a bit (read, a lot) of hubris. Subsequently, instead of being the journalist that he was on Illmatic, he, by his own making, became the news story. Suffering from grandiosity, he fancied himself a prophet; a visionary, and in turn made four self-aggrandizing sonic caricatures of himself in a row: a prophecy, an autobiography, a collection of predictions, and a testament. But when Nas set aside his career, his penultimate feud with Jay-Z, and ultimately, his pride to tend to his mother until her final days, there was a collective premonition - an optimistic one - that perhaps Nas wasn't such a self-obsessed, douchey blowhard anymore. And when he went on to rap, "there's more sh*t than wanting to be this king of New York sh*t," that premonition was confirmed and Nas made a pretty emotional and powerful album. Was it Illmatic? No. But it came fairly close. That album was God's Son.

While it is true that we see a much more religious, sentimental Nasir Jones here, that's not to say he threw the lyrical lamenting into overdrive here, it's that almost every word he swiftly presses out is mournfully reflective. Although "The Cross" finds Nas in a very familiar position - the self-purported savior of hip-hop - he executes said position with such grit and passion it's astounding, with Nas rapping "I'd carry the cross if Virgin Mary had an abortion; I'd be carried in a chariot by stampeding horses.". "Last Real Nigga Alive" could have been on Illmatic with its relatively impartial, journalistic stance on the relationships of Nas, Biggie, and Ghostface Killah. F*ck, even the radio single "I Can", while cheesy, brings motivation to the table. But the best track on the album is by far "Dance". Anybody with a mother - hell, anybody that never knew their mom - would be hard pressed not to well up when they hear it.

But what really distinguishes God's Son from, say, STILLmatic, is the production. Although he has chinks in his armor like any other rapper - he's less than masterful when it comes to hooks and braggadocious punchline rap isn't really his thing - what has plagued Nas's discography is insipid beat work. So it's an understatement to note that God's Son benefited from quality instrumentals. There's something to be said for your album's production when Eminem chips in a great beat in 2002 ("The Cross"). There's something to be said for your album's production when an acoustic, posthumous remix of a Tupac song turns out stupendously ("Thugz Mansion (N.Y.)"). There's something to be said for your album's production when someone flips a new jack swing sample better than Dr. Dre did ("Get Down"). And there's really something to be said for your album's production when Nas says "ya'll can keep your weak beats from your corny producers," and it isn't ironic. God's Son by far musically transcends the insipidity, simplicity, and/or mediocrity that plenty of Nas releases can shamefully lay claim to.

If the cover art wasn't a visual foreshadowing of the album content, then I don't know what else, other than the passing of his mother, could have hinted at the emotionality contained on God's Son. Unlike his previous four albums, which all displayed incredibly self-absorbed artwork - respectively featuring a face shot juxtaposed against the Queensbridge projects, the visage of a golden mummy coffin, the adornment of a monk's robe, and the flaunting of a ghetto fab outfit with a spectacular jewelry selection to match with the NYC skyline in the background - the album cover for God's Son is raw and, to a certain extent, almost beautiful. It depicts a shirtless Nasir Jones hanging his head in a noticeably humble, distraught and perhaps even pious fashion that against a melancholic blue background. It's passionate, really. Sure, the saying goes that you can't judge a book by its cover, but then again, there's also a saying that there's an exception to every rule.



Recent reviews by this author
Young L DOMO-KUNRaekwon Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang
Lupe Fiasco LasersSaigon The Greatest Story Never Told
MF DOOM Operation: DoomsdayLil B Angels Exodus
user ratings (369)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
thecreative0ne (4.5)
One of the best Nas albums, which has Nas finding religion, which was a good choice....

michaelbchnn (4.5)
While Hip Hop fans see Stillmatic as Nas’s second classic, and the mainstream keeps looking for it...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Bulldog
January 16th 2011



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Didn't write this today. Had it in the vault but just forgot about it.

Sup Sputnikers?

JustJoe
January 16th 2011



1399 Comments


Good stuff, Bully.

I'm just finishing up my fifth review, and starting on my sixth.

=]

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2011



7163 Comments


Didn't write this today. Had it in the vault but just forgot about it.

What makes it any different from writing it today, though?

That said, great review Bulldog. The genre isn't my thing but you made it easy enough for me to understand and follow the overall flow. Have a pos.

dr2den
January 16th 2011



1342 Comments


hey bizdiz

Bulldog
January 16th 2011



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks guys

sup dredok

Tupik
January 16th 2011



671 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent review, great job there.

Digging: Mick Jenkins - The Water[s]

Bulldog
January 16th 2011



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks bruh bruh

HalfManHalfAmazing
January 16th 2011



565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Review is ace, phantom negger explain yourself

Bulldog
January 16th 2011



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks HMHA

MUNGOLOID
January 16th 2011



4289 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

one of the first rap albums i ever got.

Urinetrouble
January 17th 2011



5760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pos'd

albums great

Tyrael
January 17th 2011



20797 Comments


Bulldog's great.
Pos.

MoosechriS
January 17th 2011



4932 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool review dude, bought this recently having lost it a while ago when i moved house. Awesome album. Pos'd

Bulldog
January 17th 2011



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha thanks guys appreciate it.

Counterfeit
January 21st 2011



17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yrdreessssesesresr

Defeaterr
January 21st 2011



139 Comments


Not Illmatic?

Not good.

Counterfeit
January 21st 2011



17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

qauu guidss

Defeaterr
January 21st 2011



139 Comments


go hang out with that fat chick that won't put out

Counterfeit
January 21st 2011



17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wgtyhy hating tefisfi

cirq
January 23rd 2011



9263 Comments


get down.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy