Nas
Nastradamus


2.0
poor

Review

by michaelbchnn USER (5 Reviews)
September 22nd, 2008 | 33 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One great song and a bunch of crap.

Money is a funny thing. When you don't have it, you want it. You dream about it, and wonder what it would be like if you had some. Queensbridge rapper Nas' classic debut, Illmatic, will forever be considered one of hip-hop's greatest achievements, and the day it was released the money began rolling in for the son of famous blues musician Olu Dara. Unfortunately, that lifestyle Nas became accustomed to turned out to be hazardous for his musical career, after a while it seemed like he wanted nothing but mainstream success. It Was Written was a underated if inherently contrastive sophomore album, and it marked the birth of his Escobar persona.

A few bright moments prevented 1999's I Am..., which came out six months before Nastradamus, from being a complete failure, and hip-hop fans became more and more worrisome that subsequent Nas albums would be just as bad, if not entirely worse.

And boy, were they ever right.

No longer was Nas the introspective and intelligent prophet that painted vivid pictures of the harsh realities of ghetto life. No longer did his rhymes include innovative rhyme schemes or the multi-syllabic flows that he had become famous for.

No longer were his lyrics sharp as they had once been, nor was the production as musically stimulating as it had been in the past. In a matter of a few years, the guy went from being hailed as Rakim's successor to being considered washed up by most critics and fans alike.

For instance, the album's title track, Nastradamus, is not only one of the worst Nas tracks I've ever heard, but perhaps one of the worst hip-hop tracks ever recorded. First of all, the production is incredibly awful. Horrendous synthesizers are the focal point of the beat, and they are simply torturous. His rhymes are even worse. Before, Nad would brag about being a great emcee with his imaginative wordplay, but on this album he boasts about how "his pants sag down to his feet," and how he owns Bentleys, Porsches, and DRJ watches.

Now, I don't have a problem with rap where artists brag about the wealth they've acquired, but for crying out loud, they should have the creativity to do it in an entertaining way. Jay-Z did it extremely well on Reasonable Doubt, but Nas' lyricism lost all complexity and therefore credibility on Nastradamus, instead of utilizing his impressive vocabulary, he sticks to using slang that would maybe impress five year olds. On Come Get Me, which includes one very unoriginal DJ Premier beat, Nas' fascination with the gangster lifestyle, which he tries to portray himself living, continues. That in itself is completely laughable, as we know Nas is no gangster, and what makes things even more pathetic is the fact that Nas legitimately tries to pass himself as one.

And that's not even the worst track on the album. If you choose to stop reading this review when you find out Ginuwine is featured on You Owe Me, I will understand. Even worse production is present on the track, this time of the uncharacteristically whack Timbaland, it's nothing but commercial fluff where Nas raps about his fame and fortune and Ginuwine's atrocious singing does nothing but solidify the fact that Nas wanted this album to be full of nothing but club bangers. But he failed miserably at that, even.

God Loves Us proves Nas doesn't care that he's a hypocrite and can be woefully ignorant at times, as long as he gets the mainstream sales he wants. Family, which features Mobb Deep, is nothing but a boring posse cut that lacks all of the chemistry that old tracks Nas, Prodigy, and Havoc recorded together have. The other tracks revolve around the same clichéd subject matter with the same elementary lyricism that does nothing but make us appreciate Nasty Nas so much more, and fuel our hate for the very lame Nastradamus.

If there is one redeeming aspect about the album, it's Project Windows. For five minutes Nasty Nas returns to share some of that vintage street poetry that we always enjoy, his retrospection about growing up is very much appreciated. His lyricism is far more complex and creative than anything else on Nastradamus, and it certainly shows. I personally enjoy Ronald Isley's singing, but interestingly enough the production is inferior to the that of the unreleased, bootleg version of the same track, but even so, the "official" track benefits from a nice piano driven instrumental.

If I were you, though, I'd go and hunt down the great version of this song, easily found on any file sharing program out there, and forget about the average one that's on the actual album.

With that said, this is a horrible album. One of the worst hip-hop albums I've ever listened to, in fact. Fortunately for Nas' career, this was the worst it got.


user ratings (449)
Chart.
2
poor
other reviews of this album
Bulldog (1.5)
The minimalist, pop tendencies of Nastradamus make the record just as bad as Illmatic is good....

HolidayKirk (1)
“I would talk about killin’ more, but that was the 16th bar and we gotta go to the chorus now. I...



Comments:Add a Comment 
SnackaryBinx
September 22nd 2008


2309 Comments


This review makes this album seem like a 1.5 at best because of the one track you like.

bastard
September 22nd 2008


3432 Comments


No longer was Nas the introspective and intelligent prophet that painted vivid pictures of the harsh realities of ghetto life. No longer did his rhymes include innovative rhyme schemes or the multi-syllabic flows that he had become famous for.

No longer were his lyrics sharp as they had once been, nor was the production as musically stimulating as it had been in the past. In a matter of a few years, the guy went from being hailed as Rakim's successor to being considered washed up by most critics and fans alike.


needs to be one paragraph.

This is kind of a huge rant rather than a review. I get nothing from the review other than that the album is incredibly unimaginative and horrendous. You also seem to be repeating yourself over and over about how bad the lyrics are. You write well at times, but the review just lacks.

This Message Edited On 09.22.08

cbmartinez
September 22nd 2008


2525 Comments


shoot em up is awesome, one of my favorite nas tracks, most of this is pretty worthless though

rattlehead42147
September 22nd 2008


1345 Comments


ok its been a while since i've read a review on here, but nice to see a good one, well done. seems like the album deserves a 1.5 i'll agree with snackary based on the fact that you said only one song is worthwhile.
2 typos i noticed:
"Nad" instead of "Nas" 5th paragraph and

It Was Written was a underated if inherently contrastive sophomore

not tryin to nitpick, hope that helps.


LF96
September 23rd 2008


97 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I wouldn't say this is THAT bad, but yeah, it's not really good either. 1/3 of the tracks is actually listenable, and Project Windows, Come Get Me and Life We Choose are great songs.

But, all in all, this is indeed the worst Nas album by a long shot, though I Am... is not very good either.

badtaste
September 23rd 2008


824 Comments


Thought the review was pretty good (perhaps some points could have been fleshed out though).

Seems to be common knowledge that nothing post-Illmatic is worth touching, I'll leave it that way.

MrHell
September 23rd 2008


157 Comments


Decent review. lmao at the summary.
I never really grow to like this album. I guess its time to dig up my vinyl LP collection.


cbmartinez
September 23rd 2008


2525 Comments


[quote=badtaste]
Seems to be common knowledge that nothing post-Illmatic is worth touching, I'll leave it that way.[/quote]

no it's not you're an idiot

kygermo
September 23rd 2008


1007 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice review. I, for one, love Come Get Me.





And I love how you put "uncharacteristically whack Timbaland". Thats the quote of the day.



And yes this is the worst Nas album.

Hollow
June 9th 2009


263 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Project Windows is great,I also like Family and there a couple of Ok tracks and couple of terrible tracks so 2.5

HalfManHalfAmazing
August 17th 2010


1968 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

This album isn't as bad as people make it out to be but it's still pretty bad. There are a few good tracks: Last Words, Come Get Me, Family, Shoot Em Up, and the standout of them all being Project Windows. The rest ranges from bland but listenable to trash.

Storm In A Teacup
March 15th 2013


24772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is a 4.3 these days.

BigPleb
March 15th 2013


55853 Comments


Amazing rec

Digging: Azusa - Heavy Yoke

nickurgero92
May 31st 2013


6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this reviewer doesnt really know what he is talking about. Nastradamus was a badass song. yes the lyrics arent top of the line like Illmatic. but the beat is amazing. dont know what you are talking about. put the new nas against 85% or so of the other rappers out there and nas is better

Havey
May 31st 2013


10244 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

whoa

oltnabrick
May 31st 2013


36217 Comments


Dam 5 it

Digging: Revenge (CAN) - Deceiver.Diseased.Miasmic

Fozzie
July 20th 2013


504 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Awful album. Nas' weakest lyrical performance and boring beats.



Although it can't make up for the lyrics, listen to some of these tracks from Nastradoomus. Big improvement.

ToMMyMiL16
October 18th 2013


391 Comments


murda murda murda...kill kill kill.

DeadPoe
October 16th 2016


78 Comments


Nastradamus one of the worst hip-hop songs ever recorded? Lol what... this reads as the most hyperbolic bullshit i've ever heard. the albums not amazing but it's not bad at all

tellah
December 8th 2016


809 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

album gets a bad rap (heh) because of the high standard a lot of Nas albums set



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