Nas - Hip Hop Is Dead

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There are really only two things that have ever hurt Nas' career: his beat selection and his extreme shifts in content. When he does what he does, his talents are baffling.

The title Hip Hop Is
Dead
probably takes one extreme or the other with most of you. Either you
say "yeah no shit it's been dead for a
decade,
" or you went on a tirade about how Hip Hop hasn't lost a step; you
just need to look in the right places. The reality probably falls somewhere in
between the two, as there is certainly plenty of great Hip Hop on the
independent scene and still some available from major labels these days. But
for Nasir Jones, an impressionable
teenager during the early golden era and a cornerstone of the latter golden
years who probably doesn't stay up the MF
DOOM's
and Brother Ali's of the
world, it's pretty justifiable for him to toe tag the genre of which he has
seen the apex.

Provocative title aside, LP number eight from God's Son is likely his most
anticipated since his untouchable debut 12 years ago. After engaging in Hip Hop's
battle with Jay-Z in 2001, he and
the Jiggaman set an example for the
rest of usually childish Hip Hop community by making peace last year. The surprises
continued several months later when Nas
left Columbia for Def Jam, the label
that Jay-Z presided over. Some saw
it as Nas conceding defeat, others
only saw it as a means to two of Hip Hop's all-time greats to finally rhyme
side-by-side.

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