Nas - Hip Hop Is Dead

posted Monday December 18 ,2006 at 07:35AM CST | 4 comments

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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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