I discovered NaS when he was on his sophomore album. I had just started DJ’ing seriously – I was about seventeen. I had also found this record store about 20 minutes from my house and they carried all the new “east coast rap” 12’ that you just could not find in tower records yes it was that long ago. I went in and ask “T” the owner what he had new and he was like “Yo I got the that new NaS 12’ with Lauren Hill.” I had no idea who NaS was but I was in love with Lauren at the time so I said Lauren and who? “T” and the other guys who hung out at the store all the time looked at me strangely. You know son, NaS, illmatic? “NY state of mind??” I realized I should know who this person was and lied like OHHHH NaS yeah, yeah I know him I couldn’t hear you… I picked up 2 copies of that single and played them at every party and on a lot of mixtapes. so much so they got too much scratch fuzz (real dj’s know about this). I also copped the It Was Written tape (yes tape) and played in my car loud while I was rollin’ the local waterfront trying to look cool. Thems wuz the days!
I followed his career closely ever since that visit, I liked him more when I found out he was a virgo like me. and had a chipped front tooth like i did! However, he lost me on a couple albums Nastradamus and his Puffy days. I like Puff but him and NaS Just didn’t mix. But I rekindled the love for my fellow Virgo on Sillmatic when I used “one Mic” as my opening theme of my second one man show entitled Half Man Half Amazing the titled sampled from one of his lyrics as well.
When he had beef with Jay I kinda had to agree that he has a “one hot album per five year average” I was like he’s kinda right… but Ether settled any doubt in real hip hop heads minds about who was the top MC. I love Jay but like Nas said this ain’t rappin’ this is street Hop.
I listened to the tenth release by NaS titled Life is Good and I gotta say it’s one of the best albums hip has produced in a long time. The production by No I.D and Swizz Beats (among others) coupled with NaS’ lyrics that range from poppin’ bottles, to taking over Goldman sachs is seamless he also takes candidly about his marriage and raising a daughter who wants a man just like daddy. I can’t say enough the whole album is great!
In the era of a couple singles and trash the rest albums it’s refreshing to buy an album and it’s worth the money. Thanks NaS I’m still rollin with you.