The first song has Nas sounding like a young KRS-One. “Edgar Hoover was black; Willie Lynch is a myth,” he affirms, “Columbians created crack; the government made stacks.” It’s that first part about Edgar Hoover that represents the rapper’s state of mind. He, like too many Americans, is obsessively focused on race and racism; only the white on black type, of course; to the point of going on to claim, hopefully metaphorically, that his first mansion was haunted by white racist ghosts.
But as a rapper, Nas is better than most. Listen to the baby vaccine bit earlier in that same (Everything) song. He has a knack for conjuring thought-provoking imagery to make a social or political point. That he’s rapping to boom-bap beats, often laced with elegant chords, on songs with; and what a surprise this is; melodic hooks is what makes this not only one of his best albums but the best yet of Kanye West’s seven-song Good Music album series. Unlike the others, Nasir is actually good music.
my rating = 4 of 5