Nas Lost Tapes 2 Review.
Nas career has been a story of a roller-coaster. Since emerging on the scene in 1991, Nas has found ways to not only co exist and stay lyrically sharp, But he also found ways to maintain a new admiration from the new generation of peers. Nas has been considered a standard barrier since the release of Illmatic and that’s been the gift and curse of his career. The gift being that he released such a monumental classic that literally changed how a lot of his peers approached their rhymes and sound. However the curse being that anything he’s released since Illmatic will forever be chastised and its happened with many great artists.
The Lost Tapes concept was introduced in 2002 where Nas went in the vault and released unreleased gems that were either on bootlegs, kept in the vault during a period of time or couldn’t meet label clearances. Tracks that were released from the IAM/Nastradamous/StillMatic period were apart of Lost Tapes Volume 1. Lost Tapes Volume 2 consists of tracks that were recorded from the Hip Hop Is Dead, Untitled, and Life is Good periods. The Results are satisfying. Especially for fans whom were looking for exclusive Nas material.
The album’s first single titled Jarreau of Rap (Skatt Attack) was a skeptical first single to pick because it threw a lot of people for a loop. What people don’t realize is Nas’s always incorporated Jazzy feels into his music, Going back to “Lifes a Bitch” and Bridging the Gap with his father Olu Dara. Nas has experimented with the triple fast flow on many songs such as Big Thangs, Big Girl, and Heaven in the past so its no shock he would go that route here.
Lost Tapes 2 for the most part is a great mixed up goodie bag. The opening track No Bad Energy is a great opener which re-introduces Nas and he took time to not only boast about his legacy but also his influence:
To rappers who never sold crack, telling other people’s lives
Never shot nobody but be shooting people in their rhymes
Never robbed nobody or re-upped with coke in they ride
I’m probably who they talking about when they’re writing most of their lines
The followup track Vernon Family pays homage to the legends of Queensbridge along with new changes of his relationship with Kelis. RZA provides that Wu Tang flavor for Tanasia and Highly Flavored which has Nas going back to what he does best and that’s drop jewels about Self Mastery.
One of my personal favorites off LT2 is Queens Wolf which was produced by DJ Toomp where Nas gives tribute to one of his films(Teen Wolf). This is Nas showcasing his strong-points in bringing conceptually storytelling and creative writing to the mix. This is metaphorically up there with One Mic, Rewind, and I Gave You Power.
Pete Rock reunites with Nas and he produces two gems titled The Art of It and Queensbridge Politics where Nas tries to bring closure to the tension of Queensbridge beef with the late Prodigy from Mobb Deep and paid homage to the legends whom paved the way.
Hip Hop’s current most hated producer Kanye West lays a assist on to You Mean the World To Me which has Ye revisiting his soulful upbringings. This track here sound like it was during his Hip Hop is Dead sessions and it showcases Nas’s strong points of painting a picture of a female leaving her love interest to be with him. It sounds simple but the way Nas paints the visual is brilliant.
Overall Lost Tapes 2 proves that throughout the past decade Nas’s blade and consistency has remained sharp. The flow structure of LT2 didn’t sound imbalanced and flowed fluidly. If you’re expecting club bangers, turn up songs, and ass shaking anthems then I suggest you pass this on. If you’re a true fan of Nas and pursuits hip hop from the golden era then Lost Tapes 2 doesn’t disappoint.
Vic Rating 10 outta 10