Nas has been in the game for longer than most and established a name for himself one of the best, if not, THE best rapper alive to grace the mic. So So Active would like to count down the top five Nas songs of his career.
5. I Can – God’s Son
I Can was the song that was stuck on everyone’s brain for weeks to months on end. The song sampled Für Elise by Beethoven, which gave the song that pep. The message in this song was about how the youth should stay away from gang banging, drugs, and acting your age, which is rare for hip-hop, especially nowadays. The song was written at the request of his mother who wanted him to write inspirational for children. What we got is one of his best songs.
Nas’ ode to his daughter Destiny makes its way to number four for this list. Nas speaks about his struggles raising his daughter and even brings up the Twitter scandal that happened in 2012. Destiny, around this time, tweeted a picture of a box of condoms. Nas addresses this in his song even going as far as saying;
A box of condoms on her dresser then she Instagrammed it
At this point I realized I ain’t the strictest parent
I’m too loose, I’m too cool with her.
For a three and a half minute song we get a glimpse into the parenting style of Nasir Jones. Also, he’s not saying his son is less important.
Illmatic came out that year in 1994 and was deemed an instant classic. Five singles came from the album but only one stands out. Despite sharing the name of the blimp in the Brian DePalma remake Scarface and the video resembles the Montana hot tub, the song is about his struggle coming up from the streets dealing with police and street life. Also, this song showed his lyrical prowess. Fun Fact: while the album went platinum, Illmatic wasn’t a huge commercial success. For his second album, he took a more commercial approach and succeeded with…
Imagine smoking weed in the streets without cops harassin
Imagine going to court with no trial
Lifestyle cruising blue Bahama waters
No welfare supporters more conscious of the way we raise our daughters
Days are shorter, nights are colder
Feeling like life is over, these snakes strike like a cobra
At the time this was a huge hit and it was because of Lauryn Hill. The Fugees were the biggest thing back in 1996, a group which Lauryn was apart of. When fans found out Hill was a guest artist on this song, It Was Written sold well. Not to mention the song is one for Black Empowerment with lyrics that evoke many ideologies of the Five Percent Nation.
Fun Fact: This line:
It sounds foul but every girl I meet’d go downtown
I’d open every cell in Attica send em to Africa
Doesn’t sit over well with this guy:
All Nas needs is one mic and a simple life. This song came out around the time of the Jay-Z beef. Nas knew the beef wasn’t going to last any longer, probably because of Ether, and he wanted to evoke what he wants in life. The video even depicts the Soweto 1976 Uprising where in South Africa over 700 people died protesting the introduction of Afrikaans to be used by only black students. Check out the video below: