But to be the best rapper alive it's not just about great beats and poetry-esque lyrics but also the message behind it. In an age of hip-hop stars and MC's trying to make a buck off of their name with endorsements and sponsorship's, and self-produced alcohol with others, Nas goes the other way. "One Mic" off of his album "Stillmatic" just shows his mentality on not only what he hopes to accomplish with his music but what this genre of music should be engineered to do which is reaching out to those forlorn youths lost in the struggle.
"Thugz Mansion (N.Y.)" off of "God's Son" is probably one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. I use this song to try and convince people I meet who think hip-hop/rap is all just a homogenized crock pot of bling and swagger and lecherous claims on females. I mean, once you listen to this song you can't help but feel chills go up your spine and tears fall down your cheeks. It's just beautiful and a rare moment of showing tenderness in a game where you need to maintain hardcore status 24/7.
But Nas isn't all tenderness and enlightened messages, he is also THE most vicious MC in the game. Jay-Z was on his way to becoming the king of hip-hop in the early 2000s but the only way to have the crown is to take it from the current king. So Jay-Z released a track, "Takeover", saying that he slept with Nas' girlfriend , that Nas' daughter wasn't actually his, and a bunch of other messed up stuff. Everyone thought Nas was out of touch and would never be able to come back from such a vicious attack. They thought Jay had won the crown. But then Nas released Ether and the competition quickly quieted down.
Nas has the best flow, the best lyrics, the best imagery, the best alliteration; simply put he is the best. His lyrics are eternal not ephemeral. His message is meaningful and not a means to an end. His style is his own and not cookie cut from the rest. He can be crude in one line and deeply insightful in the next. He is THE best alive. Period.
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