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GeoReview: Nas, Untitled

By Clayton Ruley
 
In some of his most focused work since his “rebirth” (some say it was around "Stillmatic" I never thought he went anywhere) Nas returns to the LP game with Untitled, a 15 track album that deals with politics, media and the grind of growing up in the ghetto and worldwide.

Nas wanted to call this album N***er, but because of the companies involved it wasn’t to be. Nonetheless the album still talks about the word, the debate within the black community about the n***a word and how many people feel (or should) like the n-word themselves because what is happening in the United States and abroad.

Featuring production from stic.man, Mark Ronson, Polow da Don, Jay Electronica, Salaam Remi, Stargate, Cool & Dre, DJ Toomp and DJ Green Lantern and more this album is more of what you love about the Queensbridge, New York MC.

He talks about life being more than you and the environment on “We’re Not Alone” featuring Mykel on the hook. “Black President” talks about Barack Obama, the expectations he has from the hood and whether people are really ready for a Black president,

He has clubby tracks but even they are exceptional. Chris Brown and The Game come thru on one of those faster tracks called “Make the World Go Round” and the lead single is “Hero” featuring Keri Hinson, a track about being what the music world needs right now.

Busta Rhymes comes through on “Fried Chicken”, a track about what Blacks eat and how it kills them. “N.I.G.G.E.R. (The Slave & The Master)” is a powerful track because Nas gives a history lesson on the song, talks about the injustices performed on the black man (woman and many others) in America and also challenges all to control their destiny as best as possible.

In 2008, Nas delivered petitions with ColorofChange.org complaining about the FoxNews network’s overall coverage and “SlyFox” is an appropriate accompaniment to those petitions. For those who don’t know, FoxNews, owned by Rupert Murdoch, is well known to be a right-wing haven.

The Last Poets appear on “Project Roach”, a track about those famous co-inhabitants of many people in the hood and also “Can’t Stop Us Now” (also featuring Eban Thomas of the Stylistics), a riveting track the makes me want to keep doing what’s best for me, my people and my community. You can’t stop us now in the chorus and the beat sounds like a slow march towards knowledge and power.

“Queens Get The Money” is a great intro into the album and lets you experience Nas vibing to a simple but explicit beat produced by Electronica.

Nas talks about being a revolutionary rapper and what possibilities that brings in “Untitled”, produced by stic.man, and in “Testify” he talks about those fair weather fans and people that surrounds many people, especially those in the bright lights. Can a brother get some space to do him? That’s what is asking for in “Breathe”, a chill track where Nas talks about being at peace and what that can do for a brother.

Nas continues to push the envelope and Untitled is a great example of an artist surveying the times he lives in and expressing the concern, questions and wishes on the microphone. Whether you question his original LP title or not you will know why he called it that after this album. A regular LP that shows an exceptional overall theme, Untitled is one I can pop in for many reasons including to laugh, learn and nod my head to.

I’ll give Untitled 4.5 GeoGlobes. It’s the right LP at the right time and in the land of money, clothes, bling and hoes (make your money while it last fellas) and much needed effort!

 
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