Nas Battles Society In "NASIR"

The lates of Kanye West's projects may just be the most pertinent yet. Nas battles society in NASIR, making powerful statements with every aspect of the music.

Nas takes no time to get to the point in NASIR. Opening track 'Not For Radio' digs straight into the financial and racial issues that he faced once entering the industry, going deeper and deeper to eventually making large blanket statements about the state of the world itself, stating "Abe Lincoln did not free the enslaved / Progress was made 'cause we forced the proclamation" and "SWAT was created to stop the Panthers / Glocks were created for murder enhancement" in the second verse alone. Following track 'Cops Shot The Kid' is perhaps one of the most wholly angry tracks in the album, the beat incessantly chanting "cops shot the kid" as Nas seems to struggle to keep his voice above it. This is on purpose, however: "cops shot the kid" is the real statement they want to go for. Even though Nas is going in about specifics, its hard to pay attention to anything else but that one sentiment, as if despite the minutia, the real meaning is not being distracted from.

As NASIR progresses, it seems to only get more wise. 'Bonjour' starts to move away from the more dark subjects and starts remembering the good life he lives now. It's a much more glamorous beat, and you can tell its much more braggadocios. 'everything' might be one of the most beautiful things to come from Kanye's production tear recently, the gorgeous hook delivered by him and The-Dream. The song's beautiful vocal production comes with one message: believe in yourself. The song discusses the 7 deadly sins, but comes back to the central message of betterment. Closing track 'Simple Things' ends soulfully as Nas takes the time to defend his personal life, ending the record off with the wholesome sentiment: "Everybody sayin' my humility's infectious / I just want my kids to have the same peace I'm blessed with."

Nas battles society in NASIR, taking stark looks at the state of it while at the same time reflecting on the place he is now within it. With Kanye-produced beats and heartfelt, honest lyrics at hand, NASIR is another big release from G.O.O.D. Music.

Favorite Tracks: everything, Cops Shot The Kid

Least Favorite Track: White Label

Rating: 74 / 100

Stream or buy NASIR on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: