20 years ago today a young 20 year old hungry for glory MC from the Queensbridge projects organized a super team of producers (Pete Rock, Large Professor, DJ Premier, Q Tip) and painted a masterpiece. A true street poet knowledge manifestedin the language of the common man. My uncle use to tell me about the griots in Africa and I always felt like Nasir was one for us over here in the ghetto. His words helped transcribe the message ala It Was Written. We have a story that needs to be heard Nas is our storyteller.

It doesn’t hit like a rap album it’s jazz manifested in street form for the heads on the block it’s so jazzy the way his voice flows through the beats it punches just like a solo done by the likes of Miles or Coltrane. I feel like Ron Carter or Art Blakey could of worked in the studio with them on this one the way the rhythm just hits you. Those soulful vibes connecting with the listener. This isn’t background music to be played while on a treadmill or noise to be played while driving away from the job that you hate this is food to help you maintain a healthy spiritual diet. I started making music because of this guy. Every single track resonates with me when I use to write my cousin up in San Quentin I would listen to One Love. NY State of Mind is the most chilling cinematic start to an album that I ever heard all done in one take. 

Life’s A Bitch comes to mind when i’m trying to fight the cultural nihilism that comes from growing up in a impoverished environment. The Human Nature flip on It Ain’t Hard To Tell I knew that lyrics will forever be chief and the purest form of human expression. When I think of hip hop I think of Nas and speficially this album. So short but so beautiful I don’t think we recognize how crucial a proper tracklisting is to a cohesive sound and concept being rightfully executed. Lots of people just don’t think of it as an artform sometimes but Nas is a brillant artist and what he’s done for the culture is unparalled. Hope to be able to contribute as much to this culture that has shaped me as he has in life one day.

AIM.

Working on my graffiti book.

Juan 14:6.

Lil Spook.

Lower Egypt.

Florencia.

I put my hands up on your hips, when I dip you dip we dip.

Stutter stutter.

Anytime, Anyplace.