NAS: MEMORY LANE


Nas: Where Are They Now?
From Hip Hop Is Dead (Def Jam, 2006)

Nas: Represent (O.G. Mix)
(1994)

Under most other circumstances, a song like “Where Are They Now?” would probably be thought of as another sign that aging rappers are so nostalgia-ridden that they can just rattle off a list of defunct, forgotten rappers and that qualifies as a song. And hey, if people want to lay into it for being just that, it’s a fair critique but for aging, nostalgia-ridden rap listeners like me, I find something endearing about Nas’ elder statesmen posturing and attempt at reminding us of those who’ve come and gone in hip-hop’s relentless celebration of the Now and amnesia towards anything older than a few years old. Besides, Masta Ace can’t have all the fun.

But Nas…Buckshot? Really?

And since we’re on a throwback tip, I threw in an early, pre-Illmatic mix of Nas’ “Represent.” On this note, supposedly, there’s a demo of Nas out there (presumably the one that got shopped to Sony/Columbia) but rumor says that only Eric B. has it. Forget about “Eric B. for President,” you need to emancipate the precedent!

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