Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Curse

The history of The Curse (as I know it): In 1999, there existed some mysterious I Am sampler. On this sampler, was a snippet, "The Curse." Unfortunately, when it came time to release I Am, a full-length copy of The Curse did not appear, nor did it appear on any of the many bootleg versions of that ill-fated album. Furthermore, it was never leaked to J-Love, Clue, or online. Seven years later, all we still have is that original less-than-ninety-second sense of where the track was going. However, due to its macabre tone ("the child of Medusa's risen") and lyrical peculiarities ("my mom fought off bats, giant size"), The Curse remains the number one digital wet dream for many a Nas fan.

The history of The Saints (as I know it): In late 2005, featured on both Dirty Harry and Killah Priest mixtapes, thanks to a song entitled The Saints, with a beat from Dirty Harry and an introduction appropriately by Killah Priest, the infamous Curse verse made its way into the spotlight once more. Fans celebrated, cynics asked, "was this just a blend?" Well, last year Nas respit a couple older verses (Live at the Barbeque on the Living Legends mixtape; Blackness redone as We March As Millions), and there are two variations from the original lyrics ("Slipping" becomes "Niggas slipping"; "till MCs get the curse" becomes "till MCs feel it hurts"), so probably not.

What does this all mean? I like The Curse, maybe even a lot, but I'm not going to sign my will over to it; and if its history ended on a Killah Priest mixtape, in its most recent form, I wouldn't be so mad. The first half of that verse, up until about "twisted snake heads you should envision", is quintessential dope. The second half, while containing some stark visuals, drops off in the same way that Ghetto Prisoners, also from a '99 recording time, did: part good, the rest rambling. Also, just like Ghetto Prisoners, the beat and hook are rather poor. But, as I said, it still has inspired unparalleled pins and needles anticipation from Nas' staunchest supporters, and even I want to hear what, if anything, lives beyond the fade out.

My pen's a paintbrush with coloring books of gangstas
Hoes who never changes, tampons stinking
Hot as a bullet that went in Abe Lincoln
The page is the inkaholic, addict for drinking
Nas: The Curse
Killah Priest f/ Nas: The Saints

4 Comments:

Blogger MiThRaZoR said...

Heh, I kinda liked the hook for The Saints.

The dark one and the gods son.

Or however it goes. But the beginning is really good like back in his prime time. But then it turns out to be mediocre. But the songs still tite though.

PS: Nas does need a unique name for his album. Nasdaq Dow Jones or Hip-Hop is Dead isn't gonna work. Like you said, Rebel to America is a nice name.

May 28, 2006 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty dope, I havent heard this before, rather just hype about it from message boards etc...

I'm a bit dissapointed, forums I frequent to (e.g. allhiphop) seem to rate this as one of Nas' best ever verses. Which it clearly isn't, propz though Fletch I have been searching for this for a while.

May 29, 2006 5:54 AM  
Anonymous remydat said...

Went back and read this board from beginning to end. Good ish. I think the hype around the Curse was more for what came next as oppose to what was already said. It's a very dark, eerie verse and at the time was unlike anything Nas had ever released. I remember when I first heard it I was like dude is on some different ish right there. There were rumors that the full song would drop when Nas finally retired from rap. It was suppose to be his eulogy allegedly. But who knows.

May 29, 2006 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the line is "twisted snake heads you shouldn't vision" instead of "twisted snake heads you should envision." It makes more sense and Nas often uses nouns instead of verbs.

June 04, 2006 11:25 AM  

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