Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Three Free's

While each of the following three freestyles are dope in their own right, beyond merely a change in content or style, perhaps the most notable difference between them lies with Nas' voice. When Nas first established himself alongside Large Professor, his voice was deep, but it seemed almost as if he was trying to project a bit of extra bass that his then-young age might not have naturally provided. You can hear this on the Nasty Nas Freestyle, from before Illmatic, most likely 1991. Looking next at 1997's Funkmaster Flex Freestyle, with Escobar status reached, Nas cleaned up his vocals but still projected a hint of grime. Furthermore, his voice sounds sort of light, like it's not so much on top of the beat as it is inside it. In contrast, more recently, as on Jonesin', the Nas sound is back to its heavyweight size. However, compared to pre-Illmatic times, this is not something that Nas needs to exaggerate. Thanks to a decade's worth of bad habits, age, and extra pounds, the QB rapper sounds hulky now, larger, but also less capable of acheiving quite the same agility he had once met the mic with. The lyrics are still there though.

Nasty Nas Freestyle (The Lost Stretch Sessions)
I landscape madness / On plantation / A brief notation / To link quotations / Manuscript of a crypt / Transcripts a screen / I narrate the broke scream / You fiend like a dope fiend / 'Cause I'm in between your blood stream / And mean like Idi Amin / Pick up the feather and ink / I plan and think / 'Cause my mentality can make man extinct / The drums attack me / Drumsticks ask me / To direct my dialect / So it's exactly / Synchronized / I'ma open your eyes / And shake your eyelids / So you're now surprised / Nasty Nas conducts a raw note / My vocal chords can repel a sore throat / My domain is like Dracula's castle / Rhyme's are psychic / Brain cells, I hassle / I provoke your instinct not to think / Enter your brain and drain / Till your mind is blank / My microphone . . . is on / And that's my word is bond

Funkmaster Flex Freestyle (Vol 2)
My first tool: 22's / I hung with crews and rocked funny jewels / Rope chains / Halloween, we bombed Sunday schools / First blunts, cutting class / First wifey, had me nuttin' fast / Used to brag about who I had / Always wore a bag on my dick / Pants sagged on my kicks / Converse Weapons / Yellow and purple Magic's / Bird had that black shit / Shorties jumping on mattress / 9-7, pockets is fat / Rocking stocking caps / Sunday Yankee hats / God painted me black / Thanks for that / I'm original man / Show and prove / The mac move right in my hand / Blow dro / Murderer M.O. / Guard 4-0 / Tinted window / Hennessy XO / Fucking with Esco / Heavy metal could wet you / Yo, bless me / Jail niggas go to hell quicker / Liquor with the hundred shot / Rocking VVS rocks / Stylin', whylin' / Peace to Queensbridge housing / Congratulate Flex - 500,000 sold / Fucking better than gold

Statik Selektah Freestyle (Jonesin')
The bush stroker / The kush smoker, nigga / Just when you thought it was over / Look over your shoulders / I'm 30 now / Babysit drinks and sip 'em slow / Model, no stress / Smoke less than I did befo' / As long as the name hold fame / Idiots try me / Then they wanna sue me / Ruin me / Put me in the penitentiary, forever / Never will / Yet I'm still / The number one QB rebel / My position is permanent / Listen and learn a bit / Went from underground like a turnip is / Helped turned this shit / To a trillion dollar business / Corporate thugs try to steal my percentage / I got their offices bugged / Double agents / Get payments / Industry merging / They ain't hurting / It's deep / It's a chapter of the one world raptor / A world secret / That's cool / But I've been needing my masters / Peep what I said / Keep educating yourself / Persevere for long years / See the streets as your wealth / Keep it gangsta in mansions / Getting old with your kids / Painting on canvas / Knowing you took chances / Peace to the frustrated old school MCs / Thanks to y'all / Y'all planted the seeds

Nas: Funk Flex Freestyle
Nas: Nasty Nas Freestyle
Nas: Statik Selektah Freestyle
BONUS: Dirty Harry, Nas: Living Legend Freestyle


Blogger Subculture said...

It's funny that you would make a post about the difference in Nas' vocals pertaining to different freestyles. When I was listening to "where yall at" (Nas' new joint) I thought about how young he sounded especially in the opening bars. After hearing how husky he sounds in this last freestyle I believe he is making his voice sound higher and softer on purpose to give himself a more youthful sound. Although it could also be argued that he is doing this to convey an eerie type of mood. This makes sense as well with the whole "I slow dance with the devil" theme. Either way it’s funny to see things that some people would find arbitrary or irrelevant and know that people are thinking the same thing as me. Its just the some people are more analytical music listeners than others.

Also, as far as the best freestyle here I'd have to say he murders that Funk Flex joint. The sparse, lightly produced tracks always seem to compliment Nas the most to me.

July 05, 2006 5:54 AM  
Anonymous Ill E said...

does anybody know where that beat from the living legend freestyle is originally from?

July 05, 2006 8:59 AM  
Anonymous RegDudeOnHghrLvl said...

I don't know what's going on with this z-share shit! I have not been able to download from it yet. When I finally get to the download page, and click, my media player pops up and streams the song...WTF?

July 05, 2006 10:02 AM  
Anonymous guyberg said...

The beat on the Living Legend freestyle is from the track 'Beautiful Mind' by Cormega.

July 05, 2006 2:56 PM  
Blogger Fletch said...

Subculture - Yeah, a rapper's voice is of utmost importance to me, so I always pay attention to it. Speaking of Where Y'All At, many people thought that Nas was soundling a little like Rae at the beginning there . . .

Regdude - 2 options:

1. Just to make sure you're doing everying right (I'm sure you are), enter in the url I provided (http://zshare.net/audio/living-legend-freestyle-mp3.html), click download file (http://zshare.net/download/living-legend-freestyle-mp3.html), and from there go to Download Now. At that point, right click and "save target as" on "click here." If that doesn't work, but your media player starts streaming the song, option 2.

2. Find your Temporary Internet Files folder. On my own computer to do so I go to the C drive -> Documents and Settings -> Your User > Local Settings > Temporary Internet Files. Once that folder is open, you should see a list of a bunch of files your computer has gathered from online, one of which may be the mp3. Move it to its desired location. If you don't see the aforementioned "Local Settings" folder, you may have to do one more step. In your My Computer folder, Tools -> Folder Options -> View -> Show hidden files and folders.

Let me know if any of that works, or even makes sense.

July 05, 2006 5:28 PM  
Anonymous RegDudeOnHghrLvl said...

Thanks Fletch. I was getting a li'l frustrated.

By the way, I sent the link to this blog out to my Nas, Facebook group so you should be getting a few new readers. Keep these updates coming.

By the way, it's possible Nas had his fronts in for that verse on 'Where Ya'll At' ..just a thought

July 06, 2006 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation of how zshare works. I was having trouble too.

July 06, 2006 1:40 PM  

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