"Let's go, Esco."
I think if you know the words to a rap song, that generally means the song had a noticeable effect on you. If you know the track's ad-libs, that means you heard it again and again, hopefully for good reason. If you know what one rapper said at a concert to another rapper, pretty much to the point of memorization, even though that concert took place on the other side of the country when you were at work one Thursday night, chances are that's history.
In 2001, Jay-Z took to the Summer Jam stage to set off a lyrical beef with the rapper Nas that quickly became one of the most influential on-record feuds in all of Hip-Hop. Then, four years later, on that October night of last year, Jay-Z was joined on stage by Nas. The immediate surge of energy felt throughout the venue quickly spread via cell phone and soon enough video, until the pairing of these two heavyweights had taken over rap music once more. While it remains to be seen if the impact of their newly-formed alliance will measure up to the impression left by their past rivalry, for whatever concerts or interviews the two have held together, ultimately, the collaboration with the most hope and interest will always be the music. Today, we get our first glimpse of what that music holds.
Hip-Hop Is Dead . . . December 19th.
I feel like a black militant taking over the government
Can't turn my back on the hood, too much love for them
Can't clean my act up for good, too much thug in him
Probably end up back in the hood, I'm like, "fuck it then"
I'm back in the hood, they like, "hey Nas"
Blowing on purp', reflecting on they lives
Couple of Fat Cat's, couple of AI's
Dreaming of fly shit instead of them gray skies
Gray 5's, hate guys wishing our reign dies
Pitch, sling pies, and niggas they sing, why?
Guess they ain't strong enough to handle their jail time
Weak minds, keep trying, follow the street signs
I'm standing on the roof of my building
I'm feeling - the whirlwind of beef, I inhale it
Just like an acrobat ready to hurl myself though the hoops of fire
Sipping 80 proof, bulletproof under my attire
Could it be the forces of darkness against hood angels of good
That form street politics - makes a sweet honest kid
Turn illegal for commerce - to get his feet out of them Converse
That's my word
Nas f/ Jay-Z: Black Republican