Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hold Down The Block

Produced by Mark Batson.

[NAS]
Feds feast on street dons
Look at their teeth showing
Salivating at the mouth, South to East Orange
Keep pouring that liquor, but nigga don't sleep on it
You'll be giving up your Jesus piece to your peeps to pawn it
For legal fees in the penal dorm
Screaming on the horn with 'bout thirty years on your conscience
I'm watching brothers disappear, it's appalling
Some dudes had just only a year of balling
Counter-intelligence found a strange evidence
Still we behind the wheel with heat on us, hanging with predicates
Position we placed in caves in, so they got us caged in
Ways spinning like Mike Bivens from New Edition aging
I got families I'm feeding 'cause my mans is bleeding
Every five seconds look in all directions
I come through prepared; I give 'em a call
I'm close, bring them guns downstairs

It's beef week
Monday, murder
Two niggas dead, Tuesday
Wednesday and Thursday is hearse-day
Friday, somebody-gotta-die-day
Saturday, put the gat away
Chilling with your chick and a bag of haze
Wondering how it's all gonna end and what type of way
'Cause Sunday back to gunplay
Mo' shit start over nothing
And get finished quick 'cause the art of repercussion
Yeah, I seen it, a g' going out indecent
Taking a plea agreement, thinking he secret
Escape the crime scene, now you live straight like 9:15
Then one-time intervene
My man ain't like me saying I don't care if I die
But the SIG Sauer on me now I'm scared to die
You thinking the one I send to clap you be a shorty
But he old school, holding a .38, he in his forties

Anytime brothers can't get jobs, then they rob
A man rather die than live on his knees and starve
Cops steady asking your man what happened
First he tell then he stop, like he not really rattin'
Guess he not really in that casket from a sawed-off
Listen, peep game from the brain of an all-star
The rain hurt niggas' bones who been shot
Metal pins in their leg, they walk with a limp-hop
The streets lie, so you better be cautious
Your man'll fry you plus, everybody talking
A vet, a general, don't step where I walked in
Make your own path, be a legend in your skin
Make your own cash, don't stress what I'm forcin'
Don't expect more when you put in less work than all them
Queensbridge projects has taught him, and that's for life
You heard me right, I got the block

Nas f/ Mark B. Mayfield: Hold Down The Block

8 Comments:

Blogger Fletch said...

This will probably end up the sleeper of the entire album. Over a psychedelic-tinged, murky-feeling beat, and accompanied by an addictive and understated sung hook, Nas delivers three rather flawless verses. It's a cautionary tale, the kind that warns about a lack of accountability on two fronts: 1)snitching; 2)upstarts not wanting to put their work in. While the title indicates that Nas is speaking directly about those in the "street life", you could also easily apply his criticism to rappers in general: 1)snitching; 2)upstarts not wanting to put their work in.

Additionally, you get some of the only-Nas type of imagery ("rain hurt niggas' bones who been shot / metal pins in their leg, they walk with a limp-hop") and a continuation of the themes he's laid out most recently in We Major and Why You Hate The Game ("Make your own path, be a legend in your skin / Make your own cash, don't stress what I'm forcin'). Only bad thing I can think of is that it's unfortunately placed behind Not Going Back, which deals with similar ideas though not half as well.

December 17, 2006 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

another strong joint on the album...these are the types of songs i almost expect from Nas...he can do these in his sleep...that last line "make your own path, be a legend in your skin"..another gem..

December 18, 2006 12:23 AM  
Blogger Aegis865 said...

Agree completely with the 'sleeper' remark.It all starts a little underwhelmingly but its surely the cleanest beat and more on-point Nas' delivery gets in the album.Reminds me a lot of his stuff on IWW lyrically.

December 18, 2006 7:21 AM  
Anonymous KingWise7 said...

Fletch I'm feeling you kid! You sum this one up nicely. Enough said

December 18, 2006 11:10 AM  
Blogger Game Theory said...

One of the better songs on the album. Nas is on point lyrically, and his verses blend well with the production.

December 18, 2006 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Additionally, you get some of the only-Nas type of imagery ("rain hurt niggas' bones who been shot / metal pins in their leg, they walk with a limp-hop")"

^^didnt 50 have a line about "your bones will still fuckin hurt when it rains" on get rich?

December 19, 2006 10:18 PM  
Blogger Fletch said...

Yes, on Heat, 50 said, "if you survive, ya bones'll still fucking hurt when it rain", but I particularly stressed the imagery in Nas' line. The GRODT rhyme is a threat, an effective one, but that's all it is. And that's also kinda sorta what the first part of the Nas' quote is, but it's the second half where he develops the idea. "Metal pins" almost has an operating room feel to it, and the description of the crippled walk of this person is another touch. So the line goes from something that you can appreciate on a general lyrical level, to being an acute piece of verbal imagery, something you can see too.

December 20, 2006 1:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it sounded like Esco said
"Make your own cash, don't stress what I'm flossin'" to me

December 20, 2006 10:07 PM  

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