Sunday, December 17, 2006

Still Dreaming

Produced by Kanye West.

[NAS]
How you a man waiting for the next man to get rich?
Your plan is to stick out your hand real quick?
So if he feed your family and he serve you shit
Then he need that head you get, and he deserve your bitch
Since you wishing cash fall from the sky all your life
Dwelling on the past when you was alright
When you was getting cash but wasn't too bright
Now your luck down, you feel like busting them shells
Nobody owe you, can't do nothing for self
Want niggas to show you how to come up with green
I schemed since I'm fourteen; what the fuck was your dream?
Rent-A-Car's, little broads, saying you was seen
With little niggas, little chain, you was doing your thing
How high was I? You the thousandth guy
That came around thinking we could see eye to eye
We on a different ech-elon
Coulda got bread together, now you get steaded on

She had several cars
She had credits cards, a castle
Large master bathroom
Getting a pedicure
Bellini by the glass full
Said she been meaning to ask who
In need of cash rules
Who could blast tools
And I'm eating cashews
Knew she was bad news
But we mad cool
Nothing sexual
'Cause I knew her since high school
Grew up with my dudes
Like one of my crew
She work for FOX News
One of her mens that she lent her drop to
Won't come back with it, so she want him clapped in it
Says it's important that it looks like an accident
She was snorting, and her eyes had bags in it
She was recording, had a wire, asking shit
Four days before I came by, she got bagged with bricks
Crossed the line from her world of news casting
To a world of entrapment, a good girl going backwards

Nas f/ Kanye West & Chrisette Michele: Still Dreaming

11 Comments:

Blogger Fletch said...

As many more Kanye-Nas collaborations I can get, I'll take. Production-wise, Kanye is really doing interesting things right now. You coulda tried to write him in a box based on College Dropout: chipmunk soul and conga drums. Then with Late Registration, and an assist from Jon Brion, his sound became more layered, but perhaps over-produced. Now, with tracks like Grammy Family (DJ Khaled), Wouldn't Get Far (The Game), The Cool (Lupe Fiasco), and Still Dreaming, he's found a nice spot between the simplicity of CD and the daring of LR.

The production here is an interesting, near-trip-hop, spacey but smooth concoction. Kanye's verse too is painless enough, matched with an effective hook. Nas starts a little sleepy himself during his first verse but catches up, later supplying a TV person's rise and fall at the hands of a nasty nasal habit. The overall song doesn't necessarily fit right into the Hip-Hop Is Dead concept, but it manages to push the music in a creative and largely successful direction.

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

I can't stand kanye's gasping for breath after every fucking bar. ruins the song for me. Can't wait for the instrumental to hit the streets so I can just listen to that.

December 18, 2006 7:37 AM  
Anonymous KingWise7 said...

When I was growing up my pops use to listen to all kind of music from Prince to the Gap Band etc and there was this feeling I had of just good music and production being world class. This song makes me feel like Nas is on the level of artist like Prince or Marvin, not on a commercial level but just as being that polished. I could play this for an older generation of people and they could understand this is a talented dude. How many other rappers who are as street as Nas could you play for old cats or your grandparents and feel they could understand why this dude gets play. Nas is really showing that there are some cats who will be in there fifthys and sixty still putting out music for the masses. WoW!

December 18, 2006 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does the whole album have to be towards the Hiphop is dead concept? how boring would that be. I think you need to see many different sides,mentality to a rapper, and if they can pull this off (which Nas has done) then just shows you are not one dimensional.

December 18, 2006 11:19 AM  
Blogger Game Theory said...

This is the part of the album, where I realized where the rest of the project was leading. Yes, Kanye contributed probably two of the best beats on this album--but that's the problem. This album lacks a consistant feel. Theme aside, it almost feels as if you are jumping from album to album after each track, which adds to the difficulty of listening to in one sitting. Call me a perfectionist, but it would have added to the overall quality of the album had he chosen to work with a select group of producers with whom he set them all in a similar direction. Nas isn't at his best lyrically on this song either.

December 18, 2006 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Kanye beat is the best of the album, does anyone know what song the vocal sample was from?
Nas' 2nd verse is probably one of the first about a middle class drug addict not just a fiend from the projects. Although i think the FOX news line is a metaphor for something not that she actually was an employee for FOX news

December 19, 2006 2:25 AM  
Blogger Fletch said...

According to the liner notes, Still Dreaming "contains interpolations from the composition 'The Interim' as written by Jimmy Webb." The Interim has been covered by many different performers, namely Diana Ross, but it appears Def Jam's it-girl Chrisette Michele was responsible for the particular vocals here, hence the "interpolation" credit.

December 19, 2006 2:31 PM  
Anonymous tray said...

Kanye's verse was better than either of Nas's, especially his first verse, which I thought was just awful. It's such a pretty beat, and he's dissing someone over it.

December 19, 2006 7:59 PM  
Blogger Fletch said...

tray, I agree that the beat is "pretty", though that may be an over-simplification. The subject matter from Kanye and Nas both is pointed towards a more depressed state of mind, something far from pretty. Kanye seems to be speaking about the danger of monogamy mixed with love, while Nas is aimed towards exposing sides of ambition: in his first verse, it's a guy who wants the world but isn't willing to put the work in; in his second, it's a fast life of access that ultimately corrupts this seemingly professional woman. In all three verses, they hit on the theme that some people are trapped in dreams: haunted by how they remind us of our mistakes, paralyzed by 'em, or simply led astray. So if Nas is dissing someone, okay, but it ties in. He's basically saying, "you think we're equals, but I'm here and you're still dreaming. I had the same background and goals you did, but I put that shit into play instead of just sticking my hand out."

All that being said, I think this is one the beat that Nas didn't surpass it, i.e., the production is better than his raps. He starts off way too slow, almost preoccupied at first, but, fortunately, picks it up.

December 20, 2006 1:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something to go to sleep to, its real nice. I can just vibe and zone out to this--Esco

December 21, 2006 5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love the constant rolling of the snare drums.it packs the beat tightly.but mostly,i love to hear nas scold some of these dudes.kanye's verse is o.k.,but i would have rather not heard him on this song. but in nas' case, this song is a perfect scolding to the fools in the game.and a beutiful life lesson put into music.and this song scolds people on a wider scale from his baby's mother carmen - all the way back to these side shows rappers and groupies of rappers.
excellent.but without kanye on this track,it would have been perfect.

December 23, 2006 10:34 PM  

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