Saturday, December 23, 2006

Stocking Stuffers

As if an entire new album worth of material was not enough, in the time since Hip Hop Is Dead first leaked online and this blog took a little break till now, Nas has kept his name out there on a couple odds and ends. This includes a freestyle, two remixes, and one entirely new song. I've also included an interview Nas did with Flex on Hot 97 earlier this week. It's required listening if only to hear how Live at the Barbeque came to be.

98 FM Freestyle
According to a legendary story, Nas was once such a potent freestyler that after spitting for some time in the company of Biggie, Biggie just had to shrug and say, "there's no way I can follow that." Blunted by time though, in 2006, you'd hardly suspect that was ever true of Nas. As an example, during a recent visit to Detroit's 98 FM, the rapper quickly stumbled on a pre-written verse. Now, a dope freestyler hardly ever equals a dope overall rapper, but it would still be nice to see signs of what once had Big so shook. P.S. The "off the top" stipulation is the revisionist's definition of freestyle.

Look at these clowns that be coming at me / Pac showed 'em how it was done in Makavelli / Exactly . . . who wanna attack me? / When y'all done with the dumb ish, we could break bread / I show you young black brothers how to get ahead / You think I'm not Mr. Entrepreneur / But every time I step out a car, it's from a Bentley door / And that's been happening since '94 / And y'all don't see me talking crack and raw / I hang with gangstas, the kind you never seen before / Or on Lear jets with Webber, no discussions of rap / We talk about American lives that were lost in Iraq / Talk about American lives that were lost in the hood / Al Green ballads and how shit'd never be like it was / Pop bottles for my brothers in prison / Pop bottles for my girls who . . .

That's That Shit (Remix)
This remix of Snoop Dogg's hit song first popped up on LA radio at the beginning of December. A couple weeks later, a radio rip finally made it online, followed by an appearance on a Big Mike mixtape. Initially, I thought it was an official remix; however, given Nas' ad-libs and the lack of a definitive copy, I'm not so sure anymore. Regardless, it's a beat Nas handles with enough humor.

Nas Esco is a menace / My enemy death toll is limitless / Escrow, assets liquidated, we spendin' it / Got you giving these women fits / Got you in Fendi fits / Many gifts, exquisite, most expensive shit / 2009 gear, big rips, you're looking at my D&D collar / For your girl lipstick, ya nitwit / So now you on some wrist-slit / Nas not known for the gossip / You too good to be my side chick / We made the bed rock, then I figure-four leg lock / We did it all, from the shopping mall to the big yacht / With big rocks, see, your ex-man was weak / He ran when I pulled out my cellphone, he thought it was heat / She was torn between us two and things we used to do / But now I'm moved on, I found somebody new

"War" is an appropriate title for Nas' contribution to DJ Clue's Professional PT 3. It's not necessarily a song that finds the QB MC in full-on battle-mode, but he certainly attacks the beat strong enough. War also finds Nas revisiting his exaggerated comic book meets religion rhyme style, a nod to Nastier days. Finally, to those who would say this should have been on HHID, well, it's one verse and no hook. Be happy with Money Over Bullshit.

Squinted-eye gangsta / Live in a skyscraper / Platinum Patron-drinker / Stacking that grown paper / God pushed me out his nuts / The Devil swallowed me up / I burnt a hole in his guts / Fell down into a Louis Vitton truck / With stashboxes, and niggas in it saying blast Nas shit / Drove down harm's way puffing that Bombay / QB thug tattoo on my arm say / Names of my fam / So I'ma read you a scripture / And command-ments to get your richer / Bandanas, hammers, MAC's and nina's / With the mismatched Pumas like Shan in Queensbridge / All white shell toes, that's that Queens thing / Brightland, ice wine, call that weed sling / Know where g slang??? / And the bitches with bomb ass that slurp on me and my comrades / Got a new contract / Come on, black / Shit y'all just getting up on, I'm beyond that / No time for crumbs, I really don't see them / They just started living, just started having threesomes / Just started having girls who like them / That's why I got married 'cause my world ain't like them / So why they keep telling those stories? / Nigga, y'all square, nigga, this is my year

You (Remix)
Nas and Andre 3000 finally do a song together, and it's a remix to an R&B track by Lloyd? Oh, okay. As he has grown decidedly more frustrated with the state of Hip-Hop, Nas has name-checked Dre, Atlanta's own pessimist, more and more as well. Nas also has cited the Outkast rapper as one of the last vestiges of creativity in the game. With Dre rumored to be heading back to the studio for something other than singing, we can hope for more collaborations in the future, without Lloyd so much.

Nas be in the crib low / Strip pole in it / Cold Guinness / Bitter taste / Slim waist / I'm gon' hit it / We low key, baby / Like a baritone / Apple computer / E-Mail me to come scoop ya / Run through ya, undo your bra / Give me medulla, ahh / You cute as a movie star / In Sin City, Hennessy / My love slave / Loving this pimp and no rest have' / With none of 'em, I leave everyone one of 'em / You just say it - just leave it where it is / He ain't aware, let sleeping dogs lie / But keep a sharp eye on him 'cause I'm the wrong guy / To wanna put this 4-5 on him / Let's get it on, ma / You got my nose wide open / You already locked down and rocked down / But so delicious / If he get suspicious / Bring up his old mistress / I ain't dry snitching / But why should you be feeling bad / 'Cause I be killing that?

DJ Clue f/ Nas: War
Lloyd f/ Andre 3000 & Nas: You (remix)
Nas: FM 98 Freestyle
Nas: That's That Shit (remix)
BONUS: Nas: 12-19-06 Hot 97 interview


Blogger Fletch said...

Also, Nas reunited with both Cormega and Foxy Brown last night at a show in New York. Youtube Link

December 23, 2006 12:10 PM  
Blogger Game Theory said...

That 'medulla' line in the Lloyd remix caught me off guard. lol. But yeah, that 'comic book meets religion rhyme style' is that persona I like most to hear from Nas, at least of lately. Sort of reminded me of 'Nazareth Savage'. And the freestyles, who knows? Maybe he spits better when he's all blunted up! lol

December 23, 2006 9:51 PM  
Blogger Julio said...

thanx for the funk flex interview, that shit was off the chain...

December 25, 2006 6:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone heard Life's Gone Low; i think it's produced by Statik Selektah. It's got a really funky beat for Nas and the verses are pretty good, I think good enough to make the album

December 25, 2006 6:11 PM  
Blogger Fletch said...

Life's Gone Low is a blend of Nas' verses from the Must Be Nice (Lyfe Jennings) remix and the She Don't (Letoya) remix.

December 25, 2006 7:55 PM  
Anonymous LouisfromLondon said...

One Biggie story I heard was pretty much the other way around:

Nas was in the studio to record a joint with Big and after hearing big spit some of the bars he was gonna put on the song, Nas apparently said 'I aint gonna catch a beating like that' and left. Then they got Jay Z in for the song instead.

Has anyone heard this/know if its true/know what song it involves?


what definition of 'freestyle' are you going by, if not 'off the top'?

December 26, 2006 9:56 AM  
Blogger Fletch said...

Louis, I think you're thinking of the story Nas told about recording the Machine Gun Funk remix. Nas did supposedly drop out of the session after Biggie told him he was writing in his head. But you're confusing the Jay-Z angle with something else (maybe the rumored New York's Finest track that Nas never showed up to).

2 definitions of freestyle:
A.completely "off the top"; not a word pre-written
B.can be pre-written

December 26, 2006 3:55 PM  

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