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I'm all inside a dark room, my incense smoke
Took the form of a ghost and it spoke
It said, "Nas, you the best on both coasts"
-Nas, "What It Is," Nigger
Nas is making it real tough for a white-boy music writer to even talk about his new album without offending anyone. When it was originally announced, the title was Nigga and I viewed 'Esco as an attention whore that falls into the same trap of "gimmick" rap that he blamed for rap's downfall on last year's Hip Hop Is Dead. When he changed it to Nigger, I thought for sure one of my favorite MC's had lost his damn mind this time.
I understand what Nasty Nas is trying to do here - the word is so powerful that he hopes this will desensitize all of us to its use. But, does he really think he has the influence to cause such a drastic change in society? I'd love to think the hip-hop community has such pull in America but that's not the reality. Though today's commercial music biz has embraced urban genres, mainstream citizens are naive to the stirrings within rap.
My thing is, I don't like when artists try to be more than they are. Social commentary is one thing, but radical social change caused by one album is another. I hope Nas' controversial title can prove me wrong, but I stick by my opinion here until that happens.
The snippet is fire, by the way. Can't wait to hear the full song, that piano is killer. Until next time.
[can't nobody hold me down]
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