Thursday, March 5, 2009

Then And Now

There's no question that Nas is among the elite lyricists in the game, past or present. Which is why I'm always intrigued to hear new material, especially when it reinterprets one of my favorite songs in his diverse catalog.

"If I Ruled the World '09," featuring Marsha Ambrosius and part of Smirnoff's Signature Mix, has a more mature Nasir updating the lyrics to his '96 banger for the times. Also, the new beat reminds me of 2008's "Hero," which is a very good thing.

So has Nas still got his magic touch of street poetics and gritty lyricism? Personally, I prefer the original because of the emotion Nas and Lauryn captured plus the video was insane, but I'm definitely vibing to the new version.

Nas spitting then:
Imagine smoking weed in the streets without cops harassin 

Imagine going to court with no trial

Lifestyle cruising blue behind my waters

No welfare supporters
More conscious of the way we raise our daughters

Days are shorter, nights are colder

Feeling like life is over, these snakes strike like a cobra

The world's hot my son got not evidently

It's elementary, they want us all gone eventually

Trooping out of state for a plate knowledge

If coke was cooked without the garbage
We'd all have the top dollars

Imagine everybody flashin, fashion

Designer clothes, lacing your click up with diamond vogues

Your people holdin dough, no parole

No rubbers, go in raw imagine law with no undercovers

Just some thoughts for the mind

I take a glimpse into time

Watch the blimp read "The World Is Mine"

And, Nas rhyming now:

I don’t say I’m maintaining, that’s a lame’s language

Poor English, From a wise man I learned patience

Me not distinguished is like a fiend-less Queensbridge

I don’t say I’m grindin, ‘cause everything I do’s redefining

‘Cause when you know the streets to the science

Apply it very moderate to your business and watch you profit

Rap game, NBA, the NFL, the kids’ll yell

Will I win or fail or end up in a cell?

Nonsense, ‘cause they can grow to be part of the Congress

Be responsive to these inner city problems

Behind the tints with a chauffeur

I rep for the culture

Rep for the thugs and still see eye-to-eye with Oprah

I was a dream, a wisher with hope for

A better life for these kids while I’m sipping mimosa

I planned yo, used to watch a black and white Sanyo

Who’s the best? Next to me, they couldn’t light a candle

Looks like, despite the haters, Nas hasn't lost a step.

Thanks to Splash for the heads up, Enjoy!

Links in the Cbox --->

Nas ft. Marsha Ambrosius - If I Ruled The World '09 (Smirnoff Signature Mix)

Nas ft. Lauryn Hill - If I Ruled The World (Imagine That) [Original CDS]


  1. I've never been a big Nas fan mostly because I've never really listened to his music much [you may smh here] Lol. I remember his song "I know I can" if that's the title? Idk, but I was maybe in like 3rd or 4th grade and it was mad inspiring!! I should've been listening ever since...but, better late than never!! =P

  2. Nas is still THAT dude, I like the OG If I ruled the world

  3. Nas has become some sort of scapegoat for all of the douchebags that listen to Gucci Mane and Soulja Boy. Niggas was mad when he made "Hip-Hop is Dead", then even more niggas was mad when he wanted to name his album "Nigger". Fact of the matter is, he makes good music regardless.