Nasir Album Review
ABW Album Rating Chart
= Hip Hop Classic
= Excellent Album, Must Cop!
= Decent Album, Worth Checking Out
= Needs Work. Below Avg Album
= Complete Trash, Dumpster Juice
Our official Nasir album review is finally here. In regards to rating the album we’re still using our ABW album review system. The system contains 3 separate components and each component counts as a third of the rating. The first component is our public voting poll, which is available to over a thousand members in the ABW community. The second component is the rating given by our album review board. The third component is the rating given by the head writer from our album review board. With all of that said, let’s get into this Nasir album review.
Nasir was easily the most anticipated album of 2018. Up to that point Nas hadn’t released an album in 6 years, nearly a decade! All of the true hip hop heads were at the edge of our seat when midnight was approaching on it’s album release date. Of course like all of the other projects that released during Kanye’s 7 song album run, Nasir didn’t release on time. We’ve been waiting nearly a decade for Nas to drop a new album, a few more hours didn’t hurt. All of us were still hype. The listening party kept our anticipation high despite the stream continuing to go down and not working on Nas’ Mass Appeal Youtube channel.
Regardless of all the mishaps, we were all still glued in. This was one of and to many the greatest rapper of all-time collaborating with one of the greatest producers of all-time, Kanye West. If that wasn’t enough, their track record up to that point was near perfection. Every song they collaborated on where Kanye was the producer was a classic or hip hop gem. That’s including ” We Major” from Kanye’s Late Registration, to Nas’ “Still Dreaming” from Hip Hop Is Dead. Even the unreleased track The World is fire. Plus if we’re going all the way back, Nas’ “Poppa Was A Player” is a classic.
The 6 year anticipation, 2 hip hop legends collaborating, their perfect track record, what can go wrong? Well that depends on who you’re asking. Anybody that’s been paying attention to the album’s executive producer for the last few years would’ve guessed this could easily be a train wreck. All of those classic Nas and Kanye collaborations took place last decade. That was during a time where Kanye was truly a master of his craft. If you ask most, Kanye West hasn’t produced a great album since 2010. That’s nearly a decade ago. Then when you add the spectacle that we know as Kanye’s life, there should be no surprise of the outcome.
For the past couple years, Nas being a terrible beat picker has been a topic of conversation. According to an interview the journalist Toure did on VladTV, Nas was fully aware of this particular criticism. So when we saw that Kanye West was producing the entire project we felt like this was Nas acknowledging that criticism. Which it probably was. Yet he did the very thing people criticized him for. He let Kanye West give him some of the worst beats ever heard produced by Kanye West.
The producer is just as important as the MC. I don’t think many people realize that. Even Nas clearly doesn’t realize that. Nas actually had the audacity to directly embrace being careless in regards to production.
Never Sold A Record For The Beat, It’s My Verses That They Purchase – Nas from “Simple Things”
No Nas, it’s not solely the verses we purchase. You (Nas) might get the majority of the praise for Illmatic, but Illmatic had the first all-star production team for a hip hop album. The dream team of DJ Premier , Q-Tip, Pete Rock, Large Professor and L.E.S was just as instrumental (bars) in the making of Illmatic as Nas was. So for Nas to just brush off production like it means nothing, further proves that Nas does indeed pick trash beats due to his carelessness for production.
Now back to the Nasir album review and breaking down the album. Overall Nas delivered lyrically as he normally does. Nothing too amazing but great nonetheless. The main issue again is the production. Kanye West’s production was either very boring and/or experimental garbage. Nas admits it was a weird recording process and based on the finished product it’s obvious the album was rushed.
To break this album down in an analogy once used on the Cosby show. It’s about the presentation. You can have the best thing in the world, but it won’t matter if the presentation is awful. In this analogy the steak and potatoes are Nas’ lyrics. The garbage can lid is Kanye’s production.