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THE STREET'S DISCIPLE

Since his landmark features with Main Source on “Live at the Barbeque” and 3rd Base’s “Back to the Grill Again,” the street has always created frenzy with each album release from Nasir Jones. Nas has steadfastly elevated to greater heights with each project since his 1994 solo debut, Illmatic (reissued in a commemorative 10th anniversary 2 CD set), It Was Written (1996), I Am and Nastradamus followed by Stillmatic, God’s Son and now he delivers the much-anticipated (but, technically his eighth album, forgot to mention the 2002 Lost Tapes) Street’s Disciple. For some 10 years, Nas has denied success the opportunity to silence his message from the streets intertwined with intelligence and the reverence of rap's ultimate power.

Some two years ago God's Son garnered Time Magazine’s endorsement as "the best hip-hop album of the year," The Source stamped it with “4mics," and Vibe with "four stars." An album that attests to his importance and growth in similar fashion, Street's Disciple will receive the same accolades. Street's Disciple is very passionate, sometimes playful, and always reflective, with hints of spirituality and fundamentally sound in its definition of what rap music is and should be. Producers LES, Salaam Remi and Nas helmed the production reigns in controlling the finality of Street’s Disciple along with creative input and features from an assortment of players - Nas’s father, the acclaimed jazz/blues artist Olu Dara, Kelis, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Doug E. Fresh, Maxwell and Keon Bryce. With this broad range of artists comes an array of styles which this album possesses - the foundation built on the rawness from Illmatic, crossover appeal of It Was Written while incorporating the hard-hitting street savvy anthems from God’s Son.

As the lyrical maestro has been responsible for singles such as “One Mic,” it seems to be reinvented on the new CD in a song called “Nazareth Savage” with similar unorthodox musical changes and climatic sounds. Taking an old school moment he casually names this song “Thief’s Theme” (that’s an understatement...) Using a Run-DMC sample, the song is very good but will probably only make mix-tape and mix-show air time. Nonetheless, supporting the old school movement, he called upon, Ludacris and Doug E. Fresh to pull out a crazy party joint in this song, “Virgo”, a very hot chorus which the ladies will love. A couple for the younger listeners, here comes Busta featured on “Suicide Bounce,” the craziest call and response hook on this album.  Just wait for the block party. Then there’s the thought provoking, but funny, “These Are Our Heroes” and “Bridging the Gap” featuring Olu Dara - more mix-show or mix-tape favorites. Finally, the album gets many cool points for the best concept since the EPMD “Jane” series.  He pulls one out of the air with “U.B.R.” (Unauthorized Biography of a Rakim).  When you are giving homage, this is the perfect way to do it. Simultaneously, Nas has insured the next installation continues as he pays respects to KRS-One.

Older, wiser – Yes. More focused, more at creative - Yes. On the much-anticipated Street's Disciple, Nas rises to the challenge and delivers a four scratch rating CD.  For revival of concepts, the balancing of the genre, very enjoyable and grounded. To describe every aspect of the Street’s Disciple in its entirety would not really do it justice. Simply, fans get a broader range of Nas while new listeners get a taste of yesteryear that’s very well incorporated into today’s sound.  Well, as always, I am gone but when U.W.A.G., Rhythm delivers.


-Dj Rhythm Codarclar Enterprises



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