The upcoming Nas album which was to be titled Nigger has been stripped of a name. The project will now be simply untitled, and this came after Wal-Mart and other retailers voiced their concerns about carrying a project with such a provocative title, and we’re all a little poorer for it.
The first track below is one of the best sounding leaked songs from the album. Nas is a lyricist writing a verbal book with a lot of truth in it (unadulterated, wisecracking truths—but there’s also history, struggle, conflict, duality and so much more!) DJ Toomp’s production, which we are now all too familiar with (after Kanye’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”, T.I.’s “What You Know”, Jeezy’s “I Luv It” et c) adds a certain sparkle with some lush, uplifting strings, and the message floats on top perfectly.
This second track is also a raw portrayal of truth, but this is rougher and may be a little too much to take (I know someone who hates this song with a passion.) Nas is in one of the most defiant moments of his career, and embracing the fire? (remember Hate Me Now?)
They like to strangle niggers, blame a nigger, shootin’ niggers, hang a nigger still you wanna be a nigger too!
Nasir and wife Kelis at the 2008 Grammys:
Yes, he’s one of the most articulate emcees on the mic, but his failure to communicate these grand ideas that, at least on the surface, appear to be profound is also part of the problem. I’m not saying that it was going to be easy to put such ideas/substance into concrete form or to sell that particular title to his record label (especially after people from his community dismissed the idea from the onset and threatened his employer’s bottom line) but still Nas should have stuck to his guns on this one.