August 10, 2012 2 comments
One of my favorite songs off of I Am, the first of two albums Nas dropped in 1999 (The other, Nastradamus) is “Favor for a Favor” featuring Houston legend, Scarface. There was an outstanding chemistry these two emcees had on that track, which Nas summed up perfectly in the opening line of his first verse by saying:
13 years and two legendary careers later, both ‘Face and Nas are still giving rap fans exactly that—real shit.
“Hip Hop” sees Khaled enlisting the help of some heavy hitters here. Not only do you have Scarface and Nas reuniting to rap over a phenomenal J.U.S.T.I.C.E League beat, but you also have DJ Premier adding his signature cuts and scratches to an already dope record.
And while the concept of personifying Hip-Hop as a woman is beyond played out, these two do it in a way that doesn’t come off as corny, especially Nasir. The Don continues his Life is Good hot streak by dropping one Hell of a 16 on this one. His approach to this verse reminds me of Jay-Z’s on “A Star is Born,” except rather than simply listing names and giving brief descriptions here and there, Nas strings together a clever and historically accurate story about the genre and how it has evolved since it’s conception. Most impressive, though, is how fluid Nas’ flow is on this record. Over the years, as Jay-Z’s flow has improved and gradually become smoother, it seems as if Nas’ has gotten more and more choppy. Not the case on this track. This sounds like Nas hopped in a time machine and brought his It was Written flow back from ’96.
I know this is technically a Khaled record, but nevertheless, this is dope. DJ Khaled’s Kiss the Ring album hits stores Aug. 21.