(yeah 2 for the price of 1,my way of making up for that 2 week gap)
God Son is an album informed by two things that had happened in Nas’s life at this time one his beef with Jay Z and the other is the death of his mother Ann Jones who he lost to cancer around April 2002
even by Nas’s standards God’s Son is one of his most personal albums (Life is Good is up there but we won’t be reaching this album for a while),his mother’s death is mentioned more than once on the album and is the central focus of one of the songs on the album ‘Dance’ a touching tribute to her legacy and the influence she had on his life.
I remember the last time i went back to this album i liked about half of it,the highs are incredibe but the lows are more a test of patience than anything, ‘Revolutinary Warfare’ despite being what i think is a good song is ruined by Lake/Lakey the Kid’s verse (he’s so bad)
some of Nas’s most varied flows are displayed on this album and on a disaster like the Bravehearts posse cut ‘Zone Out’ he’s the one good thing on that song (btw Nas was also beefing with Harlem rapper Cam’ron and this track in particular Nas fires some none to subtle shots, ‘House In Virginia’ anyone?),even then it’s not enough to save travesty like ‘Hey Nas’ which is a really flat song that’s a blatant reach for chart appeal.
The Eminem produced ‘The Cross’ is another song where Nas’s dexterous flow and Christ myrterdom inspired lyrics save what is in my opinion a really plodding beat.
The peaks of this album however are some of the finest of his career ‘Made You Look’ is my pick for best Nas single ever and is one of those songs that makes go ‘this is why i love this rap shit’ and if anything it should’ve been the direction Nas went in when it came to crafting singles reworking classic hip hop breaks reffering back to his beloved youth of the 80s but presented in a new way.
‘Book of Rhymes’ is an interesting experiment where Nas goes through one of his old rhyme books reading through some of his old lyrics, where there’s more than a few gems amongst what he consider’s garbage,it’s a really self examinatory song on his creation but also a new sense of consciousness within his lyrics.
Then there’s the first song ‘Get Down’ where Nas’ tells 3 unrelated stories of events that all end in or are the result of inner city violence, the song is book ended by a audio recording of a man wondering ‘how is our people meant to get up if we keep getting down?’
But if i had to pick one stand out song on God’s Son’ it would have to be track 4 the Ron Brownz produced ‘Last Real Nigga Alive’
Brownz’s beat is tense eerie like you’ve just uncovered it under a rock, it’s more about mood more than impact and while it’s not the best on the album (Made You Look and Get Down are my two big picks) but it never tries to draw attention to itself.
This is Nas’s tell all story, giving the listener the background details as to all the events that happened in his career from the early 90s up to early 2000s soon after some of the details include:
– the beef between Wu Tang and Biggie over the claim that they ripped off Nas’s ‘Illmatic’ cover while Biggie accused Raekwon of jacking his slang
-his time with Steve Stoute and why he had to part with him (also making reference to the time Puffy ran up in his Interscope office and hit him over the head with a bottle of Moet)
and most importantly his thoughts and feelings of his beef with Jay Z particularly what he thought were sneak attacks made at him by Jay during the time he stopped recording music to care for his mother.
This song is capped off with a brilliant kiss off line that not only sums his feelings on why he had to write ‘Ether’ but going at the whole of the Rocafella empire when everybody thought his back was up against the ropes :
“I was Scarface, Jay was Manolo”
“It hurt me when I had to kill him and his whole squad for dolo”
it’s not perfect but if you want a good understanding of where Nas’s head was at around that time aswell as a self exploratory experience,seriously check this one out