Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
I Am [Edited Version]
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
On his third release, I Am, Nas bolsters his reputation as one of hip-hop's leading wordsmiths. His voice has grown so strong that none of the A-list guests (they include Puff Daddy, Aaliyah, Scarface, and DMX) can upstage... more »
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On his third release, I Am, Nas bolsters his reputation as one of hip-hop's leading wordsmiths. His voice has grown so strong that none of the A-list guests (they include Puff Daddy, Aaliyah, Scarface, and DMX) can upstage the 25-year-old rapper. Nas has acted in a movie (Belly), but his real ambition is to write them; until that happens he'll be known for highly cinematic tales of the street. Nas is a lot like a prison-yard bard: he tells crime stories full of blood and guts, but he balances them with strong messages to stop the cycle of violence. His ghetto tales, such as "Small World" and "Favor for a Favor," stress desperation as the cause of crime rather than glorify the nihilistic criminality. Except for one track, "Dr. Knockboot," which casts him as a columnist to the hip-hop lovelorn and playa wannabes, Nas is unremittingly sober on I Am. His righteousness would seem nearly sanctimonious if not underpinned by superb production from the Trackmasters and DJ Premier. The production helps make this a consistent recording throughout, rather than a smattering of hits and misses. --Martin Johnson
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MusicFan | USA | 01/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wrote a different review so Im hoping the other one wont be shown after this one since Ive changed my opinion about this CD...Anyway, "I Am" is my favorite album. I wish this one and "It Was Written" would get more credit by Hip Hop fans who claim "Illmatic is the best". I don't see how. I have heard every Nas album and this one is by far.. the best. People just don't understand Escobar because he's more mature and more of a thinker.. unlike nasty. This album is certainly worth the money, so please listen yourself instead of copying people why say illmatic was a "classic" and everything else from Nas is trash. "I Am" isnt perfection, but it's still ill, in my opinion. The Intro was tight, followed by at least 10 good songs after. "NY state of mind pt 2" which was a sequel to "NY state of mind" from illmatic, tells about life in New York, over a great piano beat. "Hate Me Now" was great.. Puffy or no Puffy. I wasnt concerned with the hook that much anyway, which is all Puffy did. "Small World" is my favorite song EVER, a deep story about two people named Carolyn and Snuk over an obvious non-looped piano beat. "Favor for a favor" had a nice beat, Scarface's lyrics could have been a little more intelligent like Nas' lyrics on the song though. It's gangster material. "We will survive" shows how Nas could have respect for people who didnt even respect him (like 2Pac) as he sent a message to Pac and Biggie Smalls. This song is a lot like Illmatic's "One Love".. anyway, "Ghetto prisoners" was very poetic, I wasnt feelin the beat all that much though. Lyrics were great! "You Wont See Me Tonight" came after the first block of the album. Obviously Timbaland did this track (Since you hear his voice in the background), and Alliyah sang the hook. Too jiggy for me, but not that bad. Anyway, "I want to talk to you" addressed important issues to the government (good song), where as "Dr. Knockboot" was just playa material over a bad beat. Luckily it wasnt that long.. The collab. with DMX "Life Is What You Make It" had a rather boring/stupid beat, lyrics werent so bad though. I thought "Big Things" was stupid originally, but it actually has decent lyrics. I just think Nas should stay away from dirty south flow and beats. "Nas Is Like" was ill, great lyrics, great flow, great beat (Thanks to DJ Premier). "KISSING" was about married life, decent I guess, but kinda boring. A beat Ive heard before too (From R Kelly I guess). "Money is my *****" was good, decent-to-good beat, and was about the good and bad of having money. and "Undying love" had a nice acoustic guitar beat. A song where Nas' "wife" cheats on him and he accidently ends up killing her, and himself (Fictional of course). Its tight though. Similar to Eminem's "Kim" only not as sick. Anyway, this is a great album, unlike Illmatic and It Was Written, this CD DOES have a few bad songs, but all the others make up for them. Its great, and had elements of both the album title, and of Nas' first album Illmatic."
An underrated classic from Nas!
Socrates | 03/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album was slept on by many heads even though it was one of the best (yeah I said it!) album os 1999! The fact is that this is one of Nas' poorer efforts and even still it is better than 99% of the trash that is coming out!
The return of Nas
Anthony Rupert | Milwaukee, WI | 04/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Being a fan of Nas, I picked up this album the week it came out. But surprisingly, I discovered that nobody else did. Maybe people lost respect for him after It Was Written? But this is a great album regardless.All your favorite qualities you'd expect from Nas are on here, like a good storytelling ("Small World"), great lyrical metaphors ("Money Is My B" - I don't know why they even TRIED to play this on the radio), and simple yet dope lyrics ("Ghetto Prisoners", "Nas Is Like"). The obligatory DMX collaboration "Life Is What You Make It" is still great, although it can't compare to when Scarface shows up for "Favor For A Favor". And "Dr. Knockboot" is interesting and funny at the same time.This is overall a great album, although I seriously could've done without "Undying Love" (well, the chorus, anyway). Also, "K-I-SS-I-N-G" and "You Won't See Me Tonight" with Aaliyah are obviously filler. (By the way, the latter was supposed to be the last single off this album, but instead of releasing it, Nas dished out Nastradamus. Hmmm.)"