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#72. Nas "Book of Rhymes" (2002)

#72. Nas "Book of Rhymes" (2002)

Produced By: Alchemist
Album: God's Son
Label: Columbia

The concept and execution of "Book of Rhymes" is on point like cold nipples—nah, that was weak. Start over. "Book of Rhymes," with a banging Alchemist track, gives a great glimpse into the craft of writing, which often has plenty of false starts, rewrites, and super-critical self-analysis. That we can hear Nas dig through boxes of old notepads (the sound of crinkling paper is a neat trick) and hear his thoughts about his writing is like being in the studio with him.

Whether or not you agree with his criticism about the snippets he presents on the song, the words at the very end rate as some of the most uniquely honest material the rap world has seen: "I'm jealous of you, how come you so beautiful?/Smelling fresh, youthful, intelligent while I'm stressin' and shit/Ayo, I envy you 'cause all you do is smile and things come your way/Such a innocent child is what some say/I get upset 'cause I just want to be treated the way you are/Like a star not a worry in this world thus far/But wait a minute, we both need your mother's attention/I must be crazy, jealous of my own baby infant."

Tags: hennessynas, nas
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