17. Nas "New York State of Mind Pt. 2" (1999)
Better Than Original?: No
I Am... was met with mixed reviews upon its release, but audiences were divided because no one would be satisfied with the directions Nas was taking. He was the epitome of early 90s journalistic break-beat hip-hop, and by '99 the budgets were bigger and the audience broader. His album was moving in a few different directions, but "New York State of Mind Pt. 2" was to reassure all the heads that although Nas might have changed, he could still do what he did best. OK, so "Nas Is Like" may have accomplished this better, and there's no way that this track could touch the original. But the details and skill were still there, from the grungy, monochromatic production to the words written past the margins.