The 10 Worst Nas Songs

God's Son is one of the best to ever do it, but the prolific MC has made some downright awful songs. Let us take a trip down memory lane.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY NAS! What can we say about Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones that hasn't already been said? He's a first ballot Hip-Hop Hall of Famer, he's routinely named as one of the greatest rappers ever, and his landmark debut album, Illmatic, is a masterpiece for the ages. That's why earlier this year we counted down his 100 best songs. Needless to say, Nas is one of the all time greats. So much for the good news.

The 38-year-old emcee has now spent two decades in the rap game, and it hasn't always been all good. Esco may have more classics in his catalog than most rappers have blunts in their ashtray, but he's definitely dropped some clunkers along the way (including the worst album fail of all time). So this birthday, our gift to Nas is to re-gift the garbage he's given us over the years. It's only right. Plus we heard that he's about to start penning his autobiography, so maybe Nas can tell us what went wrong. But for now, peep The 10 Worst Nas Songs.   

Written by Julian Pereira (@Broadway_Jay). 

10. Nas f/ Ginuwine "You Owe Me" (1999)

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Producer: Timbaland
Album: Nastradamus
Label: Ill Will/Columbia
Best Youtube Comment: "What is this song about? owe him because hes black?" - DoItSoICanDoIt1st

Complex Says: As Jay-Z so aptly pointed out on "Blueprint 2," Nas's complexities as a person sometimes make him a walking contradiction. Throughout his career he's struggled with toeing the line between righteousness and hedonism, but “You Owe Me” was perhaps his most confusing message ever.

It's one thing to be unapologetically misogynistic, but why exactly does Nas feel a woman should have sex with him just because he let her rock his ice? And does he really need to use his jewelry to pull chicks? And all this coming from the same guy who made “Black Girl Lost”! With R&B heartthrob Ginuwine on the hook, the song was a blatant crossover move.

Produced by Timbaland—who was on fire at the time—"You Owe Me" proved that Nas wasn't built to rhyme over trendy beats. Though it did get some radio spins, this song became Exhibit A in hip hop heads' argument that Nas had lost his mojo.

9. Nas "Getting Married" (2004)

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Producer: Chucky Thompson
Album: Street's Disciple
Label: Ill Will/Columbia
Best Youtube Comment: "He shoulda married music instead lol." - Nickl245

Complex Says: Upon the release of Streets Disciplein 2004, Nas was engaged to R&B wild child Kelis. They married in 2005, and were divorced four years later. Since that time, alimony and child support have left Nas stressed and cash-strapped. But back in 2005 Nas had a different view of what marriage meant to his life, and he was more than willing to share it all with his lucky listeners.

Streets Disciple ended up being an incredibly self-indulgent album, and this song—seemingly intended to be an ode to his impending nuptials—turned out to be a self-serving account of his past. Unfocused and boring, his love for Kelis somehow gets lost in his admiration of his own image.

8. Nas & Damien Marley f/ Lil Wayne & Joss Stone “My Generation” (2010)

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Producer: Damian Marley
Album: Distant Relatives
Label: Universal Republic/Def Jam
Best Youtube Comment: "And what the hell is lil wayne doin in this beautiful song^!?!???!" - KaboomMTF

Complex Says: Distant Relatives was a solid pick-me-up for Nas' career, which had stalled in the two years since the release of his Untitledalbum. Still, as the good as the album was, there were a few tracks that really should have been rethought or scrapped entirely. The most glaring example would have to be “My Generation.”

The unlikely pairing of a children's choir—reminiscent of Nas's 2003 hit “I Can”—and Joss Stone's warbling resulted in a predictably saccharine hook. The entire record has a corny "We Are The World" feel to it (something Nas himself was critical of on "These Are Our Heros").

But the song's biggest fail has to be putting Lil Wayne on this particular song. You know Nas and Damian must have paid a fortune for that Weezy feature, so why not let him get him into a lyrical showdown with Esco? That would have been awesome. Not boring like this song.

7. Nas f/ Pharrell "Angels...The Flyest" (2003)

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Producer: The Neptunes
Album: Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle O.S.T.
Label: Sony
Best Youtube Comment: "This is horrible." - FeasBeatz

Complex Says: Nas is at his best when he's slickly weaving coded rhymes about deep subjects, and arguably at his worst when rhyming vapidly about having his way with women. Pharrell is the exact opposite. That's probably why on “Angels...The Flyest,” their chemistry couldn't be worse.

Nas boasts and raps descriptively about getting it in with hot women, while Pharrell croons a chorus telling the same ladies what they can do to be “the flyest.” The narrative is bland and only trumped by the annoying sample that dominates the beat (at the time, anything that sounded remotely Middle Eastern was getting sampled). Luckily this stinker ended up on the Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle soundtrack, and not an album that anybody actually heard.

6. The Firm f/ Dawn Robinson "Firm Biz" (1997)

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Producer: L.E.S.
Album: The Firm: The Album
Label: Aftermath/Interscope
Best Youtube Comment: "foxy's pops told her keep the pussy tight? what the fuck?!?" - mufc187

Complex Says: The Firm must have seemed like a great idea on paper. It's hard to go wrong with Dr. Dre on the boards and AZ, Nas, and Foxy Brown holding down the rhymes—but wrong it went. Whether it was a lack of creativity or bad chemistry, The Firm's first and only album goes down as one of rap's biggest album fails ever.

”Firm Biz” is a prime example of why this group soon parted ways. On a mafia-themed album, “Firm Biz” was an ill-conceived pop record from three street rappers. Released during a moment when Puffy was making massive hits using '80s samples, the song was a blatant attempt to cash in on a trend. In the end, the song—much like the entire Firm album—was uneven, forced, and completely forgettable.

5. Nas f/ Mary J. Blige, Jungle & Wiz "Braveheart Party" (2001)

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Producer: Swizz Beatz
Album: Stillmatic
Label: Ill Will/Columbia
Best Youtube Comment: "I forgive you nas for making love." - nastynas373

Complex Says: Nas doesn't have the best track record when he hooks up with in-demand producers, but he didn't do himself any favors when he rapped over something resembling a ringtone download from Swizz Beatz. And it's one thing to let the Bravehearts ruin your song—it's not like this is first time Nas has allowed that to happen—but letting them trample all over Mary's stellar track record of rap collabos is just a shame.

That's probably why the Queen of Hip Hop Soul requested that this song be removed from all future pressings of the album, and why Nas complied. Mary said she made the request for "personal reasons." Translation: She didn't want her name associated with such a terrible product. And come to think of it, neither did Nas.

4. Nas "Nastradamus" (1999)

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Producer: L.E.S.
Album: Nastradamus
Label: Ill Will/Columbia
Best Youtube Comment: "My favorite line today 'Laptops with 100 gigabytes.'" - DonJuneStreetTeam

Complex Says: On Nastradamus, Nas was looking to reinvent himself. Instead, he got away from what his fans loved most about him. Earlier in his career, he was revered as a gifted street poet who could detach himself from the scene and write so vivldly that fans felt they were enduring the struggle along with him.

But “Nastradamus” was a blatant reach for radio play, abandoning the gritty lyricism listeners had come to expect. Rapping a poppy chorus over a playful beat, this rap prophet sounded like he was more interested in profits.

3. Nas "Me & You (Dedicated to Destiny)" (2004)

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Producer: L.E.S., Herb "Staff" Middleton
Album: Street's Disciple
Label: Sony
Best Youtube Comment: "smooth joint i bumped ...when going for custody hearings for my kids ... str8 upliftment" - dpmbstr1

Complex Says: “Me & You” showed us Nas's vulnerable side as the rapper turned singer. Destiny, his daughter by ex-girlfriend Carmen Bryan, was seven years old at the time, and Nas recorded this song as a heartfelt dedication to her. But for all its sentimental value, the finished product was lackluster at best, and uncomfortably similar to “Hailie's Song,” released by Eminem a few years prior.

Although unoriginal, the idea wasn't terrible—but the execution left much to be desired. Nas's singing voice isn't strong enough to carry the song. After Jay-Z left condoms in her baby seat and Cam'Ron threatened to give her the R. Kelly treatment, hasn't the poor girl suffered enough?

2. Nas "Big Girl" (1999)

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Producer: L.E.S.
Album: Nastradamus
Label: Ill Will/Columbia
Best Youtube Comment: "If your dad used to rap this to you, there's a good chance he was a pedophile." - sneakfreek182

Complex Says: We recently named Nastradamus the worst album fail of all time so it was obviously a major misstep in Nas' career. God's son had been struggling to live up to his legacy since the release of 1996's It Was Written, but it wasn't until Nastradamusthat fans started to wonder if Nas' best days were behind him.

Like the album as a whole, “Big Girl” was misguided: Nas raps vividly about smutting-out someone's daughter, and proclaims that it's time for her to leave her child-like innocence behind and accept adulthood. The beat was bad, the chorus horrific, and the collective result amounted to the worst song off a great rapper's worst album.

1. Nas "Who Killed It?" (2006)

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Producer: Salaam Remi,
Album: Hip Hop Is Dead
Label: Def Jam
Best Youtube Comment: "LOL he sounds weird on this one." - kutkinderen

Complex Says: In 2006, ringtone rap had taken over and rappers were largely making similar-sounding songs in order to get some radio air-time. Troubled by the lack of creativity in the game, Nas titled his album, Hip Hop Is Dead. The album served as a wake-up call to the genre, with Nas doing his best to steer it in the right direction.

But on “Who Killed It?” Nas killed his own argument by making his worst song ever. The concept wasn't bad, but we can't figure out what made him decide to rap in that awful Edward G. Robinson voice. Maybe he was trying to get his acting chops up after making Belly?

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