Produced By: DJ Premier
Label: Ill Will/Columbia
No kidding around, this excellent analysis of immaturity is subject matter rarely explored in rap. Nas uses fictionalized characters (but let's face it, there are real people exactly like this man and woman in the song) to demonstrate that, yes, staying young at heart has its benefits, but when you refuse to grow up, life will pass you by. Particularly impressionable is the 31-year-old ex-con living at his mom's crib, still slingin', goin' nowhere: "All his peoples moved on in life, he's on the corners at night/With young dudes, it's them he wanna be like/It's sad, but it's fun to him, right?/He never grew up/31 and can't give his youth up/He's in his second childhood." Premier's bouncy production with snappin' bass and scratched-in patchwork of various records for the chorus deserves a second listen too, kid, so stop playin' and push play.