Produced By: Will.I.Am
Album: Hip Hop Is Dead
Label: Def Jam
It had to be said. The growing dissatisfaction with rap music could be heard for years. Still, Nas' declaration that the boom-bap had bit the dust caused a shit storm not seen since among fans and contemporaries alike (Jeezy was far from the only one not feeling the sentiment). That the distressing message was coming from an artist of Nas' stature meant this was a serious topic that could no longer be ignored.
As in your grill as the notification was, there was cleverness employed in the song, particularly how it rehashed (and revamped) the same sample used on "Thief's Theme" (throwing in drums from "Apache" for good measure) to prove a point—biting, once taboo, had long become accepted, so why not bite yourself? Those emotional about the statement of rap's demise were blinded to all the wordplay ("Gave my nigga my right, I could have gave left/So like my girl Foxy, a nigga went Def"). The song cuts off abruptly, but the lyricism displayed here told the real story: If hip-hop was in the afterlife all it needed was a resurrection. (Almost forgot...Gotta love a song that includes "Grindin', hittin' Brazilian dimes from behind.")