There are a lot of subtleties that go into a good cover. Usually, hip-hop covers are pretty lame. Nobody wants to hear you rap Biggie lines over a Biggie beat. Motherfucker, if I wanted to hear that I would just put a tape recorder outside of my shower, because I do it every morning and honestly, it sounds spectacular. There’s no point. For an artist to cover a song well, he or she must make that song his or her own. It sounds so obvious that it’s stupid to say, but it’s true. There’s no other way to put it.

“Hey Young World” is a classic. Slick Rick is one of my favorites.  But those drums? They were his. That tone? That was his. The flow? His. He owned that shit. Nas took that song and he made it sound like a Nas song. This might be one of the first pure hip-hop covers that I’ve actually enjoyed. It’s part of the Levi’s Pioneer Sessions:

Levi’s® Pioneer Sessions 2010 Revival Recordings bring together today’s pioneering musicians to re-craft the classic songs that inspired their sound. These recordings celebrate the most important part of music: The song, its influence and the inspirational effect on the generations that follow. Keep checking each week for new artists, new stories and most importantly new songs for free download.

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”Nas – Hey Young World” dl=””]