Nas: The Prophet
As a junior high school kid growing up in New York City during the 90’s, rap and hip hop determnined almost all aspects of my life. Hip hop influenced the music I listened to, the way Idressed, the way I spoke and acted to even the magazines I readand the tv shows I watched. But most importamtly the artist of the time I followed. In the 90’s I remember very vividly there were no bigger rap artists on the planet than Tupac and Biggie Smalls. Their music played from every teenager’s cd player orboom box, in every car with a potent stereo system, and their music was a must at every block party. Biggie and Tupac’s names became synonomous with hip hop, it was almost impossible to mention hip hop and not mention them. They appealed to the masses through their music where they portrayed themseleves as outcasts in a society that did not offer them a fair deal. This unequal treatment enabled them to do everything in their power to get even. In order to portary their message, they incorporated the street culture prevelant at the time: that of dealing drugs, violence and guns. They used this as a means of empowerement for the many men and women who did not have any power in their society. Although Biggie and Tupac were the most commercialized and best selling artist of this time, they soon had competiontion from a skilled young rapper from Queensbridge. At the height of their success, Nas captivates hip hop. Nas was rapping about the same issues as Tupac andBiggie, although at this point if his career he was not as popular and his albums did not have as much commercial success . Nas kept true to his craft and soon became a beloved figure of this time. Nas’ proliphic devlivery in his rap songs contributed to his overall appeal. While Biggie and Tupac’s lyrics were in your face and harsh, people loved it. Nas’s approach however wasdifferent; he made his listeners take a step back. He wasn’t just going to inform you his challenges, through his rap he unvailed them like a masterfully created story. As a listener, each song was an exeprience. It became a journey in which you sympathized with the challenges he was facing growing up in Queensbridge. This led to his listeners to analyze and appreciate the poetic style in which he delivered his knowledge and embrace it. Nas’ words were artisitc but simotenously raw and thruthful and at times they were very hard concepts to deal with. Nas’ first album Illmatic was an istant classic that cemented Nas as a force in Hip Hop. Nas had arrived artistically with Illmatichis prophethic style of rap ignited the imagination of many that remain part of a cult follwing that remanins loyal to this day.