Released: Jul 2008
Label: IDJ / Columbia Records
After the elegiac Hip-Hop Is Dead, which mourned Nas' diminished medium, the NYC lyricist goes into attack mode. Among his targets: Bill O'Reilly, Al Sharpton, 50 Cent, suburban rap fans, alien-aided illuminati, Western academia, fried chicken, etc. Nas positions himself as "Huey P. and Louis V. at the eulogy / Throwing molotovs for Emmett," and his focus is sharp as he builds ("N.*.G.G.*.R.") and destroys ("Sly Fox"). The production is dramatic, nestling symphonic soul against soaring strings. As a linguistic dissection of the n-word, this is searing. As a hip-hop album, it's decent.