How Nas Lost


Illmatic is the greatest album of all time to people (it’s really The Cold Vein).  BUT, for the longest time I had no real way to understand why.  He rhymed well on it and all that good stuff but nothing so extraordinary that stood out statistically.  Nas the narrator is one of the most impressive rap writers ever.  Nobody can describe their immediate surroundings like Nas (“suede timbs on my feet makes my cypher complete”).  He’s a beautiful writer when he’s in this mode.

The other day I did an analysis of pronoun usage in rap songs.  Nas’ Illmatic was high on the list.  Telling stories how Nas did on Illmatic is what fans love about him.  When he stopped doing this, he started making less quality music.  So, maybe on Illmatic he was using words like “I”, “me”, “myself” etc. more?  The data:


Hooray!  Data that supports the thesis that Nas fell off when he stopped writing stories from his own POV.  Also, some proof that Stillmatic was a comeback album!

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2 thoughts on “How Nas Lost

  1. Joshua Covert says:

    Your statistics on this one is not bs, but nas never fell off. Every single album you got up is a true classic, not just mine personal, but just by the standards you measure a great record to alone. His content might be lecture boring to most, but lyrically he’s always outstanding.Illmatic incorperates a certin sound that praises the old school, so thats where the “greatest rap album” talk comes from, but to use that to take away from his other material, please, real see real.NAS CATLOGUE OF MUSIC IS LIKE THE MICHAEL JACKSON CATALOGUE OF HIPHOP. I love jay-z music, but his album catalogue really dont come close to nas’s.

  2. zach says:

    One thing I love on Illmatic that isn’t on other albums as much is the reverb. I like that lonely reverb sound.

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