The boy from Queensbridge reintroduces himself as a hood prophet on his fourth album, and his masterful storytelling is rooted in bittersweet Queens nostalgia and hard-earned confidence. Nas has plenty of shots for his fellow New York MCs on the strutting, funk-sampling title track and the cocky “Come Get Me,” taunting his haters over DJ Premier’s deft turntablism. But the highlight is “Project Windows,” an R&B slow-burner on which Nas paints a striking picture of growing up in the projects during the ‘70s.

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