12 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Composed primarily of songs that were cut from the original double-album version of 1999’s I Am, The Lost Tapes flows like an official release. “Doo Rag” exemplifies Nas’ advanced writing techniques, as a nostalgic look at hip-hop’s early days shifts towards an examination of how street styles originate from prisons. The song is a fascinating example of Nas’ ability to pull back the layers of a given subject, burrowing past the superficial to unpack deeper implications. As usual, Nas refuses to go the easy route. “Drunk By Myself” is a disturbing portrait of depression, while “Black Zombie” is a cutting denunciation of African-American ignorance and complacency. Nas relives his own birth in “Fetus,” and even if the song isn’t entirely successful, one has to respect the boldness of the concept and the expertise of the execution. The most memorable songs here are “Poppa Was a Playa” (ghost-produced by a young Kanye West), and “U Gotta Love It,” a shimmering track that remains ambiguous even in its lyrical precision: “Preposterous foes, finicky foul niggas / See niggas and blacks, there goes a loud difference.”

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Composed primarily of songs that were cut from the original double-album version of 1999’s I Am, The Lost Tapes flows like an official release. “Doo Rag” exemplifies Nas’ advanced writing techniques, as a nostalgic look at hip-hop’s early days shifts towards an examination of how street styles originate from prisons. The song is a fascinating example of Nas’ ability to pull back the layers of a given subject, burrowing past the superficial to unpack deeper implications. As usual, Nas refuses to go the easy route. “Drunk By Myself” is a disturbing portrait of depression, while “Black Zombie” is a cutting denunciation of African-American ignorance and complacency. Nas relives his own birth in “Fetus,” and even if the song isn’t entirely successful, one has to respect the boldness of the concept and the expertise of the execution. The most memorable songs here are “Poppa Was a Playa” (ghost-produced by a young Kanye West), and “U Gotta Love It,” a shimmering track that remains ambiguous even in its lyrical precision: “Preposterous foes, finicky foul niggas / See niggas and blacks, there goes a loud difference.”

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
233 Ratings

233 Ratings

Insanefax ,

Purple

That Song Alone gives it a 5

Frankist ,

Terminal Illness

Doo Rags=one of the best Nas tracks ever

Hip Hop Finest ,

Rare

This album struck a cord in me, I didn't think he had anything left after weak ....I AM or NAStrodamus but you know he proved me wrong, and after this album came God's Son which struck another cord in me. So to me this started his revival back from a long hiatus and It was written was DOPE....no credit for that album. Lost Tapes 2 & New Def Jam Album I can't wait!!!!!!!

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