Album Review | Nas – Nastradamus

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Nastradamus is Nas’ fourth studio album. It was released on November 23rd in 1999. It is known for being Nas’ wackest album. This is where he fell off I guess. Actually, I think people were already beginning to think that he fell off, but this is where it really got bad. His second and third albums weren’t bad, but they definitely weren’t on the same level as Illmatic. He was straying from his original more introspective & conscious side, and leaning more towards the mainstream Mafioso Rap trend. As I’ve said before, I think he’s good at Mafioso Rap, but I will always prefer his more introspective side. I’m really not sure why this album is so bad; I haven’t heard any songs from it. I guess I’m just gonna have to find out for myself. I’m not expecting this to be horrible. I’m just not expecting it to be good. I’m sure there’s a handful of decent songs on here tho. I just wanna get this over with so I can get to Stillmatic and God’s Son…

Track 1: The Prediction (Performed by Jessica Care Moore) [Prod. Rich Nice]

This is a Spoken Word intro from Jessica Care Moore, who recently worked with Jeezy on Church In These Streets. She did a great job. I really like this production from Rich Nice. I feel like I’m at some sort of tribal celebration in a rainforest led by an overweight man who’s playing a djembe and cooking gumbo, and we’re surrounded by purple mist. I’m not much of a Spoken Word fan honestly; I’d rather just have a normal MC flow properly over the beat. She did her thing tho. I enjoyed this. It’s not really a song tho, so I won’t rate it.

Track 2: Life We Chose (Prod. L.E.S.)

The intro transitioned into this track pretty nicely. The hook’s cool I guess. It’s not great. It does it’s job tho. This beat is actually pretty dope. The drum pattern is a little weird at some points tho. It sounds a little disjointed. It kinda sounds like Nas was struggling a little bit to flow over that part… It’s still dope tho. The first verse was pretty good. Everything’s going pretty well with this album so far. The second verse was actually dope af. I really enjoyed it. This song isn’t bad at all. Nas is just rapping about his life in the hood. He really went in on the second verse. The more musical aspects of this song, such as the hook and the beat, could’ve been better, but I still fuck with this. Nas did his thing on the actual verses. This is dope. 4/5

Track 3: Nastradamus (Prod. L.E.S.)

Nastradamus 1

This beat is cool I guess. It could definitely be better. This song was apparently what started the legendary beef between Nas & Jay Z. Nas took a shot at Memphis Bleek, who was signed to Roc-A-Fella Records, so Jay was like “Oh hell nah.” Memphis Bleek apparently had a line about ballin’ ’til he falls in one of his songs. Nas said, “You wanna ball till you fall, I can help you with that / You want beef? I could let a slug melt in your hat.” So yeah. That’s how it happened. Nas apparently freestyled this whole song. You can definitely tell. The shit he’s saying isn’t super wack or anything, but it’s definitely not that good. His flow is pretty underwhelming on this track too. I mean, it’s not like he’s known for having a great flow, but he could definitely do better than this. Oh fuck. I just accidentally started the song over. Whatever, I already know what I think of this one. It’s not good. I don’t think it’s awful, but it’s just not a good song. The verses weren’t horrible, but they’re disappointing when you compare it with Nas’ other work. Nothing about this song is horrible. It’s just not very good. Almost every aspect of this song is underwhelming. The beat is lackluster, the hook is just bad, and the verses are boring. I’m not feelin’ this. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 4: Some Of Us Have Angels (Prod. Dame Grease)

I’m definitely not feelin’ this hook. He’s singing and it doesn’t sound very good at all. This beat from Dame Grease isn’t bad. Nas did his thing on the first verse. The second verse is dope af. I really liked the last verse too. Fuck. The hook really ruined this track for me. The beat could’ve been better too. It’s not terrible, but it’s not that good. I liked the way Nas was rapping. The wack hook kinda ruined it for me tho. Fuck. I hate when that shit happens. This song would probably be dope af if he were spitting over a better beat and it didn’t have a hook. I can’t really get behind this all the way tho. I don’t think it’s a bad song because Nas was spittin’. It’s just not very good. It’s okay. 3/5

Track 5: Project Windows Feat. Ronald Isley (Prod. Nashiem Myrick & Carlos Broady)

This song was originally supposed to be on I Am… The Autobiography. This beat is dope. It’s really smooth. Nas’ first verse was dope. Ronald Isley’s hook was dope. This song is exactly what the title implies. He’s rapping about what he used to see whenever he looked out his “project windows.” He did a great job. Every verse was dope. Ronald Isley’s hook was dope. The beat’s smooth. I  fuck with this. This is easily the best song on the album so far. I don’t think it’s incredible, but I enjoyed it. It’s dope. 4/5

Track 6: Come Get Me (Prod. DJ Premier)

This beat is really dope, as I expected. The scratches on the intro from DJ Premier are great. This is definitely one of Primo’s more forgettable beats, but it’s still good. Nas did his thing the first verse. I don’t usually like Nas’ hooks when he does them, but this one is actually pretty dope. I fuck with the hook. This is pretty good. Nas took a lot of subliminal shots at Jay on the second verse. I love his aggressive bars on this song. I think this is supposed to be one of those tracks that was originally gonna be on I Am… The Autobiography. This song is dope. DJ Premier’s beat is nice, and Nas was spittin’ on the verses and the hook. The scratches from Primo were great too. I fuck with this. It’s dope. 4/5

Track 7: Shoot ‘Em Up (Prod. Havoc)

This beat is cool I guess. It’s not amazing. I fuck with it tho. Kinda… The first verse was cool. The hook’s not terrible. I could’ve did without it tho. The second verse was cool I guess. The melodic delivery definitely gets old by the end of the song. This is probably the most violent Nas song I’ve ever heard. He’s literally telling the listener to “shoot ’em up.” Well, I’m not really sure if it’s supposed to be declaratory or imperative; it could go either way. I think it makes more sense as an imperative statement tho. I don’t mind it personally. He was criticized by media outlets such as Fox News (of course) for the violent lyrics in this song. I mean, that doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the song at all, but it’s interesting. Well, it’s not really that interesting I guess… I kind of enjoyed the song… The delivery, flow, and beat definitely get old by the end of the track. I don’t know… I don’t think it’s that bad. It’s just really not that good. It’s cool lyrically, but I don’t think I’d ever come back to this again because it’s just not that good sonically. It’s alright. 3/5

Track 8: Last Words Feat. Nashawn (Prod. L.E.S.)

This beat is alright. It’s not bad, but it really doesn’t stand out that much. The hook’s cool. I’m not sure who this Nashawn guy is, but he did a great job with this first verse. Oh. In iTunes, this song had “Millennium Thug” credited as a feature, which was apparently Nashawn’s original stage name. His verse was really dope. Nas’ verse was fucking crazy. His verse was dope af. That was great. He was personifying himself as a prison cell. It was so dope. “Watch you when you eat / Play with your mind when you sleep / Make you dream that you free, then make you wake up to me / Face to face with a cage no matter your age / I can shatter you turn you into a savage in rage.” Nas’ verse was fantastic. That’s so fucked up. That line about making people dream that they’re free, and then waking up to a jail cell was crazy. That’s fucked up. I really fuck with this song. The beat wasn’t all that, but Nas’ verse made this song for me. As soon as I heard that shit I knew this was dope af. I definitely fuck with this. 5/5

Track 9: Family Feat. Mobb Deep (Prod. Dame Grease)

Oh, Nashawn is apparently Nas’ cousin. I uh… I didn’t know that… Anyway, this beat is alright I guess. Honestly, most of the production on this whole album has been pretty underwhelming. The hook’s kinda corny. It’s not terrible tho. It gets the job done. Prodigy did his thing on the first verse. I like how Nas came in right behind him. The song just ended. I enjoyed the verses. The hook & beat definitely could’ve been better tho. I don’t know if I feel comfortable calling this a good song. I don’t think it’s bad, but it really isn’t that good. I guess it’s okay. 3/5

Track 10: God Love Us (Prod. Dame Grease)

Oh God… I’m not feelin’ this hook. It’s fine lyrically, but Nas is singing and it isn’t working at all. Nas is goin’ in now. Damn. I actually really like his aggressive delivery on this track. That’s really all I can say about this track tho. His delivery was great. I don’t really like the religious themes of the song tho. I’m an atheist, so shit like this rarely does anything for me. I’m not feelin’ the hook or the beat either. Nas sounded great over it, but other than his delivery, this isn’t for me. I’m not really feelin’ this one. 2/5

Track 11: Quiet Niggas Feat. Bravehearts (Prod. Dame Grease)

The Bravehearts are the guys like Jungle & Horse that Nas is always talking about in his songs. Grand Wizard is also a member too. Grand Wizard is on the first verse. I actually fuck with this beat. It’s dope to me. The hook’s dope. I enjoyed Grand Wizard’s verse. This is gangsta as fuck. Horse is goin’ in now. His verse was dope. Jungle & Nas had cool verses too. They weren’t super lyrical or anything. It was just gangsta as fuck. I really like this beat. The verses were cool. I fuck with this. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 12: Big Girl (Prod. L.E.S.)

Oh God… This is one of Nas’ most notorious songs of all time. I can tell just from the title that I’m not gonna like this. Okay. I’m just gonna start it now… Oh my God… I just paused it… I’ve only heard four seconds of the song. It’s not going well so far tho. Nas is singing. “You’re a big girl nooow.” What the fuck, man… Okay, I’m ’bout to press play again… Oh my God… This is horrible. You know that song Daughters by Nas? This is pretty much the opposite of that… He’s talking about how this girl is grown, so he’s gonna have sex with her… “No more daddy’s little giiiirl.” Even if the lyrics weren’t super weird, this still wouldn’t be good because Nas is singing. It sounds awful. I don’t know why he tries to sing like that sometimes. He can’t sing. This is awful. What the fuck is this shit? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Wow. I feel like I’m listening to one of them mid-2000s hit songs by Ja Rule featuring Ashanti. He has that same quick flow over this smooth, but corny beat. This is so bad… This isn’t Nas… This shouldn’t be Nas… This… This is Nas? Nasty Nas made this song? Oh hell nah… This shit is fucking horrible. I don’t like songs about sex in the first place, but when a legendary MC makes one about a barely legal girl over this comically stereotypical beat, and tries to sing the hook, it makes me want to cry. This is heartbreaking. I shouldn’t have to hear a song like this from one of the greatest MCs to ever pick up a pen. This is absolutely horrible. I can’t fuck with this shit at all… This is fucking dog shit. This is hopefully the worst song that I’ll ever hear by Nas. Hopefully. This is wack af. Easily the wackest Nas song I’ve ever heard in my life. 0/5

Track 13: New World (Prod. L.E.S.)

Damn… I know I’ve heard this sample before… I can’t quite put my finger on it tho… Whatever. This beat actually isn’t that bad. It’s not really that good by normal standards, but it’s one of the better instrumentals on this album so far. He’s just rapping about how far technology has advanced… This kinda reminds me of… “FUCKIN’ MAGNETS; HOW DO THEY WORK?” The hook is pretty bad. It’s not terrible, but it’s bad enough. Now he’s talkin’ about “Don Trump” and how “we respect his cake, and cake mean his stock; net gross.” Who the fuck is “we?” This just isn’t good… “Africans pick diamonds out of dark caves / Then we wear it on our necks just so we can light up the stage.” I guess Nas technically rapped about blood diamonds first… I don’t give a fuck tho because Kanye did a much better job. I’m not feelin this song. It’s not even that bad. It’s just not good at all. That combined with the corniness makes this song wack for me. I’m not feelin’ this. The only reason I’m not callin’ this wack af is because I didn’t hate the beat. It’s not a good song tho. It’s wack to me. 2/5

Track 14: You Owe Me Feat. Ginuwine (Prod. Timbaland)

You Owe Me

This is arguably Nas’ most notorious song of all time. I can already tell why… Why is Nas working with Ginuwine? Seriously… Who the fuck wanted a Nas & Ginuwine collab? I can already tell that Nas sold the fuck out with this song man. I’ve never even heard this song before, and I still get pissed off thinking about it. Hopefully it’s better than I’m expecting it to be. This beat isn’t good. At all. This sounds like a fucking… This isn’t good… This beat… This reminds me of Lasers by Lupe Fiasco. I’m getting the same feeling from this bull shit. It’s the feeling you get when an incredible MC goes for a mainstream, Pop sound. This isn’t good. THIS ISN’T FUCKING GOOD. Ginuwine is singing right now… I’ve never liked Ginuwine. He’s generic as fuck to me. This is just bad. This isn’t even… This is just BAD. WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT? HOLD UP… Is this… Is Nas doing what I think he’s doing? “Shorty, say what’s your price / Just to back it up / You can hold my ice / Now let’s say you owe me something.” So… She owes you sex because she held your chain? Are you fucking shitting me? Nas… No, man… You’re better than this… Fuck… This hook is fucking horrible. Even without the lyrics, this isn’t a good song. The beat’s boring as fuck, and the melody & vocals from Ginuwine just aren’t good at all. Nas isn’t even doing a good job with this song. I mean, I would MAYBE cut him some slack for this fucking terrible song if he at least did a good job with it, but he isn’t rapping well. This is awful. “I make hits now / Money I flip now / Hood fella every honey wanna kiss now / I lit up my neck, pinkie, and wrist now / So girls everywhere, this is how we get down.” Why? Why do you have to do this shit just to get on the radio? Why do you have to be just as shitty and generic as everyone else to get a song on the radio? I never understood why rappers always have to stop being good just to get on the radio. What could anyone possibly like about this song? This is fucking garbage. This is so… BAD. Seriously, what is this? Who the fuck likes this kind of music? This is just trash… It’s gonna be fucking impossible to choose a least favorite song from this album… “Your body’s so nice that I give you this option: Let you wear my big chain if we get it popping.” This song is fucking horse shit. 0/5

Track 15: The Outcome (Performed by Jessica Care Moore) [Produced by Rich Nice]

This is more of track 1. It has the same dope ass beat and everything. Honestly, the production on the intro & outro is better than any of the shit on the rest of the album. Rich Nice should’ve done the whole project. Jessica Care Moore & Rich Nice did a great job on this album. Nas was fucking up tho. I’m not gonna rate this track. I really enjoyed it tho. This is great. Honestly, I think I enjoyed this outro & the intro more than any of the actual songs… I mean, she was fuckin’ goin’ off. Nas wasn’t really… Well, lemme just go ahead and give my final thoughts…

Final Thoughts:

I’m finna come clean… I didn’t get it at first. I wasn’t sure why people thought that this album was so horrible. Once I hit track 12 tho… It’s not hard to see why this is Nas’ wackest album. I don’t think it’s a horrible album. I think it’s a horrible NAS album tho. Nas should have never stooped down to this level. This man gave us Illmatic; he gave us one of the most important albums in the history of music. This man made Affirmative Action, Suspect, If I Ruled The World, Nas Is Like & Undying Love. There’s really not a single song on this album that I can say really blew me away. Nas is one of my favorite MCs. I can’t imagine being given this album at the end of 1999 without knowing if Nas could make a comeback… At the same time tho… You have to expect this kind of shit when someone chooses to release more than one album in a single year. If you’re gonna release more than one album in a single year, there’s a 90% chance that the second one will suck ass. This album came out SEVEN months after I Am… We didn’t need OR want this album. Nastradamus? Really? NASTRADAMUS? What the fuck? What was he thinking? It’s really not even that bad of an album. By most MCs’ standards, this would be fine. Nas isn’t “most MCs” tho. We should get more than Nastradamus. Lemme start actually explaining what makes this album so bad. The production isn’t good. It’s just not. It’s not good at all. The beats on this album are incredibly forgettable. I tend to go pretty easy on production too; especially for MCs who can actually spit. That’s another problem tho… Nas just wasn’t spitting on this album. I don’t know what happened. When I hear songs like Last Words I KNOW that he could still spit. He just didn’t do it tho. Big Girl? What? What the fuck was he thinking? YOU OWE ME? Are you fucking shitting me? What the fuck was that shit? Those are thankfully the only two songs that are really, really bad. The other songs just aren’t very good tho. There are very, very few standout tracks from this album. It’s boring. I shouldn’t be getting “boring” from an MC like Nas. The wack production has a lot to do with that. I enjoyed the beat from Rich Nice. He did a good job. That’s not what this album turned out to be tho. The intro didn’t set the tone for this project. He fuckin’ tricked me. I wish I could hear Nas gettin’ busy over that beat. I love that style of production. I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s the shit that would play during a movie when you step into a fat old witch’s home while she’s cookin’ up some magic gumbo. I thought this motherfucker was gonna get on his third eye shit with this album. Any time he came close to that it just came off corny as fuck. It’s just an hour and two minutes of mediocrity. This isn’t… This isn’t Nas. This isn’t what you think of when you think of Nas. This isn’t legendary Hip Hop music. This was a legendary MC following trends. Y’all know I fucking despise trends. This album just isn’t good. I don’t think it’s shit, but it’s got some dog shit ass songs on here tho. Big Girl & You Owe Me are damn near unforgivable. It would’ve taken a fucking incredible ass song to convince me that Nas could spit again. We all know he DID come back, but at the time I would’ve been fucking heartbroken after hearing this album. I’m really not a fan of Jay Z at all, but… Thank God for Jay Z. I don’t know if Nas would’ve come back from this if Jay Z didn’t tickle the fuckin’ dragon in Nas so much. That’s right. Tickle the dragon. I learned that expression in World History class. Do people really say that in real life, or was that just my dumbass history teacher? If you really, really, REALLY love Nas, listen to the album. Don’t expect much tho. When you first start listening to it, you’ll probably say to yourself “Hey this isn’t that bad… This is actually pretty good.” Don’t. You will be disappointed. That’s exactly what I told myself, and I ended up being disappointed. How the fuck does that happen? I KNEW that this album wasn’t gonna be good, but I STILL let myself be disappointed. Ain’t that a bitch. He may start off on the right path with this album, but he never reaches his destination. There are a few good songs at the beginning. It goes downhill fast. The second half of this album is not good. The first half isn’t even that good. It’s fine. The second half is actually bad tho. If he released the second half of this album as an EP, then it would be fucking WACK. The second half is WACK. The first half is just okay. It’s not a good album. It’s just not. It may not be trash as a whole, but the second half will leave such a shitty taste in your mouth that you wouldn’t even know it. It’s not good. Nas could do better than this. It didn’t even really feel like he was trying on most of this shit. If you aren’t a hardcore fan of Nas, don’t bother. You’re wasting your time. Honestly, I feel like I wasted my time, and I love Nas. This just isn’t good tho. It’s not even that bad tho. It’s just not good. This isn’t good enough. We got Stillmatic next tho, so it’s cool. I mean, it’s not, but fuck it. I wasn’t really feelin’ this shit. I don’t think it’s terrible. It’s mediocre.

Favorite Song: Last Words

Least Favorite Song: You Owe Me




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