Album Review | Nas – God’s Son

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This album was released on December 13th in 2002. This is one of the albums that I’ve been looking forward to the most for this marathon because it’s known as Nas’ most personal, introspective album ever. I’ve only heard one song from this project, but I wasn’t in love with it, so I’m a little worried that this album may not be as good as I want it to be. I don’t know tho. It may end up being fantastic. I guess this came out toward the end of his beef with Jay Z. I think his mama died before this album was made too, so that probably led to it being more personal. I don’t really have much else to say about this album. I guess I’m expecting it to be dope.

Track 1: Get Down (Prod. Nas & Salaam Remi)

This beat is dope af. This James Brown sample is awesome. Nas is just painting the picture of the streets of NY again on this first verse. It’s nice to have him doing what he does best to open the album up. Okay, that first verse was fucking fantastic. God, I love Nas… You can call me a dickrider if you want, but I personally think that first verse was dope af. He talked about how he almost started shootin’ at somebody when the cops was there, but how some guy stopped him just in time. Then he told a story about his homie who got arrested, and in the middle of his trial he grabbed the court officer’s gun and started blastin’ everybody the fuck away. This is Nas doing what he does best. I fuckin’ love this shit. The James Brown sample is perfect too. Alright, the second verse is about to start now. Ooooooh shit… The way the production evolves during the second verse is so dope. Good lord. The second verse is even better than the first. This song is fucking awesome. I love this shit. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 2: The Cross (Prod. EMINƎM)

I’m not really a fan of EMINƎM as a producer, so I don’t know how this one’s gonna turn out… Maybe he’ll surprise me. I definitely would’ve preferred an actual feature from him on this album. Okay, it’s starting now. Oh. This beat actually isn’t bad. It’s not amazing, but I fuck with it. It’s dope to me. I could definitely see Em rhymin’ over this. Nas is goin’ in on the hook now. “I carry the cross / If Virgin Mary had an abortion / I’d still be carried in a chariot by stampeding horses.” I gotta come clean; I had no idea that Ab-Soul got that line from Nas for the Stigmata hook. Speaking of Ab-Soul, I am REALLY looking forward to his upcoming album. I hope it comes out this year. It seems like it’s gonna come out after ScHoolboy Q’s album. I know that’s off topic, but I just had to mention that. I love Ab-Soul. Honestly, if Ab-Soul was more consistent he would have strong chance of replacing Kendrick Lamar as my favorite rapper. Hopefully he does it with his album. Anyway, the hook to this song is dope af. The first verse is starting now. “Y’all can keep your weak beats from your corny producers.” It’s kind of ironic that he would say that since EMINƎM isn’t the strongest producer, and he can be a very corny rapper too. This beat is dope tho. Goddamn. Nas is fucking killing this first verse. “N-A-S means ‘Niggas Against Society’ / Noisy I aim not silently / Noose all surroundin’ me / I hang ‘em, I string ‘em up / Ain’t no thing, I just drop ‘em / To which doctor you copped and you locked and it ain’t what it was.” Jesus. This first verse is dope af. This is fantastic. I actually really fuck with this beat too. The bass that comes in towards the end of the verse is great. Nas sounds amazing over this beat. This is just fucking awesome. I probably am stanning just a little bit. I fucking love this shit tho. The second verse was dope af too. I love this song. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 3: Made You Look (Prod. Salaam Remi)

Made You Look

This was the first and most popular single from this album. Oh shit… This beat sounds REALLY familiar… Have I heard this song before? Maybe I heard someone freestyle over this beat or something… The beat itself is dope af. It’s got that really old school, traditional Hip Hop sound. I could see Rakim or KRS-One spittin’ over a beat like this. The people chanting “Hip Hop” in the background just emphasizes that sound. This really sounds like one of them beats that you just get all your friends to spit a cypher over. The first verse was dope af. Oh shit. I don’t think I’ve actually heard this song before, but I’ve definitely heard the lyrics to this hook. It’s got one of Nas’ most famous lines. “You a slave to a page in my rhyme book.” I shouldn’t even have to say this, but that line is perfect. Seriously, that line is fucking incredible. It’s a single bar; he said more in that single line than most commercial MCs do in their whole careers. The rhyme pattern in this line is fantastic, and the lyric itself is just fucking awesome. The second verse was dope af. This really feels like a more accessible single from the late 80s or very early 90s. Man, I usually come to Nas for his verses, but the hooks on this album have been amazing so far. The third verse was great. This song is dope af. I feel like this is a song Hip Hop elitists listen to. I don’t see how anyone could dislike this shit unless they’re into that more mainstream, commercial, Pop inspired sound. The music video is cool, but it uses the censored version of the song, which is fucking awful. They censored out the word “shootin’” in the hook, so all you hear is “they _______ / Aww, made you look.” I hate how they used to take out words without even attempting to find a euphemism. It’s just silence. I love the original, explicit version of the song tho. It’s dope af. I definitely fuck with this song. 5/5

Track 4: Last Real Nigga Alive (Prod. Ron Browz)

Last Real Nigga Alive

This beat is pretty dope. Oh yes… YES… Okay. The introspection is finally beginning. He’s talking about the Jay Z beef. He’s not just insulting & dissing Jay tho; he’s actually telling the fans how the whole beef started. He’s startin’ all the way from the beginning of his own career. Damn. “Puff tried to start a label / Prince Rakeem had formed Wu-TangSnoop & Dre had a new thing.” For some reason I got really excited when Nas said that shit. I don’t think it would’ve hit me the same way if I hadn’t already heard the early Wu-Tang shit & The Chronic. It’s just cool to see my favorite MC mention my favorite group. Is it weird for me to call Wu-Tang my favorite group even tho I haven’t listened to any of their albums between 1994 & 2014? It’s not like I didn’t hear loose singles, so I guess it’s fine. Even from what little I’ve heard, they’re miles ahead of any other Hip Hop groups that I listen too. I’ve listened to a lot more solo artists than groups tho. Anyway, lemme get back to this song. This first verse is incredible. If you’re a fuckin’ dork like me, you’ll probably think this is one of the most interesting Hip Hop songs ever. I feel like I’m sitting in History class, except it’s not boring as fuck. It’s crazy how much you can learn about Hip Hop from just listening to it. “Big was ahead of his time / Him and Raekwon my niggas / But dig it; they couldn’t get along / That’s when Ghostface said it on The Purple Tape / ‘Bad Boy biting Nas album cover way‘ / Big told me Rae was stealing my slang / And Rae told me out in Shaolin; Big would do the same thing / But I borrowed from both them niggas.” It’s so awesome to hear about all these amazing MCs’ interactions with each other. Well, it is to me at least… Damn. This is a complicated ass beef. I don’t think I can do a very good job of explaining it. For anyone who’s interested, you’re just gonna have to look that shit up yourself. It’s regarded as the greatest Hip Hop beef ever, so there’s plenty of info about it out there. I guess you could also just listen to this song like me. It’s Nas’ side of the story tho, so it might be a little biased. Goddamn… He fuckin’ killed that second verse. It was already goin’ well, but once he got into the second half of the second verse it was a wrap. Nas already tore Jay apart with Ether, but he put the final nail in the coffin with this track. “I’m the man’s man; a rapper’s rapper / G-O-D S-O-N, there’ll be none after / I was Scarface, Jay was Manolo / It hurt me when I had to kill him and his whole squad for dolo.” This is incredible. Ether was incredible, but it sucks that this track gets overshadowed. I honestly wasn’t expecting to hear another Jay Z diss for whatever reason. I’m glad I did tho because this is dope. I honestly can’t decide which one I like better. Ether felt more vicious since it was just an onslaught of aggressive insults; this track felt more like he was just pointing out real reasons why he’s better than Jay. It’s like when you’re super pissed and you can’t speak as eloquently, but you’re still roastin’ the shit outta someone. That’s what Ether was. This song is more like he relaxed a little bit, and took time to put together a calm, more substantial argument for why he’s better than Jay. Ether was Nas calling Jay a piece of shit. Last Real Nigga Alive is Nas explaining why Jay is a piece of shit. I seriously can’t decide which one I like more. If I lived through the beef, I’d probably like Ether more just because of the impact that it had, but subjectively in 2016 it really depends what mood I’m in. Last Real Nigga Alive is like watching an MMA fight. Ether is like watching a fight on WorldStar. Anyway, this song is dope af. I obviously fuck with this shit. 5/5

Track 5: Zone Out Feat. Bravehearts (Prod. Salaam Remi)

Songs with features from the Bravehearts tend to be some of the weakest tracks from Nas, so I don’t know how I’m gonna feel about this one… It’s starting now. This beat is weird. It kinda sucks. I’m not feelin’ the beat. Jungle’s verse was alright. This beat is awful. What the fuck is this beat? It sounds so empty and dull. Wiz’s verse was fine I guess. Nas is on the third verse. It honestly didn’t really do much for me. I just listened to the whole song. I really don’t like this one. This song is wack to me. First of all, that beat is wack af. Second of all… Well, I guess the production is really the main problem. I’m just not really into the Bravehearts tho. Even Nas’ verse wasn’t really that good to me. The basic ass production really held this shit back. I don’t know if I’d like this song if it had a better beat, but at least it wouldn’t be as bad as this. I can’t fuck with this song. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 6: Hey Nas Feat. Claudette Ortiz & Kelis (Prod. Salaam Remi)

This beat is alright I guess. It’s definitely better than the previous track. Uhhh… Uh oh… Nas is rappin’ about how he needs “a queen, not a ho.” I’m sorry, but whenever somebody says something like that I have to roll my eyes. I don’t like hearin’ Nas rap about girls. It almost always rubs me the wrong way. This song is basically just him listing the requirements for being his girl I guess. I’m not feelin’ this hook from Claudette Ortiz. The way Nas is rapping makes him sound like a misogynist from the 50s who expects his wife to stay at home all day cooking and cleaning. “You gotta be skilled in the culinary arts / Know a brother stay mad hungry when he spark.” I guess objectively there’s nothing wrong with him talking about the kinda girls that he likes, but it’s not like I was ever curious about that in the first place. This subject matter just isn’t for me. I’m not really feelin’ this Poppy beat, or the vocals from Claudette & Kelis. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 7: I Can (Prod. Salaam Remi)

I Can

This was the only song from this album that I’d already heard before starting this review. Well, I think I heard Made You Look before, but I’m not exactly sure. All I can remember about this song is the super inspirational, kinda cheesy hook. “I know I can be what I wanna be / If I work hard at it, I’ll be where I wanna be.” Okay, the song’s starting now. Oh shit I remember this… This beat is dope af. Salaam Remi used a fuckin’ Beethoven sample, and it’s actually dope af. The hook isn’t as awkward and strange as I remember it being. I’m still not in love with it, but it’s definitely not bad. It actually sounds pretty good with this beat. The first verse was dope af. He’s speaking directly to kids I guess. He’s basically telling them that they can do whatever they want in life as long as they work hard enough. That’s not true tho. I remember when I was little I told everyone that I wanted to be a bear when I grew up. Not the homosexual kind of bear. I meant a real bear. The animal. I think Nas is clear enough in his messaging tho. I wasn’t the brightest kid anyway. I love how Nas gets kinda morbid with his lyrics that are directed towards kids. “Heroin, cocaine, sniffing up drugs all in her nose / Could’ve died; so young, now looks ugly and old / No fun ’cause when she reaches for hugs, people hold their breath / Cause she smells of corrosion and death.” It kinda reminds me of how Kanye had children singing about drug dealers on We Don’t Care. The second verse was great too. “This is for grown-looking girls who’s only 10 / The ones who watch videos and do what they see / As cute as can be; up in the club with fake ID / Careful ‘fore you meet a man with HIV.” With the final verse, Nas is basically telling young black children to have more pride in their race. “If the truth is told, the youth can grow / They learn to survive until they gain control / Nobody says you have to be gangstas, hoes / Read more learn more; change the globe.” I’m kinda surprised by how much I like this. I don’t really remember enjoying it that much the first time I heard. I wasn’t really paying attention the first time tho. It was playing on the radio when I was on my way to school, and I was half asleep. That’s neither here nor there tho. I fuck with the song. It’s dope af. 5/5

Track 8: Book Of Rhymes (Prod. The Alchemist)

This beat is dope af. Oh shit. This is cool. I guess before he recorded this song, Nas found a bunch of his old lyrics written down, so he just decided to record them real quick. He’ll stop himself mid-verse to change the page he’s readin’ off of. This is awesome. The first verse was dope af. The second was great too. His flow sounds extra smooth on that second verse. I guess he got frustrated because he wasn’t feelin’ the shit he originally wrote, so for the final verse he spits some new shit off the top. It’s dope. I fuck with the song. It’s a very cool idea. I think he did it as well as he possibly could have, but it still doesn’t really blow me away. I definitely enjoyed it. It was cool to hear some old rhymes from him. The song itself isn’t that amazing to me. I still like the song tho. It’s dope to me. 4/5

Track 9: Thugz Mansion (N.Y.) Feat. Tupac Shakur & J. Phoenix (Prod. Claudio Cueni & Michael Herring)

I think this’ll be the first time I talk about a song with Tupac in it. That’s kinda interesting. I guess. Thugz Mansion is technically a Tupac song. The original version featured Nas & J. Phoenix, and was released as a posthumous single on the album Better Dayz. This version features an additional verse from Nas, and I think it takes out one of Pac’s verses. It’s starting now. It’s an acoustic song. I’ve talked a lot about how I dislike guitars before on this website. I don’t really mind this one tho. I mainly dislike electric guitars. Acoustic guitars are much better to me. This first verse from Nas is dope af. The hook from J. Phoenix is cool. I don’t know. It’s kinda hard for me to get into this song since it doesn’t have any percussion. Tupac’s verse is amazing. He’s speaking directly to his mother from heaven. I can’t imagine how she must’ve felt hearing this song after her son passed away. “Dear mama, don’t cry; your baby boy’s doin’ good / Tell the homies I’m in heaven, and they ain’t got hoods.

That's sad…

Oh, I guess I should explain what this song is actually about. The Thugz Mansion is Nas & Pac’s metaphor for heaven. They’re rapping about the afterlife. That shouldn’t really come as a surprise for Pac fans. Pac raps about hangin’ out with Marvin Gaye & Malcolm X in heaven. This is super emotional. In a good way tho. The final verse from Nas was great. Fuck. I really wish I liked this song more. Lyrically, this song is dope af. I just can’t get behind the production. The annoying thing is, it doesn’t even have a wack beat. It’s just not clicking for me personally. I don’t think it’s because of the guitar. If there was percussion I’d probably be able to enjoy this song more. I don’t know. I would never call this a bad song because I like it. I think it’s a good song. I really enjoyed listening to it. I just don’t think I’d ever wanna come back to it. The lack of any kind of percussion really took away from this song for me. I personally won’t be coming back to this version of the song. Maybe there’s a non-acoustic version of this song, but for this track in particular, I won’t be coming back. 3/5

Track 10: Mastermind (Prod. The Alchemist)

This beat is dope af. This is even better than that first Alchemist beat. This is definitely one of the best beats on the album so far. The hook is dope. The first verse was great. “A couple of years ago when guns started clappin’ / Two of my dogs fell, two of my niggas ran / They was amateurs in beef with a grown man / It taught me the lessons of how the strong stand.” The second verse was great too. The final verse was dope af. I don’t have much to say about this one. It’s just a great song. It has a very simple structure and the beat is dope af. I don’t have any complaints with this one. This is dope af to me. 5/5

Track 11: Warrior Song Feat. Alicia Keys (Prod. Alicia Keys)

What the fuck is this sample? It’s weird as hell. Oh. It’s only used for the intro. I’m not sure what that was about. It wasn’t bad tho. It was just kinda weird. The first verse is starting now. This beat is actually really dope. It’s dope af. The first verse from Nas was great. This sounds like a song someone would listen to before an important basketball game or something. I’m not really into Alicia Keys like that, but the hook is actually pretty good. The second verse was dope af. He finally started talking about his mother’s death. He’s kinda been mentioning it here and there on songs like Thugz Mansion, but this is the first time he spit a full verse about it. “Earlier this year I buried my queen in a gold casket / Your mother’s the closest thing to God that you ever have, kid / I’m askin, ‘what would you do at your own mom’s funeral?‘ / Wanna pick her up out of it; this can’t be real.” I really like this flow Nas is using. It sounds great over this beat. Yeah, I fuck with this track. I don’t really have any problems with it. I’m not blown away by it, but I enjoyed the song. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 12: Revolutionary Warfare Feat. Lake (Prod. The Alchemist)

This beat is dope af. The first verse from Nas was good. The second verse from Lake was alright I guess. The line where he compared himself to Hitler left me scratching my head. “I’m like a modern day Hitler, black gorilla, crip and blood in one nigga.” I’m really not sure what that line’s about. I don’t know how I feel about that one. The final verse where Nas & Lake are tradin’ bars was cool. I don’t know tho. There’s a line in there where Lake tells women to “listen more, talk less.” This is really weird. Nas seems to be trying to convey a positive message, but Lake keeps coming through with all these bizarrely offensive lines. Well, I’m not really sure if he’s telling women to listen more and talk less, or if he’s just saying that to the listener. It’s not really clear. I guess Lake’s parts weren’t too bad. There were really only two lines in there that got to me. I enjoyed the song. I definitely think that this would’ve been better as a solo track from Nas, but Lake didn’t hurt it too much. The beat from The Alchemist is great, and Nas did his thing on here. I fuck with this song. This is dope to me. 4/5

Track 13: Dance (Prod. Chucky Thompson)

Oh God. This is… This song is dedicated to Nas’ mom, and it’s already super emotional. The production is super heavy. Same goes for Nas’ delivery. The first verse was great, although I definitely could’ve done without that ignorant line where he denies evolution. The hook is alright I guess. He’s singing, and it’s completely flat, but for some reason I don’t really mind it. It’s nowhere near as bad as his singing on Street Dreams. I think the main reason I can tolerate this hook is because of the content. He at least sounds passionate about what he’s singing. Good lord. That second verse…

That's sad…

This is easily the saddest Nas song I’ve ever heard. I’ve said this before on this website, but I’m what a lot of people would call a “mama’s boy,” so songs like this always get to me. The uncredited cornet solo from Nas’ father at the end of the track was just the icing on the cake. I love this song. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 14: Heaven Feat. Jully Black (Prod. Agile & Saukrates)

Wow. This hook from Jully Black is actually dope af. Same goes for the beat. Goddamn. Nas’ flow on this first verse is dope af. He never really rhymes like this. He really stepped his flow up for this verse tho. This verse is amazing. Aside from the content and the flow I mentioned before, it’s filled with a bunch of internal rhymes as well. “I bet you there’s a Heaven for a atheist / It’s hard taking this racist planet where they take a younger brother in a handcuff / Even if he innocent, ‘Nigga get on the car! Put your motherfucking hands up.” The first verse is incredible. He killed the second verse too. This song is amazing. I really don’t have anything else to say. It’s just a fantastic song. Nas killed this shit, and the hook from Jully Black was great too. This is dope af. 5/5

Final Thoughts:

This is another great album from Nas. I gotta be honest tho. This isn’t nearly as personal as I thought it was gonna be. I mean, it IS very personal compared to Nas’ other work, but the way people talk about this had me thinkin’ that every track would be like Dance or Last Real Nigga Alive. I still really enjoyed the album. It’s great. I think I like this one just a little bit more than Stillmatic. Is it a common opinion that God’s Son is better than Stillmatic? How do most people rank Nas’ albums anyway? I’m pretty sure that God’s Son isn’t considered a classic album, but there are definitely classic songs on this bitch. This album is just more great Nas music. I feel like at this point it was clear who Nas was as an artist. I don’t really think there are any consistent flaws with this project. It had a great start, and it got slightly weaker in the middle and towards the end, but that’s the case with most of Nas’ albums up to this point. I also noticed that I enjoyed the solo tracks a lot more than most of the songs with features. I don’t know if that’s exclusive to this album, or if it’s always been that way & I just never noticed it. Anyway, I fuck with this album. It’s dope.

Favorite Song: Last Real Nigga Alive

Least Favorite Song: Zone Out

Verdict:

84%

HOTTTTT

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5 comments

  1. This was a cool album really showed that Nas still had a lil energy left with the music, there’s two versions of Thug’z Mansion on “Better Dayz” there’s the Nas mix (on Disc 1) and a version with Anthony Hamilton that is more on the Soul tip (Disc 2). Though back to this album. I can safely say I never cared for the Braveharts aside for their appearance on the 2001 compilation”QB’s Finest” on the second to last track and even then I find it difficult to like.

    One thing that’s clear is that Nas grew up in between Stillmatic and this release, and this is actually probably one of his better joints in the mixed bag that is his discography. And this is coming from someone who really has never cared for his discography.

    Anywho great job kid.

    Liked by 1 person

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