Kinfolks “Escobar Season” has returned partly cloudy with a chance of sloppy production, if I’m being honest.
Nasir the highly anticipated 11thstudio album from Nas was released on June 15, the fourth in a series of weekly Kanye(Koonye) West produced releases from the G.O.O.D. Music label. When I first heard that West was producing the album I was excited, but after his antics on TMZ and after hearing his offering “Ye’” I was immediately scared and with good reason. “Ye’” sounded thrown together, unpolished, and definitely not up to the standard I am used to hearing from West. He is known for being a perfectionist where production is concerned, not exactly sure where that Kanye is, but I need him back! One thing I liked with regards to these Kayne produced albums is the are all 7 songs. Y’all know how I feel about albums with more than 10 songs, it’s overkill! I’m not interested after 10, give me your best 10 and I’m good! Spare me the unnecessary skits and songs that should have been left on the floor in the studio. But enough of that let’s get to what you came for.
Not For Radio Featuring Puff Daddy
This cinematic track sounds like West trying to recreate the magic of “Hate Me Now,” it missed the mark for me. Sometimes we should leave well enough alone. Nas is rhyming about some important topics, but it sounds like he is reading an Audible book.
Cop Shot The Kid Featuring Kanye West
This song starts with a classic sample of hip-hop legend Slick Rick’s “Children Story,” I must admit that I was instantly drawn in based on the sample alone. Nas rhymes about the killing of unarmed black men by the police. He masterfully conveys the sentiments of many, the song becomes problematic when Kanye decides to hop his “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) ass on the song after endorsing 45’s despicable ass! It’s complete hypocrisy and he should have been left off! PERIOD.
Nas gets more introspective on this song and highlights the topic of greed. He discusses how too much of a good thing can turn into something negative and at times become destructive. He has always been a great storyteller and effortlessly conveys his message on this song.
Bonjour Featuring Tony Williams
This track basically picks up where ‘White Label’ left off and we find Nas discussing how his unsavory desires need to be fulfilled. This is clear from his descriptions of foods mixed with drug references, and his overtly sexual references to women. Nas’s wordplay is unmatched and the general vibe of this song sells it for me.
everything Featuring The-Dream and Kanye West
This song is a duet between Kanye West and The-Dream that no one asked for! Kanye is still giving us tired auto-tune and The-Dream gives his best Stevie Wonder impersonation and fails! All that trash aside Nas gives me the lyrical content and storytelling that I expect from him. He discusses his desire to change the world and changing his former mindset. The melodic instrumental with Nas’s vocal would have been just fine for me. This is my favorite song from the album sans The-Dream & Kanye. This song sounds like the Kanye production I expected after waiting 6 years for an album. This level of production is what I was anticipating from the whole album.
Adam and Eve Featuring The-Dream
Yet another track that deserved a different vocalist. I am not a fan of The-Dream paired with Nas. It doesn’t work for me The-Dream sounds like he is trying to do a Nina Simone impression and he is failing miserably! A stronger female vocal would have sounded better, maybe Jazmine Sullivan. Nas describes his daily routine and also gives us his thoughts on next generation. This is another favorites sans The-Dream.
On this track, Nas describes the overall envy that people have over a stripped down instrumental. The song sounds incomplete and honestly not long enough to really critique. Definitely not the ending I was expecting.
Was Nasir worth the six-year wait? No. Is the album terrible? No. Did Kanye West live up to my expectations where production is concerned? Hell f*ck naw! This album is definitely not in my “Top 5” Nas albums and that’s partly because I don’t think Nas got the best version of Kanye what with his mental health issues and current laziness production wise. He is clearly sloppily producing these albums because he knows that general public will still buy them regardless of whether it’s good or not! Nas and the fans got the short end of the stick with this album. I expected more after waiting 6 years. Hopefully, Nas is back in the studio with another set of producers because this album leaves me wanting a new project ASAP. I expect more from hip-hop legends. But as I always say don’t take my word for it. Listen and draw your own conclusions.
Whut, say you?