Another crazy comparison
John Lennnon & Nas.
In a new Nas tape I promise to review soon, I heard Nas put a quick verse on top of the classic-est John Lennon track, "Imagine". This led to this crazy comparison.
Instrumentation: Do I really need to speak on the Beatles here? Lennon's solos, however, were a lot different from his group albums, featuring pianos and flutes and a lot of different, fresh compositions. Nas's songs, at their best, feature DJ Premier's, Pete Rock's, and Large Pro's jazzy, soulful feel. Nas definitely also strives for different sounds, as evidenced in more recent albums like "God's Son" or "Street's Disciple".
Lyrics: Nas's main topic is street poetry and story-telling, plus socially-conscious lyricism and the occasional brag-rap. Lennon went a very similar route, poetic lyrics and story-telling plus social-consciousness.
Other: "If I Ruled the World" is very similar to "Imagine", lyrics-wise. The instrumentation is much different, "If I Ruled the World" is faster and R&B-inspired while "Imagine" is a slower, piano-driven song.
Conclusion: Strangley similar artists. If I had to pick a rapper who most closely resembles Lennon's music, I'd probably pick Nas or maybe Talib Kweli.
Nas featuring John Lennon - "Imagine"
Its pretty good for being an obscure, mixtape-only remix.
"Our parents sing like John Lennon, 'Imagine all the people watch'
we rock like Paul McCarteny from now until the last Beatle drop"