Thursday, January 27, 2005

Review 2

Nas & Statik Selektah - The Prophecy


01 - Nas Prophecy Introduction Not Rated
Just some samples and some talking introducing the tape.

02 - Reporting Live from Central Park Not Rated
Another intro, Nas at a concert from Central Park. Whatever. Get into the mixtape, dammit!

03 -
Wiseguys feat Styles P (World Premier) 3.5 Stars
A flashy beat that doesn't sound over-produced, claps and a lot of orchestral instruments. Nas's verse is a lot of bragging, but Nas pulls it off, somewhat. Styles P does the usual gangsta rap, and he pulls it off even less. A dissapointing track.

04 -
Push It Up (Prod D-Dot) 4 Stars
The beat, produced by D-Dot of Notorious B.I.G. fame, uses very nice drumming and strings on the background. Nas puts up another "New York State of Mind"-type verse (although, obviously not as good). It's just 1 verse, so it doesn't tire the listener.

05 - Jonesin' feat Scram Jones (Prod Scram Jones) 4.5 Stars
I always thought this kid Scram Jones had talent, and the beat re-affirms that. Warr-ish, with trumpets and military drumming and horns. Nas spits his best verse in this mixtape yet. Scram, who, to my knowledge at least, is white, sounds suprisingly non-corny. His voice is baritone and graspy, sounding almost like Shyne (who in turn sounds like Biggie) but with not such a low pitch. Scram doesn't dissapoint, it's another punchline-filled verse, even switching his beats.

06 - Serious feat AZ 5 Stars
This track was for whatever reason, cut from Street's Disciple. The beat is active, with piano samples and crazy drumming and trumpet samples. Nas and AZ trade bars, which is always special. Very nice track.

07 -
Nas Interlude Not Rated
NO ONE CARES. If I wanted to listen to a Nas speak his mind, I would on an interview, but right now, I want to listen to his music. Damn.

08 - Eastside Story feat The Ghost & Biggie 4.5 Stars
The beat uses a some light piano keys and a nice bassline, plus a synth in the background. This is the "Westside Story" instrumental, I think. Nas, of course, drops a very nice verse. Then "The Ghost" comes in, who, unfortunately he's not Ghostface. Apeareantly he's from D-Block. He sounds like Styles P, its punchline-filled and entretaining, but not all that great. Then they sample Biggie from "If I Die for a Wake", and of course its good.

09 - Nas for President Interlude Not Rated
This is actually interesting on a first listen. But then, you never wanna hear it again.


10 -
Dead Prezidence 5 Stars
This uses Jay-Z's "Dead Presidents" instrumental, which samples Nas's "The World Is Yours Remix". Then puts "The World Is Yours Remix" acapella over it. It works very well.


11 -
Live From Central Park Not Rated
Can this motherfucker play 2 songs straight? I mean, if this was the 1st time, itd be cool but...

12 - Virgo (FreshFest Remix) feat Luda, Doug Fresh & Slick Rick 2 Stars
Slick Rick only does the intro and sings at the end. And they put extra beatboxing from Doug E. Fresh, plus a piano. It'd be much better if they had Slick Rick do a verse, and just use completely different beatboxing, instead of putting more shit on the original beatboxing.

13 - Nas Interlude 2 Not Rated
Fuck, man, play 2 songs through. I mean, its interesting to hear what Nas has to say, but right now, I want music.

14 - Stay Chizzled 2005 feat Prodigy (New Lyrics) 5 Stars
Using a deep, funk-inspired bassline and sped up string samples, the beat is actually great. Nas drops another nice verse, and Prodigy comes in with a suprisingly good verse, considering this *is* 2005. Nas comes in with a second verse that is better than the other 2. Cool shit.

15 - Affirmative Action 2004 feat AZ & Cormega (New Nas Verse) 4 Stars
I didn't know this pella was out. They use Fabo's "Breathe" instrumental, and I just love how they put that active beat instead of the original solo Italian-inspired, relax beat. AZ spits some nice stuff. I think he's very underrated. Mega's debut verse was meh, even though he is really good. Nas spits a new verse, and it's twice as long, with multisyllables and a stream-of-consciousness style.

16 -
Sosa vs The State feat AZ (Prod Dr. Dre) 5 Stars
This AZ/Nas/Dre combination obviously means this is one of those unreleased Firm tracks. Dre shoots for a cinematic feel, achiveing it with orchestra-type instrumentation to build a tension accentuated by AZ's story of facing the judge. Nas storytells on AZ, telling the same story about AZ's trouble with the law, except from the prosecution's perspective. Great and original.

17 - Life's Still A Bitch feat AZ (Prod Mad) 3 Stars
This mixes the classic "Life's A Bitch" song by Nas & AZ. I don't know who Mad is (Madlib?), but this beat, with it's sped-up singing on the hook which carries over to the same melody except with instruments and vocalizing. It actually turn more interesting later with interesting a violin sample, except a sped-up singing "Ah" sample ruins it. The hook sounds cool with that melody and vocalizing. AZ, of course, drops his best verse ever, and Nas doesn't dissapoint either. The beat seems more suited for Nas, although the sped-up vocal sample still sorta ruins it. Obviously, this is not as good as L.E.S.'s original or The Arsenal's b-side remix of the song, but the lyrics are still amazing, while the beat is not enough to ruin it.

18 - Nas Interlude 3 Not Rated
Pretty interesting, if not for showing Nas's huge, erratic ego speaking a little there.

19 - For The Love of You feat The Isley Brothers 5 Stars
AKA "Good Morning". This a song cut from "Street's Disciple", it is ill, describing shit that happens in this morning. It has an Isley Brothers sample.

20 - U.B.R. (Golden Era Mix) 3 Stars
U.B.R. was a pretty good track, even though the beat was so-so. They use "golden era" samples like the bassline from "Paid In Full" or the electric guitar from "Rock Box" all over the orignal beat. Interesting, but not for a while.

21 -
Faster Life feat Kool G Rap (80's Blend) 5 Stars
They use 80's beats. I don't know what the first beat is, but it works, even if it's a little to mellow. Nas is great, and G. Rap absolutely kills it. After Nas's verse, they use the music from Dennis Edwards & Siedah Garrett's "Don't Look Any Further", scratching it to extend it through Nas's & G. Rap's back-and-forth.

22 - Analyze This (No Love Lost) feat Jay-Z 4 Stars
This is the rumored Nas/Jay-Z/Lord Tariq track. Well, Jay-Z and Tariq made a song called "No Love Lost" with Shaq. For whatever reason, someone merged those Jay-Z and Tariq vocals with this Nas song called "Analyze This". Tariq's vocals are cut on this version, and they add some samples. The beat is very light using high-pitched samples, and horn hits and a low bass. Jay-Z and Nas's verses are straight 90's stuff. Jay-Z's performance suffers from being too repetitive. Nas drops a much better verse, not "Illmatic" shit, but good shit regardless.

23 - Thief's Theme feat ODB & Low Key (DJ Premier ''Pop Shots'' Remix) 5 Stars
Shit. This is uses the DJ Premier-produced "Pop Shots" instrumental , and adds UK artist Low Key, who is good, but he can't hang with Nas and ODB. Nas is amazing, and ODB is ODB.

24 - You Know My Style (Showoff Records Remix) 3 Stars
This is a lackluster Nas performance. It's good, but it could have been, much better. The beat is light-hearted, with a flute sample, it all sounds 80's pop or some shit. It works suprisingly well, though.

25 - 1 Plus 1 feat Large Proffesor (Unreleased) 4.5 Stars
Large Pro drops another laid-back instrumental, it sounds like "You're Da Man", with a soft piano sample. Nas drops another street poetry verse, except he brags a little too much. Large Pro drops a verse that impresses me. A good combination of artists, and a good song.

26 - How We Live feat Termanology 5 Stars
This sounds vaguely reminiscent of "One Mic" in its soft stages. Obviously it doesn't have the same build-up or epic feel, but it has a similar instrumentation and drumming. Nas goes with street poetry built on references and metaphors, although some could be seen as old or tired (the Jerry McGuire reference, for example), but I'm guessing this is because this song is old and not released until now. Some chick drops a pretty good hook. Termanology (?) comes in and impresses me alot, he actually might have out-rhymed Nas. The beat breaks down during his verse gradually, accentuating the "One Mic" feel. Great song.

27 - Imagine feat John Lennon 5 Stars
This uses "Imagine" by John Lennon as a background, and some singing. Nas drops a real nice verse, I posted the lyrics a bit back. Best song on here.

28 - Nas Outro Not Rated
Nas speaks about the DJ's the record companies, the CD, etc. over a re-worked "One Love" beat, something I actually like. For whatever reason, there's 50 seconds of silence after this. No, there is no hidden track.
An inconsistent mixtape, with its fair share of ups and downs. Nas fans will eat it up, but the casual listener better be ready to hit that skip button.
Final Score: 4.04761905 (Not kidding).
Rounded to: 4 Stars Out Of 5

3 Comments:

Blogger macq said...

>Large Pro drops another laid-back instrumental, it sounds like "You're Da Man",

Thats a good thing cus your da man is the best song of stillmatic in my opinion

4:36 PM  
Blogger Zodiac Digital said...

i couldnt choose my favorite off of stillmatic, although youre da man is one of them

5:46 PM  
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