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Nas's Top 10 Iconic Verses

Lyric Batemon
Posted by Lyric Batemon on Jun 16


Nas is not only known for his centered role in the movie “ Belly, but he is also very well known and praised for his influential lyrics in Hip-Hop. From the famous “ If I Ruled the World” featuring Ms. Lauryn Hill to “Oochie Wally”. Here are a 10 of Nas’s best verses!

1. “The way to be, paradise like relaxin', Black, Latino and Anglo-Saxon/Armani, exchange the reins/Cash, Lost Tribe of Shabazz,free at last …”- If I Ruled the World

    This particular verse is a quick summary of what the entire song is about. Listening to the melodious instrumentals, the listener can hear the revolutionary point that Nas conveys. This verse illustrates the unity that has been greatly needed in order for society to progress and flourish. Nas mentions the “ Lost Tribe of Shabazz” speaking of the community of enslaved Africans and her off springs. The verse paints the overall meaning of the song,which is if Nas ruled the world he would free everyone from society's false grip on freedom.     

2. “Cuz we love to talk on a** we gettin'/Most intellectuals will only half listen” - Hip-Hop Is Dead

    “Hip-Hop Is Dead” is one of Nas’ very well versed pieces. The question on whether or not Hip-Hop is dead is a question that has been and is still being asked by many. The industry has come up with  a variety of genres that force artists to place themselves in a category (box), which limits artist's ability , specifically Hip-Hop artist, to meet the expectations of giving knowledge to the audience. In this particular lyric, Nas states the common “ knowledge” the mainstream new age Hip-Hop/Rap artist  rap about are very minute and irrelevant to the whole focus of the Hip-hop music. With Nas being one of the most profound artists in the Hip-Hop movement, he also states that because of the message that is not only hypersexual, but reggresive ; Hip-Hop will not be fully heard like before. Let us all remember that Hip-Hop is not only a personal outlet, but a political movement.

3. “Baby, 'fore we came to this country we were kings and queens/Never porch monkeys, there was empires and Africa called Kush/Timbuktu where every race came to get books/To learn from black teachers who taught Greeks and Romans /Asian, Arabs and gave them gold”- I Know I Can

    “ I Know I Can” was being played in the streets in 2002 as a song that all parents were more than fine with allowing their children to take a listen, including themselves. This lyric displays the basis of Nas’ knowledge and ability to story tell along with providing  authentic facts of the origin of Hip-Hop itself. He does an amazing job with capturing the attention of the audience because he states facts not just punch lines, that  prompt the listener to research and/or think harder on the facts he states in this verse.

4. 'Til it rains and my Timbs stain my socks/'Til I dodge enough shots and the presiding judge/Slams a mallet and says, Life, I'ma guap/Then I cop, then I yacht, then I dock”- Breathe

    As we all know,Nas puts on for New York and with the beginning of this verse, as we can see from the Timbs reference. Nas gives a great insight on how he breathes through the trials and tribulations placed on the black community. Providing the reader with a personal remedy of breathing, Nas also leaves a path of his own foot steps using himself as an influence on how to breathe. What is so smooth about this verse is that he states what he is going to do until he is hit with the unforeseen obstacles society has to offer for him.

5. I feel like a Black Republican, money I got comin' in/Can't turn my back on the hood, I got love for them - Black Republican

    Black Republican may strike you as controversial, but it explains how the artist doesn’t want to turn his back on his community. In this particular verse, Nas explains the actions and life of a black republican. What is the most profound about this verse is that Nas does an amazing job with keeping a common grown/similarity between himself and the black republican. He explains the actions of the black republican and retorts how he cannot partake in the same actions. Nas displays the love for not only his hood, particularly,but for the hood represents the black community.

6. Uh, from a boy to a King/Love the rock diamonds and fancy rings - You Know My Style

    From “You Know My Style”, with this verse, Nas shows great transition of his style. “From a boy to a King”, he illustrates how smoothly his style evolved ( Note, he did not say from a boy to a man to a King). Though we know Nas to be very revolutionary, he still provides the audience with facts, but flow.

7. Morgues full of dead niggaz who is taking money/Morgues full a niggaz who the last shit they ate in their stomach - Ghetto (Remix)

    One of the hardest lyrics by Nas,Nas uses a play on metaphors very well. When he states that the morgues are full of individuals that are taking money, he gives the audience a chance to think about what he is storytelling. He also gives a parallel of the verse and states that individuals that are also sharing the same morgue are residing with meals that were their last and sometimes only. Nas does an amazing job with setting a striking feeling with this verse for the entire song.

8. I need faces mad with frowns when I'm around or I'm wastin fabric/I don't feel greater till my plush pieces cause you to suck your teeth/Till mean-muggin on my clean-thuggin mean nothin- Make The World Go Round

    This a verse that every artist should flow to.Nas let’s the world know that he needs those who are against him just as much as he needs those who are for him. One may say that he just wants to be hated badly, but in a sense he is demanding respect. What is very “ Nas” about this verse is that he states that it would be a waste of fabric if mad faces aren’t around. Everyone can agree that they love the face of a hater when they are stunting in a fresh fit with the “best in the game” title behind their name. What Nas does would mean nothing if he didn’t/doesn’t have someone hating on them. Truthfully, what are you really achieving if no one is hating on you?

9. "Nas is like" Earth, Wind & Fire, rims and tires/Bulletproof glass, inside is the realest driver/Planets in orbit, line 'em up with the stars/Tarot cards, you can see the pharaoh -Nas Is Like

Nas does a great job in this verse with displaying self love as well as a sense of direction with where he is as an artist and person. This verse is very poetic with the list of metaphors and analogies that Nas uses.The verse itself can be the theme of the song because Nas is explaining who he truly is to the audience. This sets the tone of the audience being able to connect on a more personal level with Nas as an artist.

10. I observed this, short term nigga Curtis/His soul he let record execs purchase/They were nervous but now they're wordless/This bitch 50 I spit shit that rips out his cervix - Spastic

    One of the best beefs of all times. The Nas and 50 Cent beef. Focusing less on the beef and more on the lyrics, Nas poetically flows on one of the most hardest disses. Nas uses a great subliminal message that targets a lot of the issues Hip-Hop/Rap artist are up against in the industry. He uses this message as a way to attack ,professionally,50 Cent.This song and verse relates a lot to Nas “ Black Republican” don’t you think?

Lyric Batemon

Written by Lyric Batemon

“It’s Bigger Than Religion;Hip-Hop.”

Topics: Music

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