Life

Ranking “NASIR’s” Best Songs

LAME OR FLAMES…

NASIR is the 11th studio album by legendary rapper Nas, released on June 15, 2018. Its premiere was live-streamed underneath the Queensboro Bridge in Queens, New York, where Nas is from. Nas hasn’t released an album since 2012’s Life Is Good, making this his first release after a six-year hiatus.

NASIR is the fourth album in a five-album series of releases entirely produced by Kanye West, following Pusha T’s DAYTONA, Kanye’s solo album ye, and Kanye & Kid Cudi’s collaborative album KIDS SEE GHOSTS.

Nas had had praise for working with Kanye:

Here’s my list from least flames to most flames. Song info provided by Genius.

NO. 7 – “Simple Things”

On June 11, 2018, Kanye published a tweet showing urbandictonary.com’s definition of the “Seven Deadly Sins.”

It has been theorized that each song from the album correlates to one of these sins, with “Simple Things” corresponding to “Envy.” Nas notes how jealousy is often disguised as criticism of his personal life, possibly alluding to recent claims by his ex-wife that he was cheating and physically abusing her. He eventually concludes that all he wants is peace for himself, his children, and appreciation for the simple things in life has allowed him to infect the world with his humility.

NO. 6 – “White Label”

“White Label” corresponds to gluttony on the seven deadly sins. Gluttony is similar to greed, but it’s the action of taking too much of something in.  Nas says too much of a good thing can have consequences, “What you love can kill you, like a heart physician who dies from a heart attack.”

NO. 5 – “Bonjour”

Going along with the seven deadly sins theme, “Bonjour” corresponds to lust, which is the need to fulfill unspiritual desires (not just sexual desires, but this is usually what lust is associated with.) Nas echoes the need to fulfill his desires by describing his sexual attraction with women, how to get past their restraint and still get lucky, eating the finest cuisines, drug references, guilt trips, and flaunting how much wealth he has.

NO. 4 – “Cops Shot The Kid” (feat. Kanye West)

Nas and Kanye trade verses about the constant cycle of police brutality against African American youth. “Cops Shot the Kid” corresponds to the deadly sin of wrath.

NO. 3 – “Not For Radio” (feat. Puff Daddy)

A gritty, political statement, mapping out the different racial and financial issues Nas faced after entering the industry. The many cultural nods include references to slavery, religion, and politics. Pride is the deadly sin on this track. Being too self-satisfied, where they boast about Black pride the whole song. Nas later concludes that being overzealous and prideful can lead to irrational behavior.

NO. 2 – “Adam and Eve” (feat. The-Dream)

The deadly sin of being a sloth, (being too slow or lazy at doing something.) Nas talks about his easy daily routine consisting of a morning walk, a cigar, going in the sauna or spa, and passively attracting women by spending money at the Bellagio. He also talks about cutting the fat from the meat, not eating bacon or swine. Even the chorus reflects how the next generation does not stray far from the original roots of their parents, which may reflect a negative connotation that people don’t strive to improve their condition and live a better life than the previous generation.

NO. 1 – “everything” (feat. The-Dream & Kanye West)

Greed, wanting too much of something, is the deadly sin on this track. Kanye’s chorus sets the tone for wanting too much: “If I had everything, everything. I could change anything. If I changed anything, I mean anything. I would change everything, oh yeah.” Nas echoes that sentiment with: “Some people have everything they probably ever wanted in life, and never have enough.”

 

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