CD Hip Hop Is Dead [PA] (CD 869721),
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Hip Hop Is Dead [PA]
1. Money Over Bullsh*t
2. You Can't Kill Me
3. Carry on Tradition
4. Where Are They Now
5. Hip Hop Is Dead
6. Who Killed It?
7. Black Republican
8. Not Going Back
9. Still Dreaming
10. Hold Down the Block
11. Blunt Ashes
12. Let There Be Light
13. Play on Playa
14. Can't Forget About You
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 0007229
Will.I.Am; Kanye West; Scott Storch; Nas; Mark Batson; Salaam Remi; Aaron Fessel; Chris Webber; Paul Cho; Alvin West; Devo Springsteen; Will.I.Am; Kanye West; Scott Storch; Dr. Dre; Nas; Chris Webber; L.E.S.; Mark Batson; Stargate; Salaam Remi; Wyldfyer
Marc Lee; Conrad Golding; John Stahl; Andrew Dawson; Brian Sumner; Kevin Crouse
Personnel: Adam Hill (viola); Vincent Henry (flute, clarinet, soprano saxophone); LeRoi Moore (saxophone); Bruce Purse (trumpet, bass trumpet, flugelhorn); W. Marshall Sealy (French horn); Mark Batson, Salaam Remi (keyboards, drums); Paul Cho, Mike Elizondo (keyboards).
Additional personnel: Marsha Ambrosius, Tre Williams, Chrisette Michele, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Kelis, Snoop Dogg, Game, will.i.am.
Audio Mixers: Dylan Dresdow; Kevin Crouse.
Recording information: Amerycan Studios, Hollywood, CA; Chung King, New York, NY; Encore Studios, Burbank, CA; Hit Factory Criteria, Miami, FL; Legacy Studios, New York, NY; Mandatory Entertainment; NRG Studios, N. Hollywood, CA; Record One Studios, Sherman Oaks, CA; Sony Music Studios, New York, NY; Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA; the Record Plant, Hollywood, CA; The Studio, Philadelphia, PA; Westlake Recording Studios, LA, CA.
Title and all, Nas's eighth solo album clearly intends to spark controversy. But what gives Nasir Jones the right to declare that HIP HOP IS DEAD? For one Nas's 5-mic debut album ILLMATIC represents the best of a by-gone era. Since then he's tried to find his place in the ever-evolving genre, flirting with the mainstream to mixed results, all the while mired in beef with former allies and childhood friends as well industry rivals. The fact that HIP-HOP IS DEAD is the product of his teaming with one of those former(?) rivals, Jay-Z, shows that business trumps beef--as Nas emphasizes on track one, "Money Over Bullshit."
The title cut, with its pounding Iron Butterfly beat and nihilistic lyrics, is profoundly provocative. And while the long-awaited collaboration with Jay-Z on "Black Republicans" will inevitably draw attention, Nas shows he's best on his own--doing his Sam Spade impression in the hard-boiled detective story "Who Killed It"; producing an unapologetic swansong to his hood life in "Not Going Back"; and spitting introspective street poetry in "Can't Forget About You." Nas is past trying to relive his ILLMATIC glory--and that's ultimately the point--yet HIP HOP IS DEAD contains both the gutter ghetto anthems and gritty brilliance that made him a legend in the first place.
Rolling Stone (p.72) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Nas never solves the crime, but his point is implicit -- few MCs are taking the artistic chances he does."
Entertainment Weekly (p.84) - "[D]enser and more grandiose than the minimalist digital funk heard on rap radio." -- Grade: B
Vibe (p.109) - "HIP-HOP IS DEAD is a loud, expansive album, packed with brand names and big ideas -- and is arguably the best thing Nas has done since 1996's IT WAS WRITTEN."
XXL (Magazine) (p.133) - "Nas' latest opus comprises solid lyrics and layered beats and proves that hip-hip isn't dead, it's just been asleep..."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.100) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "A fully realised, painstakingly compiled assault on hip hop's slide into bling-ridden mediocrity."
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Def Jam (USA) 0007229
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