It was 20 years ago that Nas delivered “street's disciple / my raps is trifle / I shoot slugs from my brain just like a rifle” debuting as Nasty Nas on Main Source's “Live At The Barbeque”. Despite our beckonings, Nas has rarely been as “nasty” as his days leading up to Illmatic. Last year was spent severly blunted delivering the messages of African ancestry and plight with Damian Marley, for example. But without much warning, Nasty Nas returned today thanks to a leak from Funkmaster Flex.
The first single from Nas' upcoming Life Is Good album is called “Nasty” and it makes good on its claims. The track begins with found footage of a Nas show in Queensbridge, in which a hype man is asking the burough if it's ready for “Nasty Nas”. Produced by Salaam Remi, “Nasty” affirms that Nas has not lost a step, nor is in the winter of his career. It's a back to basics format that gives Nas plenty of room to squeeze precisely with the same structure that earned him the moniker as couplets like “any rebuttle to what I utter / get boxcuttered / count how many bad honeys I sluttered / it's a high number / name a nigga under the same sky that I'm under / who gets money, remains fly / yeah, I wonder?” as though he's 18 again.