I agree with @babymilo Nas could have monotonously spit these bars over any beat. I don’t like how he got this flowery, floating thru the clouds instrumental and just did some typical Nas-Esque wordplay over it. Didn’t really push himself to be different.
I’ve never been a big fan of Nas because I find him boring. Don’t get me wrong I like some Nas songs. But as an artist he’s so one dimensional with a propensity of choosing boring ass production to back his lyrics (I don’t think that’s a conscious decision - I think he just like beats most people find Wack)
The “culture of hip hop” is so much broader than it used to be. Hip hop artists sing, produce, rap, dance, act, design now - and it’s cinsidered the norm. Nas is a relic of the era when all you had to do was spit to be impressive. Nowadays that’s considered one dimensional unless you got a strong message (Cole). Eminem and Nas don’t really have a strong message nowadays. They’ve said what they needed to say.
@darrenlaking Years/experience shouldn’t prevent people from changing. I think Jay Z is a vet who changed with the times and was sure to remain multi dimensional. Which is why he skyrocketed past Nas 15 years ago. Crazy to think these two were at the same level 20 years back. There’s really no comparison anymore