The Nastradamus Album Turns 15 Years Old Today…So I’m Going To Defend It!

DISCLAIMER: I am a Nas fan to the CORE! He’s my favorite rapper ever and I will admit some biased in the way that I speak about him because my fandom could possibly supersede my hip-hop knowledge. I’ve felt from jump the majority of the hip-hop community has been wrong about this album. I am finally getting a chance to put 15 years of solid arguments into one post. My only request is…that if you feel my stance isn’t right, Prove Me Wrong. Let’s Go!
Nastradamus cover

On November 23rd, 1999 Nas, coming off a great spring and Summer dropped his 4th solo album Nastradmus for the fall of 1999, which was also his 2nd album in the same calendar year which was uncharacteristic for the Emcee that was known to drop an album every 2 years. DMX got great praise for dropping 2 albums in 1 year and he was a brand new artist. Nas on the other hand was painted as “Dropping a Dud” and his Nastradamus reviews were mixed in the media and deemed “Trash” among hip-hop’s community. I feel today as I did in November of ’99. Overall, Nastradamus is a VERY GOOD ALBUM!

It’s terribly hard to follow up an album like “I Am…” That album got 4.5 Mics in The Source, produce one of the greatest “For My Haters” Anthems of all time and has features from Aaliyah, Scarface and DMX on it. Add great stories like Undying Love and his “Hood Socially Conscious” effort with “I Want To Talk To You” and seemingly there was NEVER going to be an album that he could follow that up with in the same year that would be deemed as “better”. For the masses April 6th, 1999 seem worlds away but the music from that album was still getting heavy spin in fall of the same year.

Is Nastradamus a classic? NO! I’ve NEVER SAID THAT nor would I ever believe it. Is Nastradamus a whack album? NO! I’ve NEVER SAID THAT nor would I ever believe it.

I’ve always said if you take The Prediction, The Outcome and You Owe Me off of this album, you’re down to 12 tracks and people’s opinion on the album changes drastically. You can take or leave The Nastradamus song. I say take because it’s not a bad track at all. “You Owe Me” SUCKS! But it’s also Nas biggest hit if Im not mistaken. I didn’t like that song when I first copped the album and when they made a video and made it a single…I felt my world crumbling. I thought the “Hydrodrops Skit” was HORRENDOUS! I don’t cop Nas Albums for skits. Not even sure why he tried that.

How can this Album be whack with the following tracks on it?
“Life We Chose”
“Project Windows” (featuring Ronald Isley)
“Come Get Me”
“Shoot ‘Em Up”
“Last Words” (featuring Nashawn)
“Family” (featuring Mobb Deep)

That’s 6 “No Stretch” hot joints on the album. The album itself is 15 tracks and 2 of the tracks aren’t songs. So now your down to 6 of 13 and I didn’t list either of the lead singles for the album. So let’s say you liked only 1 of those joints….You’re now at 7 of 13 for this album. Which is now the majority of the album.

I like New World just because they sampled “Africa” by Toto. “God Loves Us” and “Quiet Ni**as” speak for themselves. You either like that brand of content or you don’t. Nas attempts to switch up the flow on “Big Girl” and you can take or leave it. “Some of Us Have Angels”…Honestly, I think DMX should have been on it or it should have been his song. The concept and production is so “Darkman X” that honestly Dame Grease should have just let that one go if X didn’t want it.

How is a album primarily produced by L.E.S and Dame Grease called trash!?! Then Havoc and DJ Premier got a track on here. This album is being disrespected because there was no “Hate Me Now Part 2” on it. It was said that “Nas was going too commercial” so he literally gives you an album that’s 80% street joints and B-Sides and you s**t on it.

The Greatest Lie Jay-Z ever made people believe is “Nas had 1 hot album in 10 years”.
Illmatic is certified classic
It Was Written is creatively his best album
I Am… If you don’t like “I Am” you’re an Idiot
Nastradamus is only flawed because of what I stated above

Nastradamus is NOT BETTER Than “I Am…” The only thing this album signifies is Nas was unable to outdo himself in the same year. You can make the argument that Nas first 3 albums were better than it’s predecessor. Nastradamus is the album that song for song, isn’t better than any of the first 3 albums, which is why it is judged so harshly. It was also put together in the shortest time span. We got Stillmatic Fall/Winter 2001…See the trend here?

Nastradumus was nowhere near Nas best work. I want to know his thought process of this album because it is definitely in the bottom 3 of his overall catalog. However, you throw this album in a couple other rappers catalogs and it becomes 1 of their Top 5. If nothing else, listen to the 6 tracks I stand by on this album and tell me they’re whack…I’d love to hear why.

 

And now…for my favorite track on the album

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