According to his followers, New York rapper Nas’ new release, The Lost Tapes 2, has been long overdue and picks up where its titular predecessor, The Lost Tapes, left off. It unearths numerous unreleased cuts from the nearly legendary recording sessions for NASIR, Life Is Good, his untitled album, and Hip Hop Is Dead.
This 16-track disc features several prominent performers and producers of the hip-hop genre. It includes Kanye West, Al Jarreau, Pharrell Williams, Hit-Boy and The Alchemist. Keyon Harrold, DJ Khalil, Swizz Beatz, DJ Dahi, RZA, RaVaughn, David Ranier and J. Myers also appear here.
Some critics are already comparing this platter to the original. These comparisons might make a lazy critic’s job easy but they’re unfair and unrealistic. The trick is to focus on the many moments of outstanding production and numerous quality cuts. Here are some of them.
Nas is in the pocket on “Jarreau of Rap (Skatt Attack)” using heavy, NYC-tinged percussion and enticing piano loops. “Royalty” promotes abstinence and serves as a perfect foil to the sex ode, “Tanasia.” “Queens Wolf” scores nostalgia points with its beautiful backdrop. It also reviews what made hip-hops prodigal son popular. The solemn-keyed “QueensBridge Politics” sets off a tuneful tribute to the late artist Prodigy.
This is what people previously missed. The bottom line is fans wanted to hear all of the lost tapes, and now they can. If you’re a fan, check out Nas’ The Lost Tapes 2, if only for “The Art of It.”