What’s up with that new Nas, Ashanti & Ja Rule song? Following his highly publicized fallout with Hot 97 Nas flipped out and went on the Wendy Williams show (Power 105.1) buggin about how Hip-Hop is all *****ed up and saying how Nore and Camron’s albums is all garbage and a host of other derogatory ***** directed at Funkmaster Flex, Jay-Z and a certain rapper from St. Louis who’s name is not even worth mentioning. Now we were truly feeling that, even though Nas was a bit off point flipping like he did, the ***** he said was mostly true.
Practicing what he preached Nas put out The Lost Tapes. Lacing intelligent lyrics with jazzy soundscapes, The Lost Tapes showcased the type of insight and street knowledge displayed on Illmatic and to a slightly lesser degree on It Was Written. Take the best 6 tracks form Stillmatic and pair them with 6 tracks off The Lost Tapes and you got a true Hip Hop classic. What’s sad is that Nas then immediately turned around and joined forces with Murder Inc. It’s unclear weather the motive to do this was strategic, monetary or was it simply the fact that both Nas and Ja Rule aspire to reincarnate their careers in the image of the late great Tupac Shakur?
What’s clear is that while Nas is talented enough where we can somewhat overlook such a misguided vision, Ja Rule certainly is not. Ja Rule’s lyrics on Pledge compromise Hip-Hop’s greatest soldier and by partaking in such a travesty, Nasir Jones has taken a step backwards as well. Without chronicling Nas and Tupac’s ups and downs including the Queensbridge MC’s new found admiration for his former arch-costal rival, it is hard to find any redemption in Nas lending his vocals to a track featuring a beat from Pac’s So Many Tears and a verse where Ja Rule addresses Death Row records CEO Suge Knight and proceeds to rap to the tune of “if he was here we would ride together”. And if that wasn’t enough, they have the nerve to sample Tupac’s voice at the end of the song. As a recent letter to XXL points out; “There’s no way Pac would have hung with Ja Rule. Despite what Suge thinks Ja Rule is a Pac mini-me”. Frankly speaking, besides the fact that Ja Rule is desperately trying to tap into Pac’s fan base by seemingly imitating him, there are few other similarities between the two. Ja Rule’s message is hopelessly hollow, lacking the intelligence, political relevance and emotional appeal of nearly all of Pac’s work. You can shave your head and get a big tattoo across your belly but that just doesn’t cut it. You can enunciate keynote words by stretching them with a deep howl strikingly reminiscent of Pac’s; *****, you can even star in a movie but there is no way in hell you can capture one iota of the spirit. Let it go. Let Tupac’s legacy live in the minds of millions of fans not some demented fantasy to follow in his footsteps.
Pledge is got to be the *****in’ dumbest, most irreprehensible, disgusting exploitation we have witnessed in modern day rap music. And who to do it better than Ja Rule? The man has already been DMX so it may be time for a change. Ja Rule as the new Tupac is about as legitimate as Justin Timberlake as Bush’s running mate in 2004. Who are you *****in’ kidding Ja Rule? Maybe millions of white suburban fans will buy into your shameless garbage but hey, these are the same people who listen to Nelly and recite the words to Castles in The Sky. Oh tell me why. Tell me why.