[Sweet Spill Album REVIEW]-Nas “Lost Tapes 2”

Sweetspill.com gives their view on Nas’ “Lost Tapes 2” with a track by track analysis. The album was released July 19, 2019 as a compilation of unused records from various album sessions over the years.

Overall scoring of “Lost Tapes 2” album by SweetSpill.com:

🍷🍷🍷 + a glass half full

(3.5 glasses/5 glasses)

1. “No Bad Energy”-One of the stand out tracks on the album! Even though the song is from a 2016 session with Swizz Beats, it still sounds as current as it would if it were produced yesterday. The beat is a gritty nostalgic sound mixed with a majestic feeling of royalty. The song is the perfect introduction for setting the tone of the album…..good vibes only ! Overall judgement: 👍🏾

2. “Vernon family”-This song is an uptempo production by Pharrell Williams. Nas rides the beat with perfect delivery yet fails to meet the mark of creating the perfect song. The beat becomes monotonous and predictable after awhile making the song less impressive. Nas also flirts too much with sexist ideals. With lyrics such as “what are you becoming//The man or the woman-play your position”, Nas is most likely craving femininity from the women he speaks of but his delivery is borderline condescending. Overall judgement: 👎🏾

3. “Jarreau of Rap”-This song is completely out of the box and one of the most different attempts in rap i have ever heard! I can admit I was not a fan after the first listen but after listening and sitting with it for a few days I developed an appreciation for his homage to the scatting craft in jazz. The average fan can understand Nas’ love and gravitation to jazz especially since he is the son of a jazz musician. Although Nas was able to maintain a flow on a complicated beat, the song is no where close to being as strong as the greater counterparts of the album. Overall judgement: 1/2

4. “Lost Freestyle”-This song (produced by Statik Selektah) is a strong asset to the album! This song is the epitome of hip hop, especially with half of the second verse being a real freestyle. A lost artform which Nas still can prove that he does well! Overall judgement: 👍🏾

5. “Tanasia”-Stand out record where Nas showcases his element of storytelling on a nostalgic Wu-tang feel produced by the Wu’s own, RZA. RZA’s signature gritty sound merged with synthesizers almost feels like a Wutang record featuring Nas!! Overall judgement: 👍🏾

6. “Royalty”-Signature Nas record where he reminds black men and women who they were and who they should continue to be. This Hit-Boy produced beat is one of the more likable beats on the record with plenty variations and interesting loops. Although Nas’ message can be appreciated and the verses are superb, the chorus does come off as abrasive and domineering. Overall judgement: 1/2

7. “Who are you”-A stand out record with production by Eric Hudson (left over from the 2012 “Life is Good” album session). Nas delivers a prominent flow over a smooth beat addressing the credibility of naysayers. Sonically, this song is perfect from its production, the chorus and Nas’ delivery throughout. Overall Judgement: 👍🏾

8. “Adult film”-This song is from the same Swizz Beatz 2016 session as “No Bad Energy”. The beat features a heavy complicated piano piece throughout the song mixed with Nas’ flawless storytelling element. The chorus ruins the song with a less than melodic effort from Swizz Beatz himself. The singing becomes the crux of the entire song, making a potentially good song unbearable. Overall judgement: 👎🏾

9. “War against love”-On this Dj Dahi and Dj Khalil produced beat, Nas presents his perspective of black society (in all locations), where it’s been historically and where it is now currently. Nas’ concern with a system being built against his people shines through as much as his hope for the future. Overall judgement: 👍🏾

10. “The art of it”-Produced by hip hop icon Pete Rock, the song was recorded during the “Life is good” session. The song has a classic grungy New York feel Pete Rock is known for making it refreshing to hear Nas’ flow in response. Nas’ intensity and lyricism is also on a high level. Overall judgement: 👍🏾

11. “Highly favored”-This RZA produced song is the second production featured on this album by the Wu tang veteran. This song is as nostalgic to Wu tang as “Tanasia” with similar (but different) looped synthesizers carried throughout. Nas delivers consciousness to his listeners flawlessly. Overall judgement: 👍🏾

12. “Queen’s Wolf”-the beat serenades with violins and pianos while Nas tells a story of what life was like in his adolescence. The cheap singy chorus isn’t the best but his storytelling from his own eyes at a younger age makes up for it. Overall judgement: 1/2

13. “It never ends”-Produced by the Alchemist; Nas uses posthumous Biggie lyrics from “Come on” as his chorus as a tribute. Nas took Biggie’s concept of bragging about guns and turned it into a cautionary tale for his listeners while still paying homage to the late BIG. Overall judgement: 👍🏾

14. “You mean the world to me”-Produced by Kanye; the song is more entertaining before the repetitive sample overpowers Nas. Even when the sample is quieted, the song sounds incomplete and loses what was left of its bass. The production of the song is very strange and sounds more like an interlude than a full song. Overall judgement: 👎🏾

15. “Queensbridge Politics”-stand out dope song! Nas is back in his element with a pure hip hop beat produced by hip hop icon Pete Rock. Nas also salutes the legends from his hometown Queens and his views on the late Prodigy from Mobb Deep. Nas also mentions his regret of Prodigy writing about him and others in his book “My Infamous Life” and not making amends with Prodigy before he died. Overall judgement: 👍🏾

16. “Beautiful life”-The song is undoubtedly leftover from the 2012 “Life is good” album session. He raps a lot about his ex wife Kelis and women who are the object of a failed relationship. Nas victimizes himself a lot in the record, where we rarely hear his accountability for the failed relationship. He also chants how life is still good, yet it feels very forced where he is trying to convince the listener he’s good whether he is or not. The bitter overtone on the record can put a bad taste in the listener’s mouth-even though the songs isn’t that bad. Overall judgement: 1/2

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