OK, so I got this album today off iTunes ($9.99). And it's been on the Pod pretty much all day. Having seen these two in concert not too long ago in Atlantic City, I'm sure I was ready to hear some great stuff. But even I was impressed.
Why this album just....excels
: Well, first off, you got one of Hip-Hop greatest emcees, and the heir to the Reggae throne for 13 tracks. But, too be more specfic, they collab very well together. The album's intro "As We Enter" is a fast-paced start that has Nas & Jr. Gong finishing each other bars a la Styles & Jada. However, being this is mostly a Reggae album, the beat stay constant when Damian sings his soul and even slow down as they convey their message of empowerment, survival, struggle, and redemption. The track "Leaders" is a classic Reggae song, sounding like it's from the spirit of Bob himself. This album is very well produced (by Damian & Stephen), and you get nothing but good vibes listening to it. And, as always, Nas brings his A+ game to the album, displaying that thought-provoking flow that made him one Hip-Hop's all-time greats. Hell, they even managed to get Lil' Wayne to snap a bit on "My Generation".
The flaw that holds this back from "Classic" status
: To be honest, I was expecting this to be more of a "Rap/Reggae" album. This came off moreso as a Reggae album featuring a rap artist. Not saying this was neccessarily a bad thing, but a little more diversity would've put the album over the top. Even still, these two blend VERY well, and bring back some feel-good vibes.
Lyricism - 10/10
Production - 9.25/10
Album Cohesiveness - 9.5/10
Replay Value - 9.25/10
Overall - 9.5/10
: This thing is a great piece of work. No bias, no bull, but this album has the potential to make you seriously appreciate good music. Like I said, what makes this album stand out is the fact that you just feel good vibes as the tracks play. It's almost like a concert from start to finish. And I know Reggae has the ability to do that, but adding Nas to that mix tickles your Hip-Hop fancy even more. Honestly, this has "Album of the Year" written all
over it. Trust me, GET this. You won't be dissappointed. Plus, part of the proceeds are going to African relief, with the hopes of building a school in the Congo.
: As We Enter, In His Own Words, My Generation