Ten years ago, fans and critics agreed Nas’ career was pretty much over. Two years had passed since he released two lackluster albums and his most notable song was a collaboration. Adding insult to injury, his rival, Jay-Z, was becoming a rap icon.
When Jay-Z called Nas out by name during the 2001 Summer Jam, it was universally agreed that Nas was dead. Nas rose from the ashes when the people least expected it. He recorded the most vicious comeback diss record in history and followed up with a classic album.
Following his incredible debut album, Illmatic, Nas did not live up to the hype. He attempted to go pop several times and alienated many of his fans. But, he won them all back with two critically acclaimed albums in Stillmatic and God’s Son.
In 2005, he surprised fans when he ended his feud with Jay-Z and signed with Def Jam. But, following the release of Hip Hop is Dead, Nas’ career began a steady decline. Ten years later, Jay-Z is now a successful record executive and Nas is on the verge of being washed up again. This time around, there is no beef between the two, but the people are counting Nas out.
Unlike his last comeback, time is against him as the rapper is nearing 40 years old. Regardless of his age, Nas is confident he will be able to complete his comeback. Working with new producers, Nas thinks he will be able to take over the game again. Nas is putting the pressure upon himself with the title of his latest album, placing himself where he was ten years ago.
Later this year, Nas plans to release his tenth studio album, Stillmatic 2.