Wednesday, March 23, 2011

90's Jams #24: Nas "The World Is Yours" (1994)

"The World Is Yours" is not normally the choice track for most fans of Illmatic (afterall "It Ain't Hard To Tell" has possibly the best Michael Jackson sample ever) so hear us out:

You know those godawful turds from the 80's like "Dreams" by Van Halen, or the themesong to Perfect Strangers, where the lyrics start preaching bullshit like "Put your mind to it! Don't give up! You can do anything!" But even worse were those old motivational dudes at high school assemblies wearing leather jackets trying to be cooler than The Fonz. You can't just put on a pair of shades like it's a Halloween costume and turn on the "badass." And "hope" is not an easy message to express effortlessly. Even before hearing any of the lyrics to "The World Is Yours," something about Pete Rock's drum and jazz samples just convey empowerment and comfort. By the way, between Pete Rock, DJ Premiere AND Large Professor, Illmatic was without question the best sounding hiphop record of the 90's, and Nas perfectly flows within each of these songs exuding both confident street toughness and human vulnerability. The outro of this especially is just a natural antidepressant, hearing Nas shout out all the boroughs.. "To everybody in Queens, The world is yours.. Long Island.. Staten Island.. South Bronx, the world is yours.."

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