Barack Obama + 2Pac + Nasty Nas = TEH WIN!!!!
Nas is ill as ever on this track, dropping lyrical bombs every which way. But as usual, the beat is pedestrian compared to the rapping, but that comes with the territory with a Nas song. The beat is not bad per se, it is just rather bland compared to the fire that Nas spits on the mic. Then again, Nas is just too good of a lyricist that no hip hop beat can really match his lyrics, except on Illmatic, but that took the fortuitous alignment of the nine planets and a virgin sacrifice, which is another way of saying that nothing before and after can touch Illmatic.
Now, onto the song itself. I feel that it is inspired choice to sample the voices of Barack Obama and 2Pac, as it deliberately draws a contrast between then and now. The 2Pac sample, from “Changes” (an appropriate source), says “although it seems heaven sent/we ain’t ready to see a black president.” Contrast that to the Barack Obama sample, which says “they said this day would never come/they said our sights were set too high. When I first heard this, it sent shivers down my spine.
And Nas shows why he is, hands down, the best rapper alive: no other rapper combines social commentary with sheer technical prowess like Nas does. Damn, I hope this track ends up on his next album.
It’s really crazy now that I think about it: this is truly a historic moment, and I am proud as fuck that I’m an American, and that we are a country that has done this. I think amidst the bitter primary campaign, we have forgotten just how incredible this moment is: for the first time since the country’s inception, we were either going to make an African American or woman the presidential candidate of a major political party. I know I talk a lot of shit about America sometimes, but deep down, I truly love this country, and this is one of the major reasons why.
On a side note, I’m curious what kind of music Obama listens to. I know he’s a baller, and if he listens to hip hop (and I pray that he listens to the good shit, like Nas), that will be an interesting change. It’s time an American president played the sports of the people, not some elitist and/or bullshit sport like gulf or bowling.