Album Details

December 18, 2001
Rap, East Coast Rap, Hardcore Rap

Album Review

Back on the hardcore block and with plenty to prove after two years without a record under his own name, Nas designed Stillmatic as a response: to the rap cognoscenti who thought he'd become a relic, and most of all to Jay-Z, the East Coast kingpin who wounded his pride and largely replaced him as the best rapper in hip-hop. The saga started back in the summer of 2001 with the mixtape "Stillmatic," Nas' answer track to an on-stage dis by Jay-Z. A few months after Jay-Z countered with the devastating "Takeover," Nas dropped the comeback single "Ether" and the full album Stillmatic; tellingly, Jay-Z had already released his response to "Ether" (titled "Super Ugly") before Stillmatic even came out. Dropping many of the mainstream hooks and featured performers in order to focus his rapping, Nas proves he's still a world-class rhymer, but he does sound out of touch in the process of defending his honor. "Ether" relies on a deep-throat vocal repeating the phrase, "F*ck Jay-Z," while "You're da Man" hits the heights of arrogance with a looped vocal sample repeating the title over and over. "Destroy & Rebuild" is a solid defense of his Queensbridge home, and "Got Ur Self A..." is an outstanding track, the best here, complete with chant-along chorus. Despite the many highlights, a few of these tracks (most were produced by either Large Professor or Nas himself) just end up weighing him down: "Smokin'," one of the worst, is an odd G-funk track that would've sounded dated years before its release. Stillmatic certainly isn't as commercial as past Nas output, but it places him squarely behind the times. Facts are facts: he's not the best rapper in the business anymore.
John Bush, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Stillmatic (The Intro)
  2. Stillmatic (The Intro)
  3. Ether
  4. Ether
  5. Got Ur Self A...
  6. Got Ur Self A...
  7. Smokin'
  8. Smokin'
  9. You're da Man
  10. You're Da Man
  11. Rewind
  12. Rewind
  13. One Mic
  14. One Mic
  15. 2nd Childhood
  16. 2nd Childhood
  17. Destroy and Rebuild
  18. Destroy & Rebuild
  19. The Flyest
  20. The Flyest
  21. Rule
  22. Braveheart Party
  23. My Country
  24. Rule
  25. My Country
  26. What Goes Around
  27. Every Ghetto [*]
  28. What Goes Around [*]
  29. Every Ghetto [*]
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