But that said, I don't totally agree with you that none of those things worked for him. Some people already touched on some of my points but I have a few things to add so I'll try to go point by point.
>When Nas took chances it never worked for him. Why? I mean,
>"You Owe Me", "You Want See Me Tonight"
These didn't work critically with his die hards but they were successful in the mainstream. That said, they were awful, awful songs. And he certainly didn't fit on that style of song. He attempted to step outside his comfort zone(s) and as far as quality goes, he did fail. As far as what I think he set out to do with the songs (sell > quality) he succeeded.
>Untitled LP, Hip Hop
>is Dead LP and other "Against The Grain" attempts to make a
These didn't fail at all, IMO. HipHop is Dead and Untitled both sold fairly well. They also produced some midstream hits. At the same time, they maintained a high quality IMO (I love most of both, only a few duds on each), and I think also the opinion of his truer fans who appreciate what he tried to do conceptually while still maintaining that certain rawness that most of us want out of Nas because that's where he sounds his best.
>It seem like he always fall a little short unless
>he make his RAW Nasty Nas songs that we all seem to love. His
>commercial attempts or "concept" LP's always seem to not be
This is what I meant by "victim of his early success". Illmatic worked because it was so short, he was able to stay in his most comfortable zone, which is that raw, ghetto poetry and narratives. Of course the production didn't hurt either. But let's be honest, as lyrically potent as that album is it's not as if he was switching up flows and changing from song to song. Most songs flowed much the same. Don't get me wrong, it's PERFECT in my opinion, I'm just saying it's not like he was switching flows from song to song. It was just so short that the boom bap and rawness of that album didn't have a chance to get stale. And also, again, the beats never get old.
But in my experience, most of the people who bitch and moan about Untitled and HipHop is Dead (whether it's because they are attempts at "concept albums" or because they aren't "raw" enough, which by the way isn't true at all...listen to Money Over Bullshit) are people that are absolutely fixated on Illmatic and will never ever be satisfied unless he drops Illmatic2. I think Nas lacks the dynamic personality and presence which would have allowed him to succeed in his attempts at mainstream hits, but I don't think he's failed quite like you put it. He's had his ups and downs like any MC ever, but I think he's had far far more highs than lows.
Oh...and Distant Relatives was dope as fuck too. I love that that was the road he took for his collaboration album. I saw them live at the House of Blues in Boston and they were incredible.
Now, Nas is my favorite MC but it appears taking
>chances never jump off for him....or do they in your opinion?
"Fuck aliens." © WarriorPoet415