In the words of J. Cole from a little song called "Let Nas Down," if 2Pac was like Jesus, understand that "Nas wrote bible."
With over 20 years of scribing poetry deep, Nas Escobar's discography is a rap national treasure. From Illmatic and It Was Written through Stillmatic, Hip-Hop Is Dead and beyond, the Queensbridge legend's catalog speaks for itself and colors in the line he once left us on "Ain't Hard to Tell," wherein he rhymes: "Deep like shining, sparkle like a diamond." But quotable gems aplenty, one must wonder if it's possible for Esco himself to even have a personal all-time favorite set of tracks from his catalog - and if so, what makes the cut?
With that in mind, Nas was put on the hot seat by REVOLT Music Talk's Andre Harrell, who posed the burning question. Initially stumped ("It's hard to pick a particular one or three"), the wordsmith looked back at his line of pensive material and came out with these cult favorites, including two sleepers from 1999's I Am.
"One Love" one of my favorites because it was two verses formed as letters to the brothers locked up," explained Nas. "You know, you [can] e-mail your homeboys now from prison, but back then you really had to sit down and write your letter, go down and visit somebody," he added, before continuing, "So just that experience as being a teenager, watching friends of mine arrested and myself almost being caught up during that time period and me getting away and some of my friends getting caught, worrying about their well being and realizing the reality out here is no joke."
Esco's other two favorites? ""New York State of Mind Pt. 2" and "Small World" it was, some stories that was kind of — I had fun writing them," he revealed. Skipping over the Illmatic edition of "New York State of Mind" in favor of the underrated sequel and shining a light on I Am's uncrowned gem "Small World," Nas' list is pretty solid. But we can all agree that there's definitely plenty more gems where those three come from.