Nasir (album)

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Nasir
Nasir by Nas cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released June 15, 2018
Studio Kanye West's ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Genre Hip hop
Length 26:29
Label
Producer
Nas chronology
Life Is Good
(2012)
Nasir
(2018)
TBA
(2018)

Nasir (stylized in all caps) is the eleventh studio album by American rapper Nas. It was released on June 15, 2018 through Mass Appeal Records and Def Jam Recordings. It succeeds Nas album Life Is Good, released six years prior in 2012. The album features an appearance from Kanye West, as well as Puff Daddy, 070 Shake, Tony Williams, and The-Dream.

The album is executive produced by West, and is the fourth of five seven-track albums West produced in what has become known as the "Wyoming Sessions",[1][2] with each album being released weekly. It follows the release of Pusha T's Daytona, West's ye, and West's collaboration with Kid Cudi entitled Kids See Ghosts, and precedes the release of Teyana Taylor's K.T.S.E.. Nasir was met with mixed reviews from critics, and debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200, while the song "Cops Shot the Kid" charted at number 96 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background

American musician DJ Khaled's 2016 album Major Key featured a track titled "Nas Album Done" with Nas which announced the completion of his album. The same year, Kanye West expressed his wish to produce an album by Nas, seemingly promising Barack Obama that he would achieve this.[3][4]

In May 2017, Nas' brother, Jungle, made a post on Instagram in a recording studio with the hashtag #NasAlbumAlmostDone.[5]

Release and promotion

In April 2018, Kanye West announced that he was producing Nas' new album with a release date of June 15, 2018.[6] West later released an incomplete track listing of the five albums he was working on, revealing the Nas track "Everything".[7] On June 12, West revealed a full tentative tracklist for the album, while the album title and cover art was revealed on June 14, a day before release.[8]

A listening party for the album took place on June 14, 2018 in Queensbridge, New York City and was streamed via Mass Appeal's YouTube channel.[8]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
AnyDecentMusic? 5.8/10[9]
Metacritic 58/100[10]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[11]
The A.V. Club B−[12]
Exclaim! 5/10[13]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[14]
Mojo 2/5 stars[15]
MusicOMH 4/5 stars[16]
NME 3/5 stars[17]
Pitchfork 6.1/10[18]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[19]
XXL 4/5[20]

Nasir was met with generally mixed reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 58, based on 16 reviews.[10]

For The A.V. Club, Colin McGowan praised Kanye West's "lavishly triumphant production" on songs such as "White Label" and Nas' political awareness on "Cops Shot the Kid" but observed filler in the "empty empowerment" of "Everything" and the "late-90s jiggy rap" of "Bonjour"; he concluded that Nasir was a less-than-definitive experiment for the rapper.[12] Elizabeth Aubrey of NME wrote: "Whilst stylistically Nasir may well have plenty of strong moments, its contradictions make it a difficult, problematic listen: it’s the silences on here which so often deafen." She praised West's production and the album's brevity, as well as Nas' lyrical maturity and social awareness, however noted that the political beliefs shared sometimes "ring hollow", being at odds with views shared by West. She also believed the rapper's male gaze of women conflicted with the album's underlying theme of equality, while failing to address allegations of abuse by Nas' ex-wife Kelis: "It's a deeply troubling conflict on an album that manages to be so successfully woke on one level and yet so blatantly archaic on another".[17]

Alexis Petridis of The Guardian praised West's production and Nas' tackling of social justice issues but also criticised Nas for not addressing domestic violence allegations, as well as for the "mercurial" nature of his lyrics stating "[Nas'] rhymes shifting from acute, powerful indictments of racism to stuff that makes no sense, or seems to be there purely for the purposes of provocation" and describing some of the themes as "conspiracy theories".[14] In a review for Rolling Stone, Paul Thompson described the album as "a frustrating listen, with glimpses of greatness". He wrote that "Nasir is among the weakest Nas albums, but there’s nothing spectacular about its failure", describing it as "unfocused and unclear", however noted that "there are interesting flashes elsewhere on the album", praising "Everything" and "Adam and Eve", as well as describing "Cops Shot the Kid" as "cogent".[19] Online hip hop publication HipHopDX described the album as "imperfect fine art", concluding that "When you factor in all its dexterity, randomness and overall generality, it’s hard to truly believe Nasir was the album he had been cerebrally building these past six years."[21] Robert Christgau gave the album a one-star honorable mention in his capsule-review column for Vice, singling out "Cops Shot the Kid" and "Everything" as highlights while crediting Nas for "bringing the knowledge, mixing in the sophistry, and dropping a laugh line he knows the boss [West] can't top: 'Everybody's saying my humility's infectious,' what a card".[22]

Commercial performance

Nasir debuted at number five on the US Billboard 200 with 77,000 album-equivalent units, of which 49,000 were pure album sales.[23] It serves as Nas's twelfth top-ten album in the United States.[24] The album dropped to the number 36 in its second week, earning an additional 14,000 album-equivalent units.[25]

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Not for Radio" (featuring Puff Daddy and 070 Shake) 3:22
2. "Cops Shot the Kid" (featuring Kanye West)
  • West
  • Dawson[a]
2:47
3. "White Label"
  • Jones
  • West
  • Dean
  • West
  • Dean[b]
  • BoogzDaBeast[b]
2:58
4. "Bonjour" (featuring Tony Williams)
3:21
5. "Everything" (featuring The-Dream and Kanye West)
7:32
6. "Adam and Eve" (featuring The-Dream)
4:10
7. "Simple Things"
  • Jones
  • West
  • Dean
2:19
Total length: 26:29

Notes

Samples[26]

Personnel

Musicians

  • Phillip Peterson – cello, string arrangement (tracks 1, 4)
  • Victoria Parker – violin (tracks 1, 4)
  • Plain Pat – drums (tracks 5, 6)

Technical

  • Zack Djurich – engineering
  • Sean Solymar – engineering
  • Juan "AyoJuan" Pena – engineering (track 1)
  • Mike Malchicoff – engineering (track 4)
  • Mike Dean – mixing (tracks 1, 3, 5)
  • Jess Jackson – mixing (tracks 1, 3, 5)
  • Andrew Dawson – mixing (tracks 2, 4, 6, 7)
  • BoogzDaBeast – programming (track 1)
  • Ryan Hendrickson – engineering (tracks 1, 4)

Charts

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[27] 54
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[28] 49
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[29] 27
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[30] 80
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[31] 19
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[32] 13
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[33] 44
French Albums (SNEP)[34] 173
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[35] 59
Irish Albums (IRMA)[36] 24
Italian Albums (FIMI)[37] 95
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[38] 15
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[39] 16
Scottish Albums (OCC)[40] 60
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[41] 29
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[42] 12
UK Albums (OCC)[43] 16
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[44] 3
US Billboard 200[23] 5
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[45] 4

References

  1. ^ Yeung, Neil Z. "Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts". AllMusic. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  2. ^ Findlay, Mitch (March 26, 2018). "Kanye West's New Album: Everything We Know". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  3. ^ "Kanye West Promised President Barack Obama He Would "Do Beats On Nas' Next Album"". Pigeons and Planes. March 5, 2016. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  4. ^ "Kanye West Says He Promised President Obama He'd Produce On Nas' Next Album". HotNewHipHop. March 4, 2016. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  5. ^ "Nas' Brother Jungle Updates Fans on "Nas Album Done" Status". DJBooth.
  6. ^ "Kanye Says He's Producing Nas' New Album - Pitchfork". pitchfork.com.
  7. ^ "Kanye West reveals tracklist for Kids See Ghosts collaborative album with Kid Cudi". Consequence of Sound. May 15, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Nas Reveals New Kanye-Produced Album Title, Cover, and Live Stream". Pitchfork. June 14, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  9. ^ "NASIR by Nas reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Nasir by Nas Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  11. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Nasir – Nas". AllMusic. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  12. ^ a b McGowan, Colin (June 15, 2018). "Nas and Kanye make a rushed connection on Nasir". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  13. ^ Harmony, A. (June 21, 2018). "Nas: Nasir". Exclaim!. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis (June 18, 2018). "Nas: Nasir review – shifting, mercurial, but ultimately queasy listening". The Guardian. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  15. ^ Cowan, Andy (September 2018). "Nas: Nasir". Mojo. No. 298. p. 96.
  16. ^ Devlin, Ben (June 15, 2018). "Nas – Nasir". MusicOMH. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Aubrey, Elizabeth (June 16, 2018). "Nas – 'Nasir' review". NME. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  18. ^ Kearse, Stephen (June 20, 2018). "Nas: Nasir". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  19. ^ a b Thompson, Paul (June 18, 2018). "Nas: 'Nasir' Is the One Thing the Rapper has Never Been Before – Dull". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  20. ^ Anon. (June 26, 2018). "Nas' 'Nasir' Album Is (Good) Rapping for Rap's Sake". XXL. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  21. ^ "Review: The Kanye West Rush Job Shortchanges "NASIR's" Potential". HipHopDX. June 20, 2018. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  22. ^ Christgau, Robert (July 13, 2018). "Robert Christgau on G.O.O.D Music's Good (and Less Good) Music". Vice. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  23. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (June 24, 2018). "5 Seconds of Summer Earn Third No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Youngblood'". Billboard. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  24. ^ Caulfield, Keith (June 24, 2018). "Nas Claims 12th Top 10 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With 'Nasir'". Billboard. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  25. ^ Eustice, Kyle (July 2, 2018). "Hip Hop Album Sales: XXXTENTACION's "?" Lands At #2 On Billboard 200 Following His Death". Hiphopdx. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  26. ^ "Nas Releases New Kanye-Produced Album Nasir: Listen". Pitchfork. June 16, 2018. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  27. ^ Ryan, Gavin (June 23, 2018). "Australian Charts: 5 Seconds of Summer Have A No 1 Album". Noise11. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  28. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Nas – Nasir" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  29. ^ "Ultratop.be – Nas – Nasir" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  30. ^ "Ultratop.be – Nas – Nasir" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  31. ^ "Danishcharts.dk – Nas – Nasir". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  32. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Nas – Nasir" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  33. ^ "Nas: Nasir" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  34. ^ "Lescharts.com – Nas – Nasir". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  35. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Nas – Nasir" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  36. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Nas". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  37. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Nas – Nasir". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  38. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Nas – Nasir". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  39. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Nas – Nasir". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  40. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  41. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Nas – Nasir". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  42. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Nas – Nasir". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  43. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  44. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  45. ^ "Nas Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 27, 2018.

External links

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