That’s My Jam is a weekly feature where one person from the Selective Hearing staff goes to wax poetic about music that is pivotal to their musical tastes. Whether that would be an album, a song, or anything in-between. We all had to start somewhere.
Release Date: November 6, 2007
- Surviving The Times
- Less Than An Hour
- It Ain’t Hard To Tell
- Life’s A Bitch
- N.Y. State Of Mind
- One Love
- If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)
- Street Dreams (Remix)
- Hate Me Now feat. Puff Daddy
- One Mic
- Get Ur Self A…
- Made You Look
- I Can
- Bridging The Gap
- Halftime (International Version Bonus Track)
- Nas Is Like (International Version Bonus Track)
- Thief’s Time (International Version Bonus Track)
Greatest Hits is a compilation (and contractual obligation) that covers the albums when Nas was signed to Columbia Records. (starting from Illmatic up to Street’s Disciple) His Def Jam albums were understandably overlooked, as were Nastradamus and The Lost Tapes albums.
In the process of writing, this ToZ asked why I chose to review a compilation album instead of an individual one within Nas’ discography. To be honest, it’s because I’m kind of lazy, and this was the easiest thing to tackle for my first “That’s My Jam” article after returning from Japan.
I’ll let it be known that I’m more of a west coast Hip-Hop type of dude. The laid-back groove of G-Funk fits more with my personality than the grittier and harder east coast sound. But that doesn’t mean that I bought into the whole east vs. west bullshit media hype that was the whole marketing gimmick back in the day. Great Hip-Hop is great regardless of where it originates.
With that said, Nas is one emcee that weaves narratives of the inner city and social conditions with deft lyricism. It’s one of the main reasons he appealed to me. The man can work the mic and get his message across over a tight beat without dumbing down his content.
For younger heads brought up on commercialized Hip-Pop, that might be a turn-off. After all, there are no catchy hooks, a million guest emcees or flavour-of-the-month R&B singers waxing poetic about the club and making it rain. If that is you? Well, you have my condolences.
The track listing of this album is going to be iffy for some of the more hardcore. The most glaring omissions are The World Is Yours and Ether. More slaps to the face come with the domestic version of this album missing the international bonus cuts Halftime, Nas Is Like and Thief’s Theme. Thankfully I’m Canadian, so I got all those cuts on my version of this album. Sorry to my American friends, you just get screwed out of those.
Even though certain tracks are missing, that doesn’t make this any less listen-worthy; it just means you’ll have to dig for the good stuff that was overlooked. Of what is on here, the tracks from Illmatic of course, are mandatory listening for any self-respecting Hip-Hop head.
If I Ruled The World (Imagine That), Made You Look, I Can, Bridging The Gap and Nas Is Like are other tracks worth skipping immediately. Hate Me Now, Street Dreams (Remix) and Get Ur Self A… are optional depending on your mood or personal feelings about those individual tracks.
While this isn’t a true representation of Nas’ greatest hits, it’s still enough to show why he is held in such high regard in the world of Hip-Hop. That alone makes this worth the time for all fans of the genre to invest their time in, even if you already have all his albums.