Saturday, September 26, 2009

OLD SKOOL VIDEO SPOTLITE - Nas - "It Ain't Hard to Tell"

"This rhythmatic explosion, is what your frame of mind has chosen.
I'll leave your brain stimulated, niggas is frozen.
Speak with criminal slang, begin like a violin.
End like Leviathan, it's deep well let me try again."
- Nas

This is without a doubt one of my favorite Nasir Jones songs of all-time. I remember when I first saw this video over D Mack's house and I couldn't get it out of my head for weeks. There was something so smooth, yet so hard about the song. I can easily hear Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" sample in the beat now, but I'm not sure I caught it when I was 13 or 14. That smooth, jazzy sample seems to blend perfectly with the realness and passion in Esco's voice. This song wasn't a huge commercial hit, as most singles from Illmatic weren't, but it will always be recognized as a solid rock in the discography of Mr. Jones. I believe "Halftime" was the first official single from Illmatic, but this was really the first time the world got a glimpse of Nas. Wikipedia also states that Nas shot portions of this video on the same stage as the movie "Wild Style" and I obviously didn't catch that tidbit when I first saw the video. Props to Large Professor for producing the track and props to Nasir Jones for making a classic song and album.

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