Passion of the Weiss (POW) is currently one of my favorite music blogs and is ran by my dude, prolific journalist Jeff Weiss. I was asked to write about one of the year’s best cuts, “Nas Album Done” by DJ Khaled ft. Nas. Read my review below and check the rest of the thoughtfully compiled year end list HERE .
[#31] Forget the song’s 8-minute video featuring Khaled in different brightly colored satin shirts—here’s the real major key: Nas’ agelessly nimble tongue and the track’s underpinning “Fu-Gee-La” sample. Here, Nasir sounds like he just finished a Gandhi marathon, successfully tricking his wisdom with the system that imprisoned his son. He’s on fire, backed by bombastic drums and a voice that’s gracefully aged like an Argentinian malbec; textured, smooth yet robust.
In an era where dexterous bars are seldom celebrated, this has enough energy to keep both the millennial and aging classicist happy. Both self-referential and forward moving, says Nas: “To every baby on the album cover existing/This trend I was setting came to fruition.” Seemingly full circle for the MC who at 16 boasted about kidnapping the president’s wife without a plan.
The minimalist production knocks while Nas himself even proves a bit clairvoyant, touching on our now president-elect’s cheap pursuits while shouting out the marginalized: “Celebrity Apprentice a devil show/Big up to Africa, Mexico.” So when exactly will Nas’ album actually be done? He’s recently had fire moments and for whatever reason seems reinvigorated. Dismissing any new hip-hop that came after you is decidedly very non-hip-hop, but there’s nothing wrong in relishing older cats whom are shockingly spry. The song title itself is at worst inaccurate, and at best premature, but it shows why we still owe the prodigious one our due patience. — DAVID MA
We’ll soon be unveiling the most extensive piece ever written on DJ Shadow. It not only commemorates Endtroducing‘s two decade anniversary but is also a pretty sizable feature for the upcoming issue of Wax Poetics. I conducted the interview in his studio which was huge honor and HERE’S a sneak peak at some ill old photos from his personal documenting his origin story and subsequent rise.
These last couple weeks have been gut wrenching and just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, news came in that Sharon had passed. To say we’re heartbroken would be an understatement. She was one of the best live performers one will ever see and seemingly just a tough, kind soul.
Sharon was kind enough to write a little foreword for our piece on Binky Griptite which was done as a favor that now seems even more priceless. I was honored to write an appreciation piece for The Guardian which you can read HERE. RIP Sharon. Thank you so much.
Filed under: Interviews, Random | Tags: Funk, Galt Macdermot, Jazz, Redbullmusicacademy
I was recently lucky enough to connect with legendary composer Galt Macdermot and was asked to write a short primer on his essential recordings (heads might find the list tepid but this is real broad, easy swath of his jams). In the end, that’s the beauty of Macdermot’s enormously effusive catalogue– there’s so much to celebrate. Take a look / listen to the story I did For Redbullmusicacademy HERE. Thank you Galt, huge honor.
Filed under: Random | Tags: Bay Area Rap, Casual, Domino, Fear Itself, Hiero, Oakland
I’ve always thought that Casual’s Fear Itself has fallen by the wayside in the aughts of Bay Area rap classics. ’93 To Infinity and Del’s solo works are all celebrated but Fear Itself is somehow never mentioned despite charting well on Billboard, getting significant play, and aging particularly well compared to its counterparts. I decided to document the album track-by-track– with Casual and producer Domino– about the making of Fear Itself for one of my favorite sites, the homie Jeff Weiss’ Passion of The Weiss. READ IT HERE.
Not exactly breaking news, but we’ve finally set up an Instagram account! We’re suuuuuper late to the party but we’ll make up for it with a bunch of old man shit we’ve accumulated through the years. Expect lots of music, fandom, ephemera, and exuberance! So far, the response has been terrific. Find us on IG at: NERDTORIOUS_BLOG
Also, after years dillydallying I decided to get some stuff made for loyalists. The first of our 45 adapters series is (obviously) Bowie. Others to follow are Nina Simone and Serge Gainsbourg. Hit us at NERDTORIOUS@gmail.com with ‘ADAPTERS’ in the subject and *BOOM* we’ll immeditely ship!
*Also, you can find me on Twitter (@_davidma) and longtime contributor Nate (@natejleblanc). Many thanks!!!
Filed under: Random | Tags: Blacklivesmatter, chuck d, flava flav, public enemy, The Guardian
I had the immense honor of speaking again with Chuck D, this time, for The Guardian (which you can read HERE). Conducted right around both the Democratic and Republican national conventions, my main focus was politics in modern America. The published version was shortened and is quite edited, so I’ll be running the full piece on Medium in a few months. Given this heightened, frenzied political climate, Chuck D is the perfect person to speak with. Per usual, he doesn’t disappoint. *fist up