http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/1d8a648faf911b531ccdb38679e3a7283983b99c.jpg Nastradamus



Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 2 0
January 20, 2000

In the span of his four-album solo career, Nas has gone from being a leader of the new school to being a follower. On Nastradamus, Nas is torn between socially conscious lyrics and the fear of forfeiting his ghetto pass if he rhymes about anything other than mayhem, murder and money. In spite of boasting talented producers like L.E.S., Timbaland and DJ Premier, Nastradamus is awash in the usual funk rhythms ("Nas-tradamus"), in the objectification of women ("Big Girl") and in unusually uninspired wordplay on songs like "New World" ("The new Don Trump is Bill Gates/Not because of his occupation, it's 'cause we respect his cake"). There are some highlights: "Project Windows" features the mournful utterances of Ronald Isley and offers a glimpse of Nas' Langston Hughes-like genius: "Black hoods, cops and projects/Sewers flooded with foul blockage/The gutter's wild and every child watches/Chains and top locks get ripped off hinges." "Last Words" shines because of its military drumbeat and chants, and the eeriness of Nas, Nashawn and Millennium Thug's naming themselves "hanging slaves." But that's where the creativity ends. Nastradamus offers little in the way of prophecy, and even less for the next chapter in hip-hop.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Stillness Is the Move”

    Dirty Projectors | 2009

    A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

    More Song Stories entries »