http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/cce52abbdbd91fca45dbfe8123f260c7b91d202b.jpg Street's Disciple


Street's Disciple

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
December 15, 2004

No rapper is more conflicted than Nas, the prodigal son of hip-hop's early-Nineties golden age. For the better part of the decade since his perfect debut, 1994's Illmatic, he has openly struggled with the burdens that come when you're supposed to be saving a genre. "I carried the cross to help you afford that plasma screen," he raps here on "Nazareth Savage." On the first half of this two-disc set, producer Salaam Remi exhumes vintage break beats while Nas pretends the last ten years of career uncertainty never happened, tackling police profiling and the shortcomings of the forty-third president with the fire of a younger, less cynical artist. Nas doesn't shy away from his favorite topic, though, which is himself: The second disc sketches a narrative arc from street-running naif to soon-to-be-married father. The well-worn beats ensure the album is good even as they prevent it from being great. But Disciple is the rare instance of hip-hop old and wise enough to look backward without forgetting what it was like to look ahead with awe and wonder.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    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

    “Love Is the Answer”

    Utopia | 1977

    The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

    More Song Stories entries »