Nas finds himself in an interesting position in 2012. The catalog’s there. His skill is unquestioned. Yet, there’s a large part of the Hip-Hop community waiting for Nasir to zone in and go on a run that’ll warrant the statement, “Nas is back.” With longtime collaborator Salaam Remi, Da Internz (Rihanna’s “Birthday Cake”) and even the late Heavy D all playing a part on the boards, “The Don” showcases not only a hungry Nas, but one so sonically comfortable that it has him firing off an amazing combination of witty darts to play a compliment to a rhyme scheme that seems as sharp as ever.
This may not be the record to propel him to the apex of the Billboard charts, but it’s enough to get people listening and talking. And in these days, that alone can get a snowball rolling downhill. If Esco’s got this type of heat stashed away, we’re all better off for it.