Song of the Day #1,883: ‘One Mic’ – Nas

nas_stillmaticHere’s my final Nas track of the week (and probably on the blog, period, given how unimpressed I’ve been with his work). Like yesterday’s SOTD, this one comes from his Stillmatic LP.

I haven’t listened to it yet, but I’ve read that it features a sample of Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight,’ which is promising. Funny how a great sample can make a song work in an entirely new way. Think of the way Dido’s ‘Thank You’ goes from a sweet bauble to something ominous and sad in Eminem’s ‘Stan.’

For some reason I had this impression that Nas rapped about something other than guns, drugs and women. I must have been thinking about somebody else, because this is the same old tired territory. The rhymes aren’t even that inventive.

Phil Collins, I hope you can bail him out!

OK, at least we saved the best for last. This is a nicely constructed song, and the ‘In the Air Tonight’ is much more subtle than I would have guessed. I like hos Nas goes from a whisper to a scream in the first two verses and then reverses it in the final one. Good song.

But I’m happy to be done with Nas, and I’m through with rap for a little while. Maybe it’s time for a John Denver week.

[Verse 1]
Yo, all I need is one mic, one beat, one stage
One nigga front, my face on the front page
Only if I had one gun, one girl and one crib
One God to show me how to do things his son did
Pure, like a cup of virgin blood mixed with
151; one sip’ll make a nigga flip
Writing names on my hollow tips, plotting shit
Mad violence who I’m gon’ body, this hood politics
Acknowledge it, leave bodies chopped up in garbages
Seeds watch us, grow up and try to follow us
Police watch us roll up and try knockin us
One knee I ducked, could it be my time is up
But my luck, I got up, the cop shot again
Bus stop glass bursts, a fiend drops his Heineken
Ricocheting between the spots that I’m hiding in
Blacking out as I shoot back, fuck getting hit!
This is my hood I’mma rep, to the death of it
Til everybody come home, little niggas is grown
Hoodrats, don’t abortion your womb, we need more warriors soon
Sent from the star, sun, and the moon
In this life of police chases street sweepers and coppers
Stick-up kids with no conscience, leaving victims with doctors
If you really think you ready to die, with 9s out
This is what Nas is bout, nigga, the time is now!

[Hook]
All I need is one mic

[Verse 2]
All I need is one blunt, one page, and one pen
One prayer – tell God forgive me for one sin
Matter of fact, maybe more than one.. look back
At all the hatred against me: fuck all of them
Jesus died at age 33, there’s 33 shots
From twin Glocks there’s sixteen apiece, that’s 32
Which means one of my guns was holding 17
27 hit your crew. 6 went into you
Everybody gotta die sometime; hope your funeral
Never gets shot up, bullets tear through the innocent
Nothing is fair, niggas roll up, shooting from wheelchairs
My heart is racing, tasting revenge in the air
I let this shit slide for too many years, too many times
Now I’m strapped with a couple of MACs, too many 9s
If y’all niggas really with me get busy load up the semis
Do more than just hold it explode the clip until you empty
There’s nothing in our way – they bust, we bust, they rush, we rush
Lead flying, feel it? I feel it in my gut
That we take these bitches to war, lie em down
Cause we stronger now, my nigga, the time is now

[Hook]

[Verse 3]
All I need is one life, one try, one breath I’m one man
What I stand for speaks for itself, they don’t understand
Or wanna see me on top, too egotistical
Talking all that slick shit, the same way these bitches do
Wonder what my secrets is, niggas’ll move on you
Only if they know, what your weakness is I have none
Too late to grab guns I’m blasting cause I’m a cool nigga
Thought I wouldn’t have that ass done? Fooled you niggas
What you call a infinite brawl, eternal souls clashing
War gets deep, some beef is everlasting
Complete with thick scars, brothers knifing each other
Up in prison yards, drama, where does it start?
You know the block was ill as a youngster
Every night it was like a
Cop would get killed body found in the dumpster
For real a hustler, purchased my Range, niggas throwing dirt on my name
Jealous cause fiends got they work and complain
Bitches left me cause they thought I was finished
Should’ve knew she wasn’t true
She came to me when her man caught a sentence
Diamonds are blinding, I never make the same mistakes
Movin’ with a change of pace, lighter load, see now the king is straight
Swelling my melon cause none of these niggas real
Heard they were telling police; how can a kingpin squeal?
This is crazy, I’m on the right track I’m finally found
You need some soul-searching, the time is now

[Hook]

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One thought on “Song of the Day #1,883: ‘One Mic’ – Nas

  1. Dana says:

    I agree this is better than the other songs, but it too is missing a good chorus. I think injecting a bit of the Phil Collins chorus might have improved this song.

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