On a day of celebration, some of history’s harsh realities can often go forgotten. Especially where America is concerned, a country with a vast and complex origin; to this day, many remain divided to a passionate degree about what it has come to represent. And while there’s plenty to celebrate, it seems fitting to revisit one of Nas’ trademark poetical reflections, this one centering around “America.” The track, which originally appeared on 2008’s Untitled project, is hardly the first time Nas has analyzed the States from afar; Stillmatic’s “My Country” explored similar themes, including a bleak reflection on abandonment.
On “America,” his pen is far more focused, touching on topics that remain culturally relevant to this day. “If I could travel to the 1700’s, I’d push a wheelbarrow full of dynamite through your covenant,” he raps, on production from StarGate. “Love to sit on the Senate and tell the whole government y’all don’t treat women fair.” Of course, America has also been beneficial to Nas, helping him amass quite the sizable fortune through his music and investment opportunities. But that doesn’t dull the slice of his criticism, nor the brilliantly evocative imagery he conjures in a typically effortless manner. What do you think of Nas’ “America?”
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