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Nasty by Nas
Album: Life Is Good Deluxe EditionReleased: 2011
The title of the first street single from Nas's tenth album, Life Is Good is a play on his original moniker, Nasty Nas. As a teenager rapper, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones first went by the nickname Kid Wave before adopting his more commonly known alias of Nasty Nas. Jones made his solo debut in 1992 under the name of "Nasty Nas" on the single "Halftime" from Serch's soundtrack for the film Zebrahead. By the time he released his landmark solo debut album Illmatic in 1994, Jones was known as Nas.
The song sees Nas getting back to basics with a non-stop onslaught of words referencing the New York City of his youth over a beat by Salaam Remi. "I came up in a great era, so I'm always gonna live with that and that's always gonna live inside of me," Nas told MTV News. "It's relevant today more than it's ever been. A lot of people may lose their footing in the music game and stuff, but you know, it's always important to remember who you are and how you got here."
The Jason Goldwatch video finds Nas touring his native Queens, New York neighborhood in a Rolls Royce Phantom. Watch out for the actress Antonique Smith, who appears in the Phantom alongside Nas when he rhymes, "Maserati, pumpin' Biggie, the great legend/ Blastin'/ I'm after the actress who played Faith Evans." Smith played Faith Evans in the 2009 film Notorious, which was based on the life of Evans' then-husband, rapper Notorious B.I.G.