With the release of his first single, what Nas essentially does is pay homage to the late Al Jarreau. For Nas to give himself that title, it not only shows his confidence in his craft and place in Hip-Hop music, but it shows a sample of someone that few of us might not know much about. Even as I write this I have We Got By playing, and it’s amazing to say the least. Thank God for streaming!
Now we can share opinions about the song itself being whack and something to make a meme or jokes about, which have been funny I admit, but I can’t come to criticize Nas for doing it. Interviewers definitely gotta ask him about it though. Don’t get me wrong though because Nas’s iteration of it wasn’t a song I was anticipating to hear off Lost Tapes 2, but I can at least appreciate him for doing so because it made me look into Al Jarreau. My parents were blasting Luther Vandross when I was growing up so Al Jarreau was a name I wasn’t too familiar with.
A lot of our history and people get lost as time passes and I just see the song for what it is. It’s not as if Nas wasn’t tap dancing on it. And given the era of rap we’re in where variations of trap is the norm, I see that Nas wanted to put out something different. I’d hardly think he was trying to gain anyone’s approval of it neither. I know music is a business but that’s what a true artist and art is about, right? And the guy is in his 40s now so him making music to appease everybody seems unlikely when he rarely makes music already. So for the creative explorer like Nas is, I can understand to some degree why he would call himself the Jarreau of Rap.