The Hidden Message Behind Nas' Album Covers (Very fu*kin interesting....Come Peep)

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 10 years ago '06        #41
Prince Ace 35 heat pts35
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Props Ma Dude It Was A Good Read
 10 years ago '06        #42
SharpenUrSword 2 heat pts
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good read.props.
 06-30-2007, 02:24 PM         #43
mike-nifty 
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god read, real interesting I was hoping for the dude to breakdown Street Disciples and Hip-Hop Is Dead cover as well.
 06-30-2007, 03:35 PM         #44
CIDF 
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 Switchc2390 said:
Actually it's the other way around. Nas never said Black Republican, he said Black Militant. Jay said Black Republican.
thats what i said, dumbfu*k.
i said nas never said black republican throughout the whole song, only jay did.
 06-30-2007, 03:37 PM         #45
CIDF 
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 From Da Future said:
yeah i noticed he only says black militant ..so does that mean hes saying jay k!lled hip hop?
yeah thats what some people believe. too much of a coincidence you know. but even if he did do that it would be bullsh*t cuz jay didnt k!ll hip hop
 10 years ago '05        #46
Nickel 118 heat pts118 OP
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^^^exactly.....i think their jus sayin in general sum black republicans (in hip hop) have k!lled it.....not just one person....which could also be seen as judas (the one who betrayed Jesus=God's Son=Nas)....whoever judas is
 10 years ago '05        #47
abdullah 
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 Nickel said:
i don't beleive most of it but how a person can get all this from an album cover is interesting ...


We all know the "boy" to "man" to "king" to "prophet" progression that mirrors Illmatic to It Was Written to I Am to Nastradamus... we all know the "Since Illmatic, it was written I am Nastradamus" title riddle... the first four covers were basic... Nas is growing, as a man and as an artist... he started as a young dude on the corners of QB observing, dreaming and writing poetry. Then he became the man, living a Scarface/Pablo Escobar type life of excess... then the king, the seasoned lyricist, the post-BIG king of NYC... and finally we had the prophet as a harbinger of what would be to come...

"what was once ghetto prophecy is now ghetto scripture" - Nas

The cover of Nastradamus sets up the cover of Stillmatic in an interesting way. It's Nas' fourth album and he's still prophesizing... he's not saying, this is the end result, this the top... he's saying there's more to come... the turbulent future lies ahead... Stillmatic would be an album immersed in conflict, political on the level of its post 9/11 commentary, political in the world of hip-hop with the Jay-Z, Cormega, Nature, Prodigy beef, and personal with the split from Carmen... (during the time of Nastradamus, Nas knew the feud with Jay-Z would one day become public. He also saw where QB was heading and knew he’d have to destroy and rebuild. And Carmen leaving, well that was a forgone conclusion)… so the last line of Nastradamus... "despite the damage to destiny you can't take the best of me - In God we still trust" sets off the "damage to destiny" that occurs in Stillmatic... and "In God we still trust" sets up the heavy religious references Nas finds solace in on "God's Son"...

"on my next few albums - there'll be a difficult test inside the cover for the mind's optics" - Nas (Stillmatic Freestyle, 2001)

The cover of Stillmatic represents the downfall of man... the downfall that had occured in Nas' career and his personal life and the downfall of man in the greater world... 9/11, hyper urbanization, crime, racism, poverty, drugs, death and the rap game Nas plans to destroy and rebuild...

Nas said in an interview that he wore every piece of ice he owned for the cover... we can see his QB piece, a host of platinum necklaces, some diamond rings and an iced out watch... this represents the folly of Nas (his Escobar flossing days), the excesses of the rap game (late 90s to early 2000s was the height of the bling bling era) and more metaphorically the excesses of a capitalistic American society (think the late nineties' bulging and inflated stock market)... also the garish orange jump suit Nas wears is intentionally loud... it's not that he has poor style, it’s garishness is conscious in the spirit of irony...

The dark, lightning scorched skies above the NYC skyline behind Nas represent the apocalyptic world prophesized on Nastradamus... the omission of the twin towers in the skyline is a subtle reference to 9/11... the water is very important, I’ll get to that in a minute...

Many people ask about Nas' fingers and whether they’re significance... they are... On the left, Nas has four fingers extended... these fingers represent his first four albums... notice the ring on the first finger (the pinkie) representing Illmatic, his finest achievement... (to which Stillmatic pays homage)... depicting the first four albums is significant because it reminds us what has come before... an homage to the past (as much of Stillmatic is)...

The other hand represents the future... Stillmatic is the index, the middle is Lost Tapes (it's shortened length representing the album’s brevity and lesser importance as a compilation of unreleased songs), the ring finger is God's Son...and finally we have the pinky as Streets Disciple... now a lot of you will say I'm reaching (if you already haven't) but hear me out... Nas clearly planned out his first four albums ("from 92 to 99" - Nas, Represent 1994... "Since Illmatic it was written I am Nastradamus" - Nas, Freestyle 2001) so it's safe to say he planned out the next four and exemplified them on the cover... now I'm not saying anything foolish like Nas is actually a prophet or can see the future... but according to interviews around 2001/02 and later songs Nas said he knew he'd get married in the next year or so... ("to who I knew not - thought of snatching Hallie up from the dreadlock" -Nas, Getting Married 2004)... so the ring on the ring finger represents his desire to get married (and move on from Carmen)... ironically that desire would be fulfilled during the "God's Son" era that the ring finger represents ("gave the keys to Kelis, because she the wife and they the freaks" - Nas, Mastermind 2002)

Finally we have the pigeon, the ghetto dove... this is where it gets Biblical (and sets up a parable connecting through to the “Streets Disciple” cover)... what the entire album cover is, taken as a whole, is an allusion to the Old Testament story of Noah... y'all know it... in ancient times mankind became very wicked… murder and r*pe abounded… immorality was everywhere… so God punished the wicked world with a flood... (the link to Judeo-Christian religion is established with the silver cross that hangs conspicuously below the rest of Nas' jewelery...) The Stillmatic cover is the moment before the flood... Nas is at once Noah and God, poised for what's ahead and ready to bring it... the album Stillmatic is Nas' arc... as Noah brought two of every animal to repopulate the world, Nas brings his favorite rappers (AZ, Bravehearts, Nashawn and Blitz) to repopulate the rap world after it’s destroyed...

Let's get back to the pigeon... in the Bible, Noah sent out a dove everyday during the flood... the dove would constantly return with an empty beak, representing that there was no land and that God's punishment was still in effect... the pigeon, is Nas' dove ready to be sent out pending the coming storm.... (notice those rain clouds overhead are holding a lot of water, the lightning is holding promise of a storm)...

Moving on… next we have the tranquil cover of "God Son", in contrast to the busy tumultuous Stillmatic cover... Nas is surrounded by water... the sky and water are dark blue hinting at a departing storm... the world has been flooded... the storm hit during Stillmatic...the water that loomed in the background of the Stillmatic cover has risen up and engulfed the buildings, the wall and Nas himself... Destroy and Rebuild was a typhoon, What Goes Around was a hurricane, Ether was a tsunami...the wrath of God, Noah's flood, the wrath of God's Son...

Nas stands, arms folded, head down... humble... in reverence... in mourning for the loss the storm has brought, and for the loss of his mother... he is also in prayer to God... as Stillmatic was the arc, God's Son is Nas' meditation on himself and his communication with God...

He is unclothed... the storm has swept away almost all of his jewelry, save for a Jesus piece (hidden by his arms) and a golden bracelet. The gold is less expensive than the platinum of Stillmatic but more noble... a throwback to an older generation, to the Old School of hip-hop (which much of the album is based in ie Apache sample in Made You Look "we bringin '88 back")... it is also a throw back to Biblical times when gold symbolized nobility...

On a deeper level, Nas is bare because he is now nekkid of sin...on the surface no more orange jump suit, no more platinum... musically his style of rap is no longer based in materialistic flossing or violence ("I live a clean life - I don't even steal cable"), he has transcended the mundane and risen to another level... he is no longer the kingpin, the king, the prophet or the hell raiser... he is a spiritual disciple of the streets... a survivor of his own storm...

On the back cover we see Nas' arms outstretched, and he's holding two doves... their beaks are empty, the pigeon still hasn’t found land... in the story of Noah the dove brought back an olive branch as a sign of vegetation (and thus land)... in the saga of Nasir the pigeon has become a dove and returned empty beaked but with another dove... in a sense Nas and the pigeon are one...

Nas' style has transcended from the gritty street aesthetic of Stillmatic to the spiritual purity of God's Son... he has transformed from pigeon to dove... the second dove can be seen as representing balance... with his arms outstretched, the second dove balances the first... in the aftermath of the Stillmatic's storm equilibrium has been reached, everything is balanced... the second dove also represents Kelis, Nas' new companion for bringing balance…
I believe every single word of that sh*t.
 10 years ago '05        #48
abdullah 
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 mike-nifty said:
god read, real interesting I was hoping for the dude to breakdown Street Disciples and Hip-Hop Is Dead cover as well.
i was looking for that too
 10 years ago '05        #49
Nickel 118 heat pts118 OP
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if Nas truely planned this out (which im not sayin he did)...that means either

1.) he really on some genius/prophetic sh*t

or

2.) he got sum bomb a.ss weed
 10 years ago '07        #50
Awsolot 5 heat pts
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LMAO at dudes got real mad after reading all that shytt. I stopped after the 1st paragraph...LOL
 10 years ago '07        #51
Pr0pa_Sh0rti 
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Real interesting thanks
 10 years ago '06        #52
KC2NC 2 heat pts
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Propz for this.....mad interesting
 10 years ago '04        #53
lildesdes32 
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i heard this before pretty interesting
 10 years ago '06        #54
kyh0mpb 11 heat pts11
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 Nickel said:
if Nas truely planned this out (which im not sayin he did)...that means either

1.) he really on some genius/prophetic sh*t

or

2.) he got sum bomb a.ss weed


Anyways, it was a good read. Even if it is based on a lot of a.ssumption, that sh*t seems a bit too coincidental. Nas is dope either way, though.

I also think I finally get what they're sayin about black republicans k!llin' hip-hop. I wouldn't say Jay k!lled it, but he definitely aided it. Jay-Z can rhyme, we all know that, but he is not hip-hop. People like Jay-Z and Lil' Wayne, who are dope at rhyming but do nothing for hip-hop are the reason why it died.

At the end of the day, I'm still a Nas, Jay-Z, and Wayne fan, so don't come at me like I'm just a hater or nothin.
 10 years ago '06        #55
datVAkid 37 heat pts37
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intrusting, i liked this, tells a story, now you wanna go deeper with nas, listen to track 7 on Hip Hop is Dead when he was talking like we was a detective, that tell the downfall of hip hop since the real beginning
 10 years ago '04        #56
young shiz 3 heat pts
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props on an interesting read. It's good to see people still try to interpret things instead of just taking it for face value.
 10 years ago '04        #57
supbitch 1 heat pts
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the rest.

STREET'S DISCIPLE
The Stillmatic-God's Son trinity is completed with Street's Disciple. For this, I'm going to refer to the extended cover featuring King Nas and the full 12 Nas disciples. This is the poster that was included in the Street's Disciple CD case. The actual CD cover shows only a fraction of the larger image.

The cover is grand in its scope and implications. We are in the interior of a stone building with vaulted arches. A single light illuminates the room. This light represents the holy father shining down, the cross above it strengthening the symbolism. Beneath, thirteen variations of Nas are gathered around a table, some sitting, some standing. One is enthroned in the center. He is King Nas, the Nas of Street's Disciple. The other twelve are his various alter egos and personas, twelve disciples that all make up Nas. Around them we find plenty of drink, grapes, oranges, and bread. However, of all the pieces in this tableau, a piece of cake, situated slightly to the left and in front of Nas, remains the most curious.

The piece of cake is a generous portion, fit for a king, you might even say, and there is something written on it. Upon first examination, the letters appear to read "Nas", but, if one looks closer--visible especially on the poster--it's not "N-A-S". There's no "A", and what looked like an "N" is really the Greek lowercase letter Eta, "η", and what looked like an "S" is actually the Greek uppercase letter Omega, "Ù".

In astronomy, which Nas has referenced throughout his career, Eta symbolizes the seventh brightest star in a constellation, and it also is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet. Without going into too much detail, Level 7 corresponds to the highest possible level of consciousness in almost all spiritual belief systems; Supreme Mathematics, Theosophy, Buddhism, and even Christianity and Islam have variations of this. Specifically in Supreme Mathematics, known as well as The Nation of Gods and Earths, which Nas has also referenced throughout his career, the number seven itself is important because it stands for perfection (the seventh letter in the English language alphabet, "G", standing for "God"). With this reading, the Eta on the cake slice represents Level 7, perfection, the supreme level of consciousness. In other words, it's pure being, the height of creativity, the most total understanding.

Then, as many know, Omega is akin to finality, the end. So being that Omega designates the end, a pairing of Eta and Omega reads "Level 7 - The End", i.e., in a highly coded statement, the cake says this: Nas has reached the highest point of the rap art form. After him there is nothing, for there is nothing above Eta, Level 7. Omega serves as the period at the end of the sentence. Extrapolating this out, the cake slice represents the Street's Disciple album as being an example of the most evolved rap form, its greatest maturation. Finally note how the cake is missing a side, some piece already eaten. We can a.ssume that the King Nas figure, who it sits in front of, has eaten it, its message now inside, a part of him, and, through the music, conveyed to the listener.

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