I can't stop listening to the classic Nas/Jay-Z collabo "Black Republican"...

I really ought to be asleep right now, but instead I'm blasting the holy hell out of that "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" anthem Black Republican by Nas and Jay-Z.
After a few albums worth of glorious beefing, Jay and Nas buried the hatchet, culminating of Nas signing to Def Jam, which was helmed at that time by Jay and sealed with this track.  Black Republican exemplifies both rappers, as evidenced by how they approach the hook. Jay is all about the paper:
"I feel like a black republican, money keep comin' in. Can't turn my back on the hood, I got love for them. Can't clean my act up for good, too much thug in him. Pro'lly end up back in the hood like f*** it then."
Jay's verse likewise portrays a man taking a straightforward but high-level view of things, always staying above the game and as divorced from emotion as possible. The unapologetic position of a boss surveying his Return on Investment.
Nas's approach to the hook (which hit me right in the heart the first time I heard it) and the verse is just as telling:

"I'm like a black militant takin' over the government. Can't turn my back on the hood, I got love for them. Can't clean my act up for good, too much thug in him. Pro'lly end up back in the hood. I'm like f*** it then."
For all his talent and vision, Nas is not the boss that Jay-Z is. He is a rebel at heart. Where Jay is happy to become a politician to get what he wants, perhaps changing things from the inside, Nas would prefer to assassinate the politicians, tear up the Constitution and start over, perhaps building the hood utopia of his classic joint If I Ruled the World on top of the smoking metropolis. Nas is not the comfortable CEO that Jay is. He is not a communicator like Jay, he's an artist in the purest sense. His verse is more abstract, and rooted in his need to speak to and for the people, not so much in being explicit about his thoughts. 
Both the populist rebel and the calculating politically savvy businessman shine in Black Republican, my favorite track off Nas' much talked-about album Hip Hop is Dead. 
The pic above is a painting of the mighty General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, badass of the French Revolution and father of famed author and ladies man Alexandre Dumas (Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo).  After reading the Tom Reiss biography and
NY Times Bestseller The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo, General Dumas' image appears in my mind anytime anyone says "Black Republican"...
Anyways, I gotta get some sleep.

have a great day!
-samax.
 

Samax Amen draws people, places and things for fun and profit. Whenever possible, he makes it awesome. 


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