Nas is better known for his legendary debut, Illmatic. For his great-but-not-quite-classic It Was Written, and his epic feud with Jay-Z and the resulting battle album, Stillmatic. In recent years, Nasty Nas' work has been slightly sub-Nas and has failed to live up to the hype and controversy generated by his album names (Hip Hop Is Dead, N****r). Here's hoping that his upcoming album with Damian Marley, will be a return to form for the legend, but in the mean time, for this Mother's Day, it's time to take a look at one of Nas' better, less heralded albums, God's Son.
Although Nas' 2002 projects is not perfect as it suffers from the same problems as many of his other albums (mainly, a weak beat selection), there are quite a few gems on God's Son, but it's the circumstances surrounding its release. The release of God's Son coincided with two major events in Nasir Jones' life. The one that many rap fans remember was his beef with Jay-Z that was coming to a close at the time (and he speaks about on "Last Real Nigga Alive"). The second, and the one that the rapper remembers more was the loss of his mother, Ann Jones, who died in April that year after a long, drawn out battle with breast cancer.
Everything about God's Son, is an ode to Nas' mother. While the album title says it all, it was also the first album that the emcee has released under his full name, Nasir Jones. Several songs throughout the album either make indirect or direct nods to Mrs. Jones, but it is songs like the Tupac-assisted "Thugz Mansion (N.Y.)" and "Dance" that show just how much Nas revered her.
"Dance" displays Jones at a unique moment of loss, praying that he could have one last dance with his deceased mother, simultaneously hurting from her death, while celebrating everything that she gave him in life. Happy Mother's Day.
Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,