Nope. This isn’t about the M.O.P. or Carly Simon (or Les McCann?) songs (all awesome, but Carly Simon wins that battle). It’s more about the twin concepts of expectation and excitement, both of which are apt at the moment, given the impending launch of a new home for the crew, GeorgeBushMoney and ‘Dog Shit‘, a new track from Mobb Deep featuring Nas and co-produced by The Alchemist and Havoc.
In reference to the latter, if you’re any kind of fan of really good NY rap, there’s no way you’re not excited about ‘Dog Shit’ (no homo, but I
giggled when I typed that sentence – here’s to never growing up). There have been several collaborations (and diss tracks) between the Mobb and Nas over the years and both parties have worked with The Alchemist in the past (obviously Mobb more than Nas), but we haven’t heard anything from the Queensbridge relatives since Nas and Prodigy reuniting on The Alchemist’s ‘Tick Tock‘ back in 2004. So yeah, we’re all rightly excited about this turn of events.
So in anticipation of the impending release (God, please don’t let this shit suck. I know you gave me the Packers’ Superbowl win, but
I… oops, I mean ‘we’ deserve this too) here’s a scientifically valid analysis and ranking of Nas + Mobb collaborations (as in official songs that feature Havoc, Nas and Prodigy that received wide release on a project – no blends, Havoc productions only or songs missing one MC. Sorry ‘Tick Tock‘):
6. Da Bridge 2001 (from ‘Nas & Ill Will Records Present QB’s Finest’) – I don’t know about you, but I don’t care much for this display of Queensbridge pride. At least not in comparison to all the other songs on this list. For one, it’s a remake. Next is the fact that it features a number of decent, but inferior MCs. And most importantly, it ranks at the bottom because I said so.
Respect my authority. Bitches. Still, I like to imagine that all the MCs on this shit loved the song so much that they just had years old verses laying around for the day they got rhyme on this beat officially. Then I hear Prodigy’s non-rhyming crap excuse for a verse and I snap out of it. For the record, I think Nature won this shit.
5. Family (from ‘Nastradamus’) – I think as the years pass, we’ll eventually view ‘Nastradamus‘ in a better light (that happens with Nas’ music – not the Camel’s though). This song is one of the reasons for my re-evaluation and improved view of what’s generally agreed to be the nadir of Nas’ artistic output. In fact, I’d suggest that most listeners have always liked this song, but it was weighed down by the songs that people didn’t care for on ‘Nastradamus’.
4. Give It Up Fast (from ‘Hell On Earth’) – It almost hurts to rank a song this good at number 4, but if it’s any consolation, I don’t think any less of it. That’s the best I can offer. Prodigy probably won this shit with his overly aggressive attempts at seducing someone (I kinda feel bad for the groupie that heard this particular verse from P and decided that she would devote an entire night to trying to sleep with him. She must be a seriously demented individual), despite Nas’ memorable opening verse.
3. It’s Mine (from ‘Murda Muzik’) – It’s a toss up between this shit and ‘Oochie Wally’ for the ultimate Queensbridge display of video/audio decadence (of course, excluding about 80% of LL Cool J‘s career) . However, this song has references to Barbara Streisand and Halle Berry, as well as a video directed by Hype Williams at his most Nero-ish (in other words, hella titties and questionable wardrobe choices everywhere), Nas ‘singing’ and a Scarface sample. That’s some classy decadence – so classy that I’d bet my entire saving account that cocaine was involved in the making of this song. ‘Oochie Wally’ has more vulgarity and female presence. So I guess that wasn’t much of a contest, eh?
2. Eye For An Eye [Your Beef Is Mine] (from ‘Murda Muzik’) – Well, this has a Wu member on it (Raekwon), so that’s gotta be worth a few spots all by itself, per rap canon law. Plus, this song is the best illustration of Havoc’s most impressive period as a producer. Note the icy-as-fuck snares and hi-hats on this shit. This shit is gully enough to make you hit a punt a fetus. On purpose. Yes, I’m African. No, I’ve never done that before, but only because I managed to avoid being a child soldier. You’ll note that the MCs settled for employing a series of easy sounding flows over this beat – definitely more legal than punting fetuses (or is that ‘Fetii‘ – probably not, but that should be a word).
1. Live Nigga Rap (from ‘It Was Written’) – Three MCs, straight spittin’ over 3 straight verses and a hook relegated to the end of the song (a trick I wish MCs would would use more often – if you aren’t making a song for radio, fuck with the verse-hook-verse structure more often. Ya big dummies). In addition, ‘It Was Written‘ is my favorite album of all time. Thus, per mobbdeen canon, that counts more than a Wu feature. I’d shine more light on the production on this, but I already did that on the last entry and this shit has run for much longer than I intended.
So there you have it folks; a definitive and infallible ranking of Nas + Mobb collaborations. And nary an Alchemist sighting. I’m so damn excited. No homo. I know y’all are too.
Anticipation is a mutha…