Nas - Magic 2

It’s another Nas release! Hip hop heads have been treated to some brilliant music from the hip hop veteran emcee over the last year or so, and ‘Magic 2‘ is the latest project in what has been a quite exceptional five album run! We have more Hitboy production as we have seen on the previous ‘Magic‘ album and the three King’s Disease projects, and we have just a couple of features – 50 Cent and 21 Savage, otherwise it’s all down to the Queensbridge legend to continue to lace our headphones with pure fire. So, let’s talk through this album and see if Nas has once again delivered a goldern era sounding, yet modern hip hop classic!

After the ‘Intro‘ Nas and Hitboy really get busy, pushing the boundaries of those ‘old school heads’ who have been dying for another Illmatic. Nas crushes it on ‘Abracadabra‘ with an energetic, fast-paced flow over a HitBoy track that simply dances throughout the headphones. It’s a strong and proud opening track that leads into ‘Office Hours‘ featuring 50 Cent, which is a much more traditional boom bap joint, complete with some braggadocio and confidence that someone who is on a 30 summer run should have. 50 Cent is technically on the joint, and while he brings some grit to the joint, he doesn’t really crush it like fans would have hoped.

The mood gets a little more menacing on ‘Black Magic‘, a dusty, boom bap track with keys that fill the space beautifully and Nas is in full effect, spitting his street narratives with an edginess that resonates with the subject matter. ‘Motion‘ is a flat out banger, Hitboy really brings that 90’s vibe with a modern sound, but the track is so robust, and it needs to be because Nas is focused on this track and rips the mic like he’s back to being Nasty. On ‘Bokeem Woodbine‘, Nas puts his soul into the joint and Hitboy also provides another dope soundscape, mixing up the verses and stripping back to hook to maximise the effect of Nas’ bars.

Nas gets creative with the wordplay on the triumphant ‘Earvin Magic Johnson‘ which switches into a soulful hook, as he reminisces on the Showtime era of hip hop and hoops, and then changes gears on ‘What This All Really Means‘ as he is in the zone with his street narratives and introspective reflection over the palpable production from Hitboy. The flow and cadence Nas brings on ‘Slow It Down‘ really takes the listener back to that ‘It Was Written’ era where Nas is really purposeful with his flow without taking away from the feeling of the album overall.

As we close in on the finishing touches, ‘Pistols On Your Album Cover‘ is one of the hardest joints on the album. The drums really snap and the production is super crisp, and Nas rides over these with an almost malicious flow as he spits “I murder n…s on wax and forget where they’re buried“. This one had to be instantly run back because it’s THAT kind of vibe. The final track is the previously released ‘One Mic, One Gun‘ somewhat trap-infused, horn-laced track featuring 21 Savage and it rounds out the album like it came in – unapologetic, interesting, modern – but 100% Nas doing hip hop his way.

Bangers: Pistols On Your Album Cover, Motion, Slow It Down, Black Magic, What This All Really Means.

Score: 9 / 10. It’s another top tier release from Nas and Hitboy who just seem to effortlessly churn out inspired, fresh and dope hip hop. Blending the street narratives with witty wordplay, melding modern hip hop with 90’s boom bap – Nas just can’t miss and ‘Magic 2‘ is further proof that he is one of the most elite emcees of all time. It’s like he has a golden pen and it connects to his brain via his soul. Nas is something special, and he’s proven it time and time again. Press play and enjoy.

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About The Author

By Brutus Maximus

Founder of Raw Side Hip Hop. Been rocking with the hip hop culture for over 30 years. Love the creativity, authenticity of the art and the culture as a whole. Shout out to the real ones making and supporting true hip hip and the artists who make it!