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Nas feat. Jay-Z - Black Republican (Def Jam)

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

By Rodney Dugue

Nas feat. Jay-Z - Black Republican (Def Jam)

Nas © Matt Law

The Bottom Line

When two natural forces crash, the result is a sort of devastating beauty. It’s resplendent and reckless, crushing memorials and defining history. "Black Republican" is no different. The by-line is titanic: Nas and Jay-Z rapping together in harmony; the orchestral composition is classical; the outcome is groundbreaking.

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  • Nas and Jay show great chemistry


  • None


  • "Black Republican" was produced by L.E.S.
  • It samples "Marcia Religioso" from The Godfather III soundtrack.
  • "Black Republican" appears on Nas' Hip-Hop Is Dead

Guide Review - Nas feat. Jay-Z - Black Republican (Def Jam)

If the track is not as great, it’s because the event is bigger, better. As the track starts, a thunderous, rumbling strike signals the clashing of two forces. The passing of galactic forces (maybe), but more importantly, the combustion of hip-hop lore; history has now become legacy. It’s not a neat card trick, when Jay offers, I know you can feel the magic, baby, but terrifying telepathy. Each rapper occupies one side of the fortress with Nas ready to pounce on any hint of mutiny or disloyalty. Both rappers opt not to play ping-pong, but rather to sword-fight, not against each other, but their shadows. Both bring a specific agenda and create a synergy to build a theme, chorus, and a tent to protect from their mounting fortunes: "I feel like a black republican // money I got coming in // can’t turn my back on the hood, I got love for them." Where Jay knows the problem, Nas knows the solution, and the perils to reach that solution. "Just like an acrobat ready to hurl myself through the hoops of fire," he raps.

The beat is the result of an explosion in a king’s castle – gorgeous, regal bits of comet flying everywhere. The track is devastating, like the work of a God-inspired act, think less Hurricane Katrina and more Noah’s Ark. Blasphemy? Why, not. But, isn’t that why one calls himself God’s Son and the other Hova?

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