72)Nas – Purple

Song: Purple

Album: The Lost Tapes

Year: 2002

Anyone who knows me well will tell you I’m a harsh critic of Nas and his waste of potential. “Ether” wasn’t good to me (not because it dissed my # 1 rapper of all time, Jay-Z songs won’t even rank super high in this countdown, I’m not biased, “Ether” just isn’t good in my eyes) though  I consider the rest of Stillmatic somewhat classic. After that he never came close to releasing a flawless full-length unless you remove all of the filler from the Street’s Disciple double album, that could be made into one great LP. If you’re thinking to retort “What about Kingdom Come and the filler on Blueprint 2?” or something equally ridiculous, Jay’s complete track record is a lot better, but I digress. I still haven’t heard the Distant Relatives project with Damien Marley out of utter disinterest, I guess I’ll download it now and give it a try shortly since people keep telling me it’s good.

Which brings us to The Lost Tapes, a project that would have been in the upper tier of Nas’ catalog were it not a collection of great songs left on the cutting room floor over the years. It was put out shortly after Stillmatic by Sony or whoever to capitalize on Nas’ regained steam (explicitly stated by the Hova the God “I gave you life when niggas was forgettin you MC”). “Purple” is one of the standout tracks from this album, it has no hook, a simple piano, bass line and a hard drum as our hero rationalizes getting high as a coping mechanism (purple being slang for a strand of marijuana). He won big points for the “I don’t like the way P Diddy did Shyne with different lawyers” line, no one else was willing to publicly speak on that debacle at that point. Then in typical Nas fashion there’s an awkward line that almost works about fucking Whoopi Goldberg of all people, because it all ties into “The Color Purple”.

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