Street's Disciple

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Street's Disciple
Studio album by Nas
Released November 30, 2004
Recorded 2004
Genre Hip hop
Length 87:33
Label Ill Will, Columbia
Producer Nas, Chucky Thompson, Salaam Remi, L.E.S., Q-Tip, Buckwild, Bernardo "Nardo" Williams, Nut, T. Black, Herb Middleton
Nas chronology
God's Son
(2002)
Street's Disciple
(2004)
Hip Hop Is Dead
(2006)
Singles from Street's Disciple
  1. "Thief's Theme"
    Released: June 29, 2004
  2. "Bridging the Gap"
    Released: October 5, 2004
  3. "Just a Moment"
    Released: February 22, 2005

Street's Disciple is the seventh studio album by American rapper Nas, released November 30, 2004 on Columbia Records in the United States. It is a double album entitled after one of his rhymes from "Live at the Barbeque" by Main Source, which was the song marking his musical debut. The album's cover art is a digitally created image, using photos of Nas to create an adaptation of The Last Supper.

The album debuted at number 5 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 232,000 copies in its first week. On November 18, 2005, Street's Disciple was certified platinum in sales by the RIAA, making it Nas's seventh consecutive platinum album in the U.S. Upon its release, the album received generally positive reviews from most music critics, based on an aggregate score of 80/100 from Metacritic.

Production[edit]

The lion's share of the album's production was handled between Salaam Remi, L.E.S. and Chucky Thompson of Sean Combs' production team The Hitmen. Remi contributed production on eleven tracks, L.E.S. produced on eight and Chucky Thompson helped on six. Salaam Remi (who collaborated with Nas on his previous LPs Stillmatic and God's Son) led all with nine solo productions. L.E.S. only produced three solo outings, but one included the single "Just a Moment". Thompson, on the other hand, had one solo production credit ("Getting Married").

Other notable producers from the album include legendary A Tribe Called Quest member Q-Tip (who had last worked with Nas on Illmatic '​s "One Love") and D.I.T.C. producer Buckwild ("These Are Our Heroes"). Nas himself produced "Suicide Bounce" and "U.B.R. (Unauthorized Biography of Rakim)", both from the second disc. L.E.S. also brought on baggage for his productions. T. Black and Nut assisted the legendary producer on "The Makings of a Perfect Bitch" and Herb Middleton helped with the beat on "Me &You (Dedicated to Destiny)". Chucky Thompson, too, brought in extra help for "Live Now" (Barnardo "Nardo" Williams). Rapper Ill Bill made a song similar to "U.B.R. (Unauthorized Biography Of Rakim)" titled "U.B.S. (Unauthorized Biography Of Slayer)" on his album The Hour of Reprisal (2008).

Music[edit]

Nas' father Olu Dara is featured on the title track "Street's Disciple" and lead single "Bridging the Gap".[1] Aside from Ludacris ("Virgo") and Quan ("Just a Moment") no other MC's actually deliver a verse on Street's Disciple. Busta Rhymes plays hypeman to "Suicide Bounce" and Doug E. Fresh beatboxes on "Virgo". Kelis (Nas' ex-wife) helps sing the chorus along with the bridge on "American Way". The album does feature many singers though, including: Amerie ("Rest of My Life"), Emily ("Reason"), Maxwell ("No One Else in the Room") and Keon Bryce ("War"). Nas also uses a voice synthesizer to make his voice high-pitched for his female alter-ego Scarlett, who appears on "Sekou Story" and "Live Now".

Street's Disciple features multiple socio-conscious and political songs, such as "A Message to the Feds, Sincerely, We the People", "American Way" and "These Are Our Heroes". The latter (originally titled "Coon's Picnic") contained attacks directed toward multiple black celebrities including: O.J. Simpson and NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. Another topic addressed by Nas were important women in his life or females in general. "Getting Married" is dedicated to his then-newlywed wife Kelis Rogers-Jones, "Me & You (Dedicated to Destiny)" is, aptly titled, directed toward Nas' daughter and "Makings of a Perfect Bitch" describes most men's idea of the ideal woman. Death and appreciating life are the subject to several songs as well such as "Live Now", "Rest of My Life" and "Just a Moment".

Reception[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau (A-)[3]
Entertainment Weekly (A-)[4]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[5]
NME (9/10)[6]
Pitchfork Media (7.2/10)[7]
PopMatters (favorable)[8]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[9]
USA Today 3.5/4 stars[10]
The Village Voice (favorable)[11]

The album debuted at number five on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 232,000 copies in its first week.[12] It also peaked at number 2 on the U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.[13] By January 2005, the album had sold 500,000 copies in the United States.[14] On November 18, 2005, Street's Disciple was certified platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), following sales in excess of 1 million copies.[14] It serves as Nas's seventh consecutive platinum album in the United States.[15] The album's singles achieved modest chart success, with "Bridging the Gap" serving as the only single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.[16]

Critical response[edit]

Street's Disciple received generally positive reviews from music critics.[17] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 80, based on 16 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[17] Chicago Sun-Times writer Jeff Vrabel gave it 3½ out of 4 stars and called it "sprawling and ambitious where  '​Illmatic '​ was quick and gritty".[18] Dorian Lynskey of The Guardian gave it 4 out of 5 stars and called it a "persuasive double album".[5] NME gave it a rating of 9/10 and called it groundbreaking.[6] Giving it an A- rating, Robert Christgau of The Village Voice described the album as "double-CD sprawl is ambitious not hubristic, imposing not indigestible--squeezes onto a C-90" and commended Nas for his lyrical maturity, writing that he "finally seems comfortable with his (black) humanity. He's responsible, thoughtful, and compassionate, never mealymouthed".[3] Rolling Stone '​s Jon Caramnica gave the album 4 out of 5 stars and described it as "the rare instance of hip-hop old and wise enough to look backward without forgetting what it was like to look ahead with awe and wonder".[9] Noah Callahan-Bever of Vibe called the album's material "uniformly solid", but stated "there's an overwhelming routineness to the material, indicating the god body MC needs new challenges, enlightening experiences, and careful insights to inspire him".[19]

Track listing[edit]

Disc one
No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro"     1:50
2. "A Message to the Feds, Sincerely, We the People"   Chucky Thompson, Salaam Remi, L.E.S. 2:15
3. "Nazareth Savage"   Salaam Remi 2:40
4. "American Way" (featuring Kelis) Q-Tip 4:09
5. "These Are Our Heroes"   Buckwild 4:22
6. "Disciple"   L.E.S. 3:00
7. "Sekou Story" (featuring Scarlett) Salaam Remi 2:56
8. "Live Now" (featuring Scarlett) Chucky Thompson, Barnardo "Nardo" Williams 4:30
9. "Rest of My Life" (featuring Amerie) Chucky Thompson, L.E.S. 3:50
10. "Just a Moment" (featuring Quan) L.E.S.  
11. "Reason" (featuring Emily) Chucky Thompson, L.E.S. 4:47
12. "You Know My Style"   Salaam Remi 2:52
Disc two
No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Suicide Bounce" (featuring Busta Rhymes) Nas 3:57
2. "Street's Disciple" (featuring Olu Dara) Salaam Remi 3:57
3. "U.B.R. (Unauthorized Biography of Rakim)"   Nas 3:38
4. "Virgo" (featuring Ludacris & Doug E. Fresh) Salaam Remi 3:26
5. "Remember the Times (Intro)"     0:51
6. "Remember the Times"   L.E.S. 3:23
7. "The Makings of a Perfect Bitch"   L.E.S., T. Black, Nut 3:15
8. "Getting Married"   Chucky Thompson 3:46
9. "No One Else in the Room" (featuring Maxwell) Chucky Thompson, Salaam Remi 5:08
10. "Bridging the Gap" (featuring Olu Dara) Salaam Remi 3:56
11. "War" (featuring Keon Bryce) Salaam Remi 4:17
12. "Me & You (Dedicated to Destiny)"   L.E.S., Herb "Staff" Middleton 3:26
13. "Thief's Theme"   Salaam Remi 2:59

Samples[edit]

Personnel[edit]

  • Executive Producers: Nasir Jones, Salaam Remi, L.E.S.
  • Associate Producers: Nasir Jones, Chucky Thompson, Mike Brinkley
  • Mastering: Chris Gehringer
  • A&R Direction: Mike Brinkley, Timothy "Gov" Ballard, Dino Delvaille
  • Album Coordination for Sony Urban Music: Nikki Martin
  • Marketing: David Belgrave
  • Management: Sara Newkirk
  • Legal Representation: Peter Paterno ESQ, Michelle Jubelirer
  • Art Direction & Design: Chris Feldmann
  • Photography: Danny Clinch
  • Imaging: Justin Cohen
  • Graphic Artist: Patrick Cahalan
  • Prop Stylist: Debora Francis
  • Stylist: Tiffany Hassbourne

Charts[edit]

Chart (2004) Peak
position
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[20] 82
French Albums (SNEP)[21] 54
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[22]
[23]
38
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[24] 40
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[25] 27
UK Albums (OCC)[26] 45
US Billboard 200[27] 5
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[28] 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ Abramovich, Alex. Hip-Hop Family Values. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  2. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. Review: Street's Disciple. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  3. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide: Street's Disciple". The Village Voice: January 4, 2005. Archived from the original on 2009-11-24.
  4. ^ Drumming, Neil. Review: Street's Disciple. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  5. ^ a b Lynskey, Dorian. Review: Street's Disciple. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  6. ^ a b Collins, Hattie. "Review: Street's Disciple". NME: December 11, 2004.
  7. ^ Sylvester, Neil. Review: Street's Disciple. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  8. ^ Hamilton, Pierre. Review: Street's Disciple. PopMatters. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  9. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon. Review: Street's Disciple. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  10. ^ Jones, Steve. Review: Street's Disciple. USA Today. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  11. ^ Tate, Greg. Review: Street's Disciple. The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  12. ^ Sisario, Ben. Pop Charts: Jay-Z and Linkin Park Over U2. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  13. ^ Billboard Albums: Street's Disciple. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  14. ^ a b Gold & Platinum: Searchable Database. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  15. ^ Nas Declares 'Hip Hop Is Dead'. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  16. ^ Billboard Singles: Street's Disciple. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  17. ^ a b Street's Disciple (2004): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-11-24.
  18. ^ Vrabel, Jeff. "Review: Street's Disciple". Chicago Sun-Times: 61. December 1, 2004.
  19. ^ Callahan-Bever, Noah. "Review: Street's Disciple". Vibe: 183–184. October 2004.
  20. ^ "NAS – Street's Disciple" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  21. ^ "NAS – Street's Disciple". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  22. ^ "Oricon Top 50 Albums: {{{date}}}" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  23. ^ http://www.oricon.co.jp/prof/artist/17729/products/music/551425/1/
  24. ^ "NAS – Street's Disciple". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  25. ^ "NAS – Street's Disciple". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  26. ^ "NAS | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  27. ^ "Nas Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Nas. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  28. ^ "Nas Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums for Nas. Retrieved November 12, 2013.

External links[edit]