Hero (Nas song)

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Single by Nas featuring Keri Hilson
from the Untitled Nas Album
ReleasedJune 23, 2008 (2008-06-23)
GenreHip hop
  • Nasir Jones
  • Jamal Jones
  • Amber Rives
  • J. Sublett
  • C. Haynes
Producer(s)Polow da Don
Nas singles chronology
"Be a Nigger Too"
"Make the World Go Round"
Keri Hilson singles chronology

"Hero" is a 2008 song and lead single from Nas' untitled album.[1][2] The song features singer Keri Hilson and production by Polow da Don. This song was also featured in Midnight Club: Los Angeles.

Chamillionaire released a freestyle of this song before the release of Mixtape Messiah 4 under the name "Hero". It was originally intended to be a throwaway, but was released on the mixtape. Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa also released a freestyle of this song titled "Hero (Freestyle)" on his 2008 mix tape Star Power.


After claiming that hip hop had died in his previous album, Nas raps on "Hero" about stepping up and bring it back. The third verse of the song addresses the controversy surrounding the album, originally titled Nigger:

It's Universal apartheid, I'm hogtied, the corporate side
Blocking y'all from goin' to stores and buyin' it
First L.A. and Doug Morris was riding with it
But Newsweek article startled bigwigs; they said, "Nas, why is you tryin' it?"
My lawyers only see the Billboard charts as winning
Forgetting, Nas the only true rebel since the beginning
Still in musical prison, in jail for the flow
Try telling Bob Dylan, Bruce {Springsteen}, or Billy Joel they can't sing what's in they soul!
So untitled it is
I never changed nothing, but, people, remember this
If Nas can't say it, think about these talented kids
With new ideas, being told what they can and can't spit
I can't sit and watch it, so shit I'ma drop it!
Like it or not, you ain't got to cop it
I'm a hustla in the studio, cups of Don Julio

And no matter what the CD called, I'm unbeatable y'all![3]

R&B singer-songwriter Keri Hilson sings the song's chorus.[4]

The reference to Doug Morris, then the chairman and CEO of the Universal Music Group, is preserved in the version of "Hero" that appeared on The Nigger Tape, a mixtape released in the run-up to the untitled album's release. In the album version of "Hero," the lyric Doug Morris is censored.

Music video[edit]

The music video premiered on BET on July 7, 2008.[5] It features the Audi R8. Keri Hilson and Ken Jenkins both make appearances in the video. The video appeared at #63 on BET's Notarized: Top 100 Videos of 2008 countdown. It was directed by Taj.[6]

Track listing[edit]

CD single
  1. "Hero" featuring Keri Hilson (Clean)
  2. "Hero" featuring Keri Hilson (Dirty)
  3. "Hero" featuring Keri Hilson (Instrumental)

Other Media[edit]


Charts Peak
Canadian Hot 100 60
Swiss Singles Chart[7] 70
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[8] 97
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[9] 82
UK Singles Chart[10] 70


  1. ^ Nas Is Back! - Releases First Single "Hero" From UNTITLED Album Archived 2008-06-11 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Hero (feat. Keri Hilson) - Single
  3. ^ Nas - Hero Lyrics
  4. ^ Mangat, Ajitpaul. "Nas - [Untitled] | Music Review". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
  5. ^ Video: No Video
  6. ^ NAS - Hero Clipland. Accessed June 16, 2010.
  7. ^ Nas - Hero αCharts. Accessed July 30, 2008.
  8. ^ The Billboard Hot 100 - Hero - Nas Featuring Keri Hilson Billboard. Accessed July 30, 2008.
  9. ^ Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - Hero - Nas Featuring Keri Hilson Billboard. Accessed July 15, 2008.
  10. ^ Top 100 Singles Chart :: Chart Weeke Ending 02/08/08 Archived 2007-07-10 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]