I Can (Nas song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"I Can"
Single by Nas
from the album God's Son
Released February 11, 2003
Format CD single
Recorded 2002
Genre Conscious hip hop
Length 4:13
Label Ill Will, Columbia
Writer(s) Nasir Jones, Salaam Remi
Producer(s) Salaam Remi
Nas singles chronology
"Made You Look"
"I Can"
"Get Down"

"I Can" is the second single from the Nas album, God's Son. It was released internationally February 11, 2003.


Boasting production from Salaam Remi, the song samples Ludwig van Beethoven's "Für Elise" and The Honey Drippers' "Impeach the President".[1]

Its lyrics are positive, encouraging the youth to stay drug-free, and pursue their dreams. The lyrics also detail various events in African history.

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Chris Robinson, was shot in Philadelphia, and contains footage of Nas rapping while children stand around him. The video starts out with the music from the introduction of "Get Down," but it soon transitions into "I Can." As the video starts, a young girl starts off by playing the piano in a vacant lot, and later one can see children jumping on a mattress in the same lot. The video also contains footage of break dancing and famous Egyptian structures.


The single received positive reviews. Christian Hoard of Rolling Stone magazine labels "I Can" as "a silly stay-in-school ad attached to a Beethoven sample."[2] This comment may be attributed to the "singsongy" call and response chorus featuring the voices of young children.[3] Other reviewers appreciated "I Can" more: Jon Robinson of IGN.com claims that on his second single, "Nas delivers some of his most inspiring lyrics to date."[4]

"I Can" charted at #12 in Billboard Hot 100, #7 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks, #6 on the Hot Rap Tracks and #58 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 2003.[5] This is Nas's highest charting single to date.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "I Can" (Clean Version) (4:13)
  2. "I Can" (Instrumental) (4:14)
  3. "I Can" (Acappella) (4:03)


  1. ^ SamplesDB - Nas's Tracks
  2. ^ Hoard, Christian. Review: God's Son. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2012-02-14.
  3. ^ Kim, Serena. "Review: God's Son". Vibe: 135–136. February 2003.
  4. ^ Robinson, Jon. "God's Son review at IGN". Retrieved February 3, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Nas' Billboard singles chart positions at Allmusic". Retrieved January 17, 2007. 

External links[edit]