Review of Loco-Motive by Nas ft Large Professor
First off, Nas is a legend. I remember walking around London in my youth going through all the record stores (and yes they were record stores). I was in to my Hip Hop, but as a kid and aspiring DJ from Bristol it was quite a daunting move to traipse the London stores like the top DJs would. OK maybe not the top ones.
But I was looking for some new Hip Hop, it was around Soho way when a small back street store recommended Nas to me. I was a bit wary and asked if I could “spin it on his decks” and yes I would have said that. You know what I was hooked. His NY sound was strong, a welcome distraction from a lot of the G-Funk type music that was around. This was real Hip Hop, it was going back to the days when I first started listening.
So Nas lost his way a little at one point. Some albums and releases were stronger than others. He also took his Wu-Gambinos alter ego a little too far, even went on longer than Wu-Tang‘s use of it. But lets forgive him that as he has done good stuff since.
‘Loco-Motive’ kind of reminds me of the first time I heard Nas. He took me back a decade or so to when Hip Hop was great. His style was really clear and he spoke about real stuff. He produced music that you wanted to listen to and wasn’t talking about all the trappings he has. ‘Loco-Motive’ to a certain degree does the same thing.
Some of the current tracks labelled Hip Hop, may be containing rap or rappers but they aint Hip Hop. They are pop. Some good pop, some bad. Well this track from Nas is definite Hip Hop and somehow, he has taken me back to the early 90s with this track.
The intro features some daunting female vocals and uses the sound of a train to build up to the track. In comes the beats and Nas opens his skills. The added element of slightly off key piano is definitely reminiscent of some of the better tracks from the 90s, think Wu-Tang as Nas himself.
The way the track tells us a story and includes spoken interludes also takes me back to the style adopted in some of the Jeru The Damaja material. This was obviously done deliberately as towards the end he even mentions 90s.
Nas has come up trumps with ‘Loco-Motive’ and gives us a track the older ones out of us will love for its nostalgia. Yet it also sounds ridiculously modern and sits proudly head and shoulders above a lot of the tripe being released at the moment. Yes Flo-Rida we are looking at you.
‘Loco-Motive’ is Nas‘ new track and features on his new album ‘Life is Good’ which comes out later this month. A definite must listen album.