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Picks and Pans Review: Nas

updated 01/22/2007 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/22/2007 01:00AM

Hip Hop Is Dead

CRITIC'S CHOICE

RAP

If Hip Hop Is Dead, as Nas proclaims on his new CD, then the rapper certainly does his best to resurrect the genre's golden age. Indeed, the title cut finds Nas rocking it like vintage Run-DMC with a guitar-infused track produced by the ubiquitous will.i.am. Elsewhere Nas continues to draw inspiration from the old school, saluting hip-hop pioneers such as Grandmaster Melle Mel and the Fat Boys on "Can't Forget About You," which slyly samples Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable." Nas gives even more props to his forebears on the James Brown-sampling "Where Are They Now," which also serves as a fitting tribute to the Godfather of Soul.
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