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Dead . . . N

(photo from nahright.com)

A lot of rap heads -- particularly in the south -- are upset with Nas for titling his forthcoming disc, Hip-Hop Is Dead . . . the N. Cats are scratching their heads and wondering, "What is Nas talking about? -- hip-hop is alive and well. Well, poet/scholar/blogger hardCore has offered an excellent summation on the whole "hip-hop is dead" scenario and what Nas is bringing to the table. It's food for thought. Read it right HERE!

hardCore states in his commentary:

"The truth is, for years hip hop culture has been compromised. The artistry has taken a back seat to marketing the sensational -- east coast/west coast feuds and despicable displays of capitalism. Meanwhile women and the preservation of life have continued to be devalued on a street level. Hip hop isn't even rebellious youth culture anymore. It's what grown ass millionaires use as an excuse to be gaudy. Welcome to the hustle n' no flow era of the culture."
hardCore then lists 60 things that have killed hip-hop, among them video vixens, DJs, suburban america, diamonds, egos, double albums, weed, beef, moguls, the iPod (say what?!?!), money and more.

hardCore also asked this question:

"Now that [Nas] parted his lips to mumble hip hop is dead, will those same parted lips give us another classic album to stimulate the rebirth of the culture?"
There are a slew of new Nas' songs and videos floating around the Internets.

Here are a few joints that caught my eyes. Click on the links and check them out.

Nas has a eye-catching, mildy shocking video for "Shine On 'Em" from the upcoming movie Blood Diamonds.

Nas (featuring Jay-Z) -- "Hip-Hop Is Dead" (live performance)

Peep Nas' new video for "Hip-Hop Is Dead."

You know, I love Nas, but this video looks like a damn mess. I don't even like Nas' clothes in the clip. I guess it's an abstract video.

But I totally love this Nas track (featuring the Game) called "Hustlers." Click HERE to listen to it. I just love the camaraderie between these two MCs -- east and west coast brotherhood. Coastal unity . . . that's missing in hip-hop.

I'll leave you with this nugget from hardCore's post:

"On December 19th, "Hip Hop Is Dead...The N" will provide us with a ton of answers," he states. "We'll learn whether over 30 emcees will be relevant in 2006 and beyond. We'll learn if this album feels like a hip hop version of Revelations, or Genesis. And we'll learn if Nas is still lyrically capable of carrying an album that presumably features the top producers in the game. The countdown has begun."

. . . the N.