Nas Appears As A Rap Pharaoh In The Black Eyed Peas’ Ode To Hip-Hop
Last week, Nas appeared in the video to one of his best songs of 2018. The track and subsequent visual are courtesy of a guest verse on Swizz Beatz’ “Echo.” Days later, Nasir appears in another highlight feature shot from the year. This time it’s from the Black Eyed Peas’ “BACK 2 HIPHOP.”
The song, which references Soul II Soul’s 1989 hit “Back To Life,” opened Octobers’ Masters Of The Sun, Vol. 1 from the once-again trio out of Los Angeles, California. will.i.am, Taboo, and apl.de.ap released their first LP since the top of the decade and returned the Peas to their Hip-Hop roots. Thus, this is a fitting track to begin the message on the LP that also features the late Phife Dawg, Slick Rick, Posdnuos, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad.
The video uses motion animation. For Nas’ verse, which begins at the 3:00 mark, he appears as a pharaoh. This looks like the MC’s I Am… artwork, which will celebrate its 20th-anniversary next year. The gold-plated king delivers his rhymes while the 1965 Chevy Impala low-rider drives through the computer-generated universe.
“BACK 2 HIPHOP” features some noteworthy rhymes. In his intro verse, will declares, “You coulda sworn that you wasn’t warned ’cause we was / Trapped in the box that rap had spawned / It was a square until we kicked it to an octagon / We gotten strong from the pain it’s undergone / Whereupon we kill the beat when the mic ain’t on / That’s my motherf*ckin’ procedure I/ ‘m cold with the flow I will freeze ya / I’m the emperor, I’m Caesar / Can somebody tell me where the MCs are?” apl raps, “Proficient with the lyrical, a vision like a miracle / Damage all you mumblin’ MCs rhyming ’bout decimal / Increasing no residual, why you still remain minimal / Maximize, utilize, my plan mineral / Do not try to bite because my sh*t is not edible / Rhyme unforgettable like Nat King Cole / You can feel it on your neck like you in a choke hold.” Nas reps his Queensbridge home in a verse about fatality. “Another 40-side killer, man / North side in the sixteenth building and / I’m on the corporate side, still pull off a New York walk by / Keep tryin’ talk fly.”