This Video From Nas’ Most Recent Album Is Everything

After a mid-November short film compromised of more than half of his Kanye West-produced Nasir album, Nas continues to release the music videos a la carte. Earlier this week, the lyrical legend dropped the jarring and provocative “Cops Shot The Kid” visual, including a Slick Rick cameo. He has since released “Adam & Eve” (embedded below). However, another poignant inclusion, “everything” is also worthy of standalone consideration.

Like “Cops Shot The Kid,” there are inter-cuts between Nas reflecting from his point in life today, and characters dealing with the world that inspires his songwriting. The MC stands at a rooftop at dusk, looking out at the city that raised him. Light and these solemn moments are each a motif in the Nasir visual package.

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The sequence cuts to an older woman is helping raise her grandsons, and try to bring them up properly. She demands a house of tenderness as the older boy berates his brother for mistakes in his homework and spilling milk. The grandmother reminds the oldest boy that her late husband was the same way. From a New York City residence, he heads to the bodega with money she’s given him. He greets his friends on the corner and heads into the store. Moments later, out front, the line between choices and outcomes is presented. Another family suffers, and another life is compromised. Nas’ words have always been hard-hitting.

This song, featuring West’s singing as well as The-Dream’s, is a highlight from the Mass Appeal/Def Jam Records album. His first verse speaks about the damage Nas has seen the media and misinformation do to his people. “When the media slings mud, we use it to build huts / Irrefutable facts, merciful, beautiful black beloved brother / You fail to embarrass him, harassin’ him / To my life, your life pales in comparison / So go write whatever blog, messiness is not ever the God / Do what’s necessary, I’m never worried / Listen vultures, I’ve been shackled by Western culture / You convinced most of my people to live off emotion / That’s why we competin’, death by the chrome barrel / Forgot the secrets, my Kilimanjaro bone marrow’s the deepest / You can peep at the comments, but don’t fall for that / We want freedom, I’m a scholar, an almanac / People do anything to be involved in everything / Inclusion is a hell of a drug / Some people have everything they probably ever wanted in life / And never have enough.

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Like his video, Nas’ lyrics inject himself to modern issues and suggests that he deals with them too, even as Forbes list-featured mogul. “Who knew I would grow to meet Presidents that respect me? / If Starbucks is bought by Nestlé, please don’t arrest me / I need to use your restroom and I ain’t buy no espresso / Soon enough, assume the cuffs, the position / Not new to us, since back on the bus sittin’ / Said, ‘Screw that bus!’ – boycotted that bus outta business / The future’s us, yet every citizen’s in prison.” The MC addresses a challenging time where racism is all around, despite flashes of hope and advancement.

In the last month, Nas has appeared in videos to his collaborations with Swizz Beatz and Black Eyed Peas.

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#BonusBeat: Nas’ “Adam & Eve” music video: