Is "I Am..." an Underrated Album

Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 4:16 AM By: Fr@nk_DaDa

Many critics have called I Am... one of Nas's weakest efforts however i disagree. I believe it has a nice mix between Illmatic znd It Was Written with notable tracks like "NY State of Mind Pt. 2" "Small World" "We Will Survive" "Hate Me Now" etc. Remember the album was supposed to be called I Am...The Autobiography as a double disc, so we will never know how amazing that album could of been if it never leaked. I just feel Nas got a lot of backlash for an album that didnt deserve it(i dont think any of his albums derserve that in my opinion). Whats ur opinion though. I want u to be free to share and express ur opinion!

  1. Zas_T avatar

    On Sat, Jul 21, 2012 at 7:02 PM, Zas_T said:

    http://www.reverbnation.com/jaymarleyshakur THE RISING of Hip Hop in its true art form.

  2. Chris avatar

    On Sat, Jun 23, 2012 at 12:14 AM, Chris said:

    I am... was a classic, people are just to simple minded to understand that.

  3. Asterling7830 avatar

    On Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 12:57 PM, Asterling7830 said:

    I am is absolutely one of his underrated albums... Come on Nas is Like is one of the hottest songs he has every made. Undying Love is ridiculous, we got NY State of Mind II on there which is amazing.. So i would never say that i am... is his weakest album that is just false. There is only one album that i would say is his weakest album, not i am..., and to me its not even weak so fuck anyone who says his work is weak

  4. ShoepremeBeing avatar

    On Sun, Jun 10, 2012 at 8:18 PM, ShoepremeBeing said:

    I personally am ambivalent towards “I Am…” I, too, feel like that if it would’ve been released as Nas originally planned it, (as a double album with much more personal records), than it would’ve been a much stronger album. The first half of the album (tracks 1-8) is nearly flawless. ‘N.Y. State Of Mind, Pt. II’ is an update of the problems Nas encounters and also how he views NY’s streets, ‘Hate Me Now’ is classic and legendary; for one reason because Puff coined the phrase “Escobar season has returned” on it. ‘Small World’ is Nas seemingly effortlessly weaving an intricate story over a chilling beat that easily captivates the listener from beginning to end, and ‘Favor For A Favor’ is just two of Hip-Hop’s best rhyme slingers connecting and decimating a hype track. ‘We Will Survive,’ ‘Ghetto Prisoners’ and ‘You Won’t See Me Tonight’ end the first half of the album on a strong note. The second half of “I Am…” is where Nas loses steam, which is why “I Am…” is deserving of most of the criticism it receives. The second half of “I Am…” (tracks 9-16), with the exception of ‘Nas Is Like’ and ‘Undying Love,’ lacks great production and lyrical consistency. ‘I Want To Talk To You,’ while a poignant song, was poorly executed to me. ‘Dr. Knockboot’ doesn’t fit with the rest of the vibe of the album and neither does ‘K-I-S-S-I-N-G.’ ‘Life Is What You Make It’ was solid, although the beat could’ve been stronger in my opinion. ‘Big Things’ was just flat out an egregious song and I feel Nas only did a song like that because Biggie successfully used a rapid-fire flow for ‘Notorious Thugs” on “Life After Death.” I say this because B.I.G. was the only rival Nas really felt he had at the time, so I’m sure he felt he could do what B.I.G. did and possibly even do it better than him. ‘Nas Is Like’ is flawless, so nothing more really needs to be said about that. ‘Money Is My Bitch’ is clever, but like ‘Life Is What You Make It,’ the beat could’ve been stronger to me. ‘Undying Love’ is a phenomenal album closer and along with ‘Nas Is Like,’ helps the second half of “I Am…” from being a total disaster. Although Nas clearly has classics songs on this album, I do not feel that it is underrated if you look at it in its totality (production, lyrical content/consistency, song choice, hooks, etc.).

  5. ShoepremeBeing avatar

    On Sun, Jun 10, 2012 at 8:16 PM, ShoepremeBeing said:

    I personally am ambivalent towards “I Am…” I, too, feel like that if it would’ve been released as Nas originally planned it, (as a double album with much more personal records), than it would’ve been a much stronger album. The first half of the album (tracks 1-8) is nearly flawless. ‘N.Y. State Of Mind, Pt. II’ is an update of the problems Nas encounters and also how he views NY’s streets, ‘Hate Me Now’ is classic and legendary; for one reason because Puff coined the phrase “Escobar season has returned” on it. ‘Small World’ is Nas seemingly effortlessly weaving an intricate story over a chilling beat that easily captivates the listener from beginning to end, and ‘Favor For A Favor’ is just two of Hip-Hop’s best rhyme slingers connecting and decimating a hype track. ‘We Will Survive,’ ‘Ghetto Prisoners’ and ‘You Won’t See Me Tonight’ end the first half of the album on a strong note. The second half of “I Am…” is where Nas loses steam, which is why “I Am…” is deserving of most of the criticism it receives. The second half of “I Am…” (tracks 9-16), with the exception of ‘Nas Is Like’ and ‘Undying Love,’ lacks great production and lyrical consistency. ‘I Want To Talk To You,’ while a poignant song, was poorly executed to me. ‘Dr. Knockboot’ doesn’t fit with the rest of the vibe of the album and neither does ‘K-I-S-S-I-N-G.’ ‘Life Is What You Make It’ was solid, although the beat could’ve been stronger in my opinion. ‘Big Things’ was just flat out an egregious song and I feel Nas only did a song like that because Biggie successfully used a rapid-fire flow for ‘Notorious Thugs” on “Life After Death.” I say this because B.I.G. was the only rival Nas really felt he had at the time, so I’m sure he felt he could do what B.I.G. did and possibly even do it better than him. ‘Nas Is Like’ is flawless, so nothing more really needs to be said about that. ‘Money Is My Bitch’ is clever, but like ‘Life Is What You Make It,’ the beat could’ve been stronger to me. ‘Undying Love’ is a phenomenal album closer and along with ‘Nas Is Like,’ helps the second half of “I Am…” from being a total disaster. Although Nas clearly has classics songs on this album, I do not feel that it is underrated if you look at it in its totality (production, lyrical content/consistency, song choice, hooks, etc.).

  6. Gary-3G avatar

    On Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 7:50 PM, Gary-3G said:

    "I Am" is definitely underrated however it wasn't one of Nas's top five albums. Hate me now, NY State of mind pt 2, Nas is like, Small world, Undying love were amazing songs. If it was another artist people would consider this album as a classic, but since it's one of Nas's Albums, it doesnt get as much credit as it deserves.

  7. Mal617 avatar

    On Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 10:10 AM, Mal617 said:

    The album was dope not the dopest, but dope.

  8. Kingpin91 avatar

    On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 10:57 PM, Kingpin91 said:

    "I Am..." was one of Nas's weaker joints imo. I feel like, had it been released the way it was originally intended to be, the album would have been an undeniable classic. Just look at some of the songs that came out from that time period. Damn near the entire "Lost Tapes" came from the "I Am..." recording sessions. I feel like the album doesn't maintain a truly cohesive feel to it. Some of Nas's best records are on that album along with some mediocre ones.

  9. DbQueensGodson avatar

    On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 6:59 PM, DbQueensGodson said:

    Honestly, I Am.....was underrated commercially and by the media...however the streets loved it....I think it was a much more of a growth album for Nas...You get that feeling right from the start during the Intro.....NY State of Mind Part 2 is his new and resurrected mind state.....Hate Me Now is self explanatory, I remember when that dropped Flex kept on using the bomb sound over and over again and kept on playing it.....Small World is a lyrical masterpiece and story telling....Favor 4 A Favor is Nas doing his best work with Scarface...........We Will Survive is deep....Ghetto Prisoners is Nas using his clever mind....You Wont See Me Tonight was for the radio.....I Want To Talk You is a classic and went over mad heads......Dr. Knockboots is has an old school feel.....Life Is What You Make It has Nas amd X doing their thing...Nas has a great verse on that.....Big Things is the weakest song but has clever word play .......Nas is Like is classic N and Premo.......KISSING is smooth Nas over R.......Money is My Bitch is a clever concept song....Undying Love is CLASSIC stoytelling........I Am is a great album not his best cause we all know Illmatic is that but it is Nas doing lyrical arcobats on all of us growing as an emcee..I love the album and bang it on a regular ...Nas has always stayed true ...every song every album....

  10. bravebird973 avatar

    On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 5:59 PM, bravebird973 said:

    I Am was a bit underrated. "Nas is Like" now that song reminds me of The Don' but #tighter. You know how it is when a rapper and I quote starts getting deeper how some think that they have veered off because they don't understand hip hop. I'm sure Nas would say his style didn't change at all but he grew. His spirit has remained the same along with his lyrical flow and he has evolved. He hasn't changed a bit. He's better within himself..

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