Nasir Jones was blessed with a curse. His first album, Illmatic, was so ill that no matter what he managed to churn out, it never lived up to the unbelievable quality of his seminal debut. One of Nas’ greatest moments came in the form of the forced release of The Lost Tapes. While recording his third album, I Am…, Nas experienced the then unknown ‘Napster phenomenon.’ Songs scheduled to appear on the album were leaked on the net and even bootlegged by street vendors, nearly forcing Nas and Columbia Records shelve I Am… Instead, the tracks were scrapped, Nas recorded some filler, and I Am… received mixed reviews. In 2002, Nas decided to release the cut tracks as well as other previously unreleased tunes for The Lost Tapes compilation. The album was under promoted and failed to pick up the steam of nearly every other release he has put out to date. However, critics and fans loved the album for its introverted lyrics and production (featuring The Alchemist and a ghost-production from the then obscure producer Kanye West).
Today Nas fans can rejoice, as he went through the most ‘legit’ medium of issuing a public statement, Twitter, to announce to the release of his forthcoming album, The Lost Tapes Vol. 2. One can only speculate on the gems that could hypothetically end up on this release. In the past Nas has spoke on being in the studio with producers like RZA, but the results have yet to come to fruition. Could we possibly hear another Nas/DJ Premier banger? Will The Alchemist make another appearance? Who knows; we don’t even have a release date yet, but this is good news nonetheless.