That's right, I'm talking about "Who Killed It."
|Plus, it give me a reason.|
"Who Killed It" takes the hip-hop is dead philosophy and places it into a Dragnet-like, film-noire-lite light. Nas plays the Black Joe Friday who's hot on the trail of a caper. The caper, after taking some twists and turns, reveals a "skirt" (in other words, hip-hop and the deterioration of the art behind it) is the motivation behind the caper. Said skirt and Nas Friday, they converse about thinly veiled homages to rap's history and as she "dies," she says "if you really loved me, I'll come back alive." Cool concept, right?
Where it falls apart is its delivery. First, Nas adopts this corny delivery, a la Joe Friday or even Joe Pesci. It's grating as all hell to the ears. Nas's "A-Haaaaaaa, A-HAAAAAAA!!!" moments make me shake my head in sadness. "Who Killed It" is something like telling your four-year-old that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, pro wrestling, Superman, and Shaft (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air references FTW) aren't real. Yes, Nas has made some head-scratchers along with his many head-bangers. But this song, for me, completely pulled the Wizard's curtain back. Unfortunately, unlike Judy Garland, Nas didn't tell me at the end of HHiD that I had the power to bring hip-hop back.
Instead, the guy made me feel like crap for being young and an internet rapper because apparently, I was part of the problem and not the solution, even though I didn't talk about "dumb shit."
Looking back, I now know how J. Cole felt when Nas told him "Work Out" sucked.