How much does J.I. love Nasty Nas? Let us count the ways. Let’s see ... He habitually forgets the words to his own lyrics and we forgive him -- now that’s love. On Wednesday (Dec. 26), Nas shut down New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom with his 2nd annual day-after-Christmas concert.
“While all the executives are on vacation in St. Barts, Nas is in New York City with y'all mutherfuckers," said Nasir Jones. "I love y'all.”
Backed by a three-piece band and with hip-hop icon Marley Marl as his DJ, Nas ran through hits like “Street Dreams” and “Affirmative Action.” Unfortunately, neither AZ or the incarcerated Foxy Brown were around to perform their verses for that last song. Sad face. But Grammy–nominated songstress Chrisette Michele (we told ya’ll she was dope) made it out for “Can’t Forget About You.” Though her short-cropped haircut was a bit too much like her labelmate Rihanna's, we’re supporting her experiments with new looks. Always gotta switch it up.
Busta Rhymes popped up for “New York State of Mind” and “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See.” Before he left, Busta Bus said, essentially, that a lot of rappers call themselves the King of New York (shout to Biggie, Frank White and Christopher Walken) but that Nas actually is. Wonder who that sneak diss was for? Perhaps someone who recently quit Def Jam? You be the judge.
In addition to Nas forgetting his lyrics at least nine times (yes, we counted), one funny part of the show was the full-length performance of “Ochie Wallie” starring the fame-starved Bravehearts (Nas’ brother and bodyguard). Now J.I.’s not mad at their performance -- it’s a hot joint -- but did we really have to hear
the WHOLE SONG? Nas is headlining the show and he barely performed any of his songs in their entirety.
When Nas closed with “Made Ya Look,” J.I. realized that we love him, even if he can’t remember the words to “Halftime.” I mean c’mon! That was over 10 years ago, right?