Nature

For All Seasons

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With his laboriously delayed debut, For All Seasons, Nature is hoping to make up for lost time. Why? It was three years (an eternity in hip-hop) since Nature parted ways with the Firm, and in that time Nature had watched the anticipation for his debut slowly dissipate. His inaccessibility hasn't been lost on a fickle hip-hop populace that demands immediate gratification, as his once prospective fan base has made stars out of thugs who were more readily available -- Ja Rule, Beanie Sigel, and Black Rob. While Nature may have failed to capitalize on his window of opportunity, For All Seasons affirms that quality work can never be dated. Though his lyrics are recited strictly in a tempered, conversational manner, he is an exceptionally flamboyant and charismatic MC, which is evident on the braggadocios "Ultimate High" featuring Nas. But Nature is most intriguing when he eschews the typical thug banter and delves into the storytelling aspect of his repertoire; he weaves a fatal love triangle with "Young Love," and paints visceral montages of street life with "I Remember" and the sublime "It's a Man's World." Though he delivers a compelling debut, there are stretches of outdated productions that kept the record from joining the ranks of classic debuts from his borough's now-luminary figures (Run-D.M.C., Rakim, LL Cool J and Nas).

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