Leading up to the release of God's Son, the second new Nas album in less than a year, Ill Will dropped a collection of "lost recordings" -- basically, tracks recorded for I Am and Stillmatic that just didn't make it. Though the liners are stretching it in parts ("these songs are famous for never having been officially released"), they definitely got it right when they said, "No cameos. No hype. No bullsh*t." From a few listens, it's clear most of these weren't bumped because they were low-quality; "Doo Rags," "No Idea's Original," and "Black Zombie" stand up to anything Nas has recorded since the original Illmatic. In fact, they have more in common with his early recordings; there's more of a back-in-the-day, wasn't-it-all-so-simple-then sound to "Doo Rags" and "Poppa Was a Playa," two tracks that definitely wouldn't have fit on the raging Stillmatic. That's certainly no reason not to pick up this one, not just for Nas fans but for hip-hop fans who want to hear some great rhyming with no added features.
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AllMusic Review by John Bush