Post-Season Tourney: Nas Goes in on “March Madness.”

On Nas' remix of Future's "March Madness."
By    February 9, 2016

Deen’s at the library teaching a Nas masterclass.

I may be in the minority on this, but I happen to enjoy Nas’ occasional forays into what his core fanbase would consider ‘uncomfortable’ sonic territory at best and pandering at its worst. From his first adventures on early Timbaland (“For My”) to probably being the first (and possibly only, if we don’t include Fat Joe’s carpetbagging ass) important NYC MC to hop on a Lil’ Jon joint (“Quick to Back Down”), I’ve been on board for every…let’s say ‘interesting’ Nas adventure over the last decade or so.

I’m not gonna rehash the debate that essentially boils down to either admitting that he made the right move by rolling with Stoute and The Trackmasters in 1996 or still being angry that he didn’t just stick to doing what he did on his debut (even though he sneaks in heavy doses of that on every album). I think I’ve already tipped my stance on the matter, even if I’m happy to admit that he absolutely sounds better on his bread and butter. Too bad his bread and butter ain’t been in vogue since a good number of us were going through puberty.

Anyway, here’s Nas, per usual, not on schedule (or necessary in this case) but always on time, over the arguable top track of 2015, Future’s “March Madness.” If you’re wondering how this happened, there’s simple and much less cynical reason for this freestyle’s existence than you suspect: Nas and Future share a manager. I imagine this effort is just a prelude to potential collaboration down the line. Well, I hope, because why the fuck not? Baby needs shoes and Kelis probably doesn’t do payment extensions.

As for the verse’s merits? Maybe I’m the wrong source to evaluate it but I think Nas’ energetic and detailed approach provides a welcome contrast to Future’s original and I’m always in the mood for new Nas, especially when he’s in stunt/braggart mode. It certainly sounds MUCH better in CDQ and sans the FCC interference it suffered from during its OVO Radio launch last week. So yeah, I like it.

As for those of you that thought this was terrible before, during, and possibly after you heard it, I’m sure it’s still better than “Braveheart Party” or his thousandth stale Salaam Remi joint, so praise Allah and shut the fuck up.

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