By Rob Markman
Who says you can’t go back home? On his 1999 single “Hate Me Now,” Nas claimed he was the first rapper to bring a platinum plaque back to the projects, and for his latest video, for “Nasty,” God’s Son stripped his lavish lifestyle down and went back to his native Queensbridge, New York.
Directed by Gold Watch, “Nasty” premiered online Tuesday (October 11). The clip starts with Nas, smoking a cigar in the backseat of a Rolls Royce, flanked by two bodacious beauties who fawn over the legendary rap star. Draped in diamond-encrusted jewelry and other high-priced accessories, Nas is driven through the dark New York City streets until the day turns to night.
Once the sun rises, Esco hops out of the Rolls in the Long Island City section of Queens, saluting the kids standing on the corner with hearty handshakes. One lucky youngster is gifted with the rings from Nas’ fingers, right before he passes a wad of cash to a man seated in a wheelchair. The entire ‘hood lines up to greet their prodigal rap son as he returns to his old stomping grounds.
The visual is particularly fitting, seeing as how for this first single from his upcoming 10th studio album, Nas returned to the raw hip-hop sound that initially earned him his place in the genre. Nasty Nas continues to walk down the rough and rugged streets, peeling off his suit jacket and just about any signifier of his accumulated wealth.
Things begin to make sense as Nas enters 40-16 Vernon Boulevard, his old project building. The rapper, now dressed in a single Jesus piece and black sleeveless tee, marches up the stairs because of a broken elevator. Nas then walks into an apartment full of people before walking into a bedroom recording studio, where he begins to lay down vocals for the very song he’s shooting a video for.
There’s no place like home.
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