Review: @Nas & DJ Green Lantern Live at O2 Bristol (@o2academybris)

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As fans from all over the UK patiently wait for Nas to grace the stage at the sold out 02 Academy in Bris­tol, a some­what intim­ate ven­ue of less than 2000 capa­city, there is debate on what his open­ing track will be, then we wit­ness balls of flame on the visu­als as DJ Green Lan­tern drops, ‘Hate me Now’ paint­ing a clear mes­sage Nas 20 years deep into his rap career does not let the haters fade him and is com­ing out as strong as ever! Rock­ing a glisten­ing ‘Hand of Fatima’ dia­mond neck­lace, his­tor­ic­ally sym­bol­iz­ing pro­tec­tion from the evil eye we are reminded Nas is a super­sti­tious man but let’s noth­ing stop him.

Exem­pli­fy­ing the length of his career per­form­ing clas­sic track from his debut album ‘Ill­mat­ic’ that nev­er get old, giv­ing props to the pion­eers before him, say­ing they then had to buy HIS tape when his album dropped in 1994! Remind­ing us of the days of cas­sette tapes, and asked who had them I can say I proudly raised my hand as Nas poin­ted out someone in the crowd who was clearly too young to have had one! It was another remind­er of the longev­ity of Nas’ career in the rap game. When that beat dropped we knew it was ‘Nasty Nas in your area about to cause mass hys­teria’ as he per­formed ‘Half­time’ from his clas­sic deb­ute album, ‘Ill­mat­ic’.nas2

As we heard the intro to ‘Human Nature’ by Michael Jack­son, visu­als of his face as a young MJ appeared on the screen, Nas reminded us he was a fan of the Jack­son Five and then dropped ‘It Aint Hard to Tell’. And of course Nas paid his respects to his good friend Amy Wine­house whil­st per­form­ing, ‘Cherry Wine’ stat­ing that they shared the same birth­day.

No hype­man required for this show, Nas was in per­fect synch with DJ Green Lan­tern he knows exactly what to drop. We were blessed by a per­form­ance of, ‘One Love’, twice over, the second time over the instru­ment­al, ‘Sky is the Lim­it’ by Big­gie Smalls as he gave a shout out to the late Notori­ous B.I.G. This was respect, this was love. As always through­out his show Nas gives props to all those who came before him and nev­er for­gets his roots and where he came from – Queens­bridge.

Mid way through the show Nas plugged ‘The Get Down’ which is cur­rently on Net­flix about hip hop which was born 1977 in the South Bronx, which he has pro­duced. One of his ven­tures out­side of the rap game.

Intro to Belly!!! Soul II soul which always gives me boose­bumps, Nas shout­ing ‘this is when we were young’ which made me think of what I was doing when that movie was out! Clos­ing his eyes as the intro to stay played, Nas got ready to give a more chilled out recit­a­tion of the track to match it’s feel­ing. Giv­ing us a shak­ing hand to the line ‘still look 20’ lol

A clas­sic­al inter­lude was played ‘Was Beeth­oven hav­ing a good day?!’ as he went into the piano loop for ‘I can’ to inspire us to work hard for where we want to be. Enger­get­ic ‘Da Don’ get­ting the crowd to jump along­side him, the video play­ing in the back­ground.

Nas cracks a smile as fans in the front row go crazy when we hear the hook for ‘I want to talk to you’ a snip­pet of Nas’ more polit­ic­al works, very strong in hold­ing a mes­sage for change for the people. We were left want­ing more has he only teased us with the hook, could this be a sign of things to come? What goes around comes around – remind­ing us of ‘pois­on’ in soci­ety.

Nas speak­ing on life was drowned out by the screams of his female fans which even he could not ignore as he wiped his sweat on to a tow­el and threw it into the crowd to send them in to even more of a fen­zy.

For long time and new fans those see­ing Nas live for the first time or many oth­er times the per­form­ance was not a dis­ap­point­ment. Shout­ing out to all the true kings and Queens in the audi­ence, the last track played was ‘album done’ with DJ Khaled, as Nas left the stage, leav­ing us in anti­cip­a­tion of the new album and things to come, we truly hope his last album on Def Jam is going to drop soon as will the Lost Tapes 2!!

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Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide

Faizah works in clin­ic­al research by pro­fes­sion and has been an avid Hip Hop lov­er since the early 90’s, hav­ing cre­ated her own Hip Hop event, ‘Break­in’ Bound­ar­ies’ in the early 2000’s which was pre­dom­in­antly based around the con­cept of bboy battles, she has worked with sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al events pro­moters and dan­cers to inspire oth­ers through this art­form.

About Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide
Faizah works in clinical research by profession and has been an avid Hip Hop lover since the early 90's, having created her own Hip Hop event, 'Breakin' Boundaries' in the early 2000's which was predominantly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with several international events promoters and dancers to inspire others through this artform.

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