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The Don

A remix by Massive Attack & Nas

By Brian Published 8 months ago 3 min read
2

The Don [Massive Attack Mix]

Nas

Life Is Good Deluxe Edition (UK) 2012

A Quick Dive

By Brian Salkowski

Nas, a long time fan of UK Hip Hop producer's Massive Attack, who are also big fans of Nas as well and the 2012 track, have remixed the original and dropped its booming weight into an echo chamber. The result is:

THE DON [MASSIVE ATTACK MIX]

It is quite the impressive remix of “The Don".

Queensbridge veteran rapper Nas released his second single off his Life Is Good album in 2012, "The Don".

As with a lot of songs in the genre, a remix was suggested and ultimately utilized.

Enter Massive Attack.

The trip-hop duo from Bristol, England have taken the cut and interlaced it with dreamy, experimental synths and loops that can only be associated with Massive Attack. This is likely to be one of the better remixes you’ll hear from the rap King.

It is nearly 7 minutes of buoyant, dubbed-out hip-hop that begins intensely rhythmic and unravels towards it end into a lovely, fizzing, synth-driven coda. Nas' lyrics go along with it in otherworldly smoothness.

To be blunt- it's SPECTACULAR! The best parts of the band’s musical arsenal is providing a foundation for the intricate wordplay, a constantly-shifting stew of thick liquid beats, ragga vocal samples, and absurdly deep keyboard lines. The original version’s stripped-down rhythm track created a sense of menace and urban claustrophobia, gave Nas the great choice to team with Massive Attack.

And it ups the ante completely, creating an expansive soundscape: bass rumbles underfoot and drums echo on all sides, sounds drop out and reappear suddenly, storm clouds gather overhead and a vast expanse of intertwined vocals and treated synths stretch out toward the horizon.

As for the subject matter of the song, this is after all a Nas record. Nas presents us with a peripatetic, spectral, metaphysical anti-hero outracing temptation, poverty, and evisceration in a razor edged hall of mirrors, an antihero with enough fatalism and self-consciousness to know he's already a ghost, a figment of ghettos past, landscapes already dissipated and dispirited, a dead man walking and talking himself into an even more vicious and more bland next century that will have no place for his kind: self-starting lone wolves of a vanishing American urban wilderness. Men utterly romantic, profane, and self mythologizing about their tall-in-the-saddle inner-city cowboy swagger and survival skills. Men who define an era that was already receding into nostalgia while it happened, men who opened wide those grimy, dark, subterranean tunnels where the most valiant and downtrodden of America's dreamers were plying an illicit, illegal, inner-city trade. Borderlands whose only logic and sense showed up in hip-hop, where living to stylishly to the ugly, gully-gothie tale offered a way out of that tale's most stereotypical and pathetic denouements.

Back to this production. A group of stellar music makers and producers who innovate and create cinematic, dramatic, eerie tempers to music. Their most famous by everyday people is probably "Heat Miser" or the theme of the tv show "House". They are definitely hip hop but a blend of other genres. It's hard to categorize who "Massive Attack" is because Nas is not the first rapper they worked with. Their sound is so different, its addicting. The original version’s stripped-down rhythm track created a sense of menace and urban claustrophobia, gave Nas the great choice to team with Massive Attack. And it ups the ante completely, creating an expansive soundscape: bass rumbles underfoot and drums echo on all sides, sounds drop out and reappear suddenly, storm clouds gather overhead and a vast expanse of intertwined vocals and treated synths stretch out toward the horizon. So, no category deserves them. Either way, "The Don- The Massive Attack Remix" is wondrous, clearly backing up how versatile Nas is. And not just on his most recent LP.

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About the Creator

Brian

I am a writer. I love fiction but also I'm a watcher of the world. I like to put things in perspective not only for myself but for other people. It's the best outlet to express myself. I am a advocate for Hip Hop & Free Speech! #Philly

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  • Alex H Mittelman 8 months ago

    Very interesting! Good job!

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