YMMV / Nas

  • Awesome Music: Let's start with Illmatic and go from there.
  • Broken Base: Nastradamus, to an extent: While widely considered to be his weakest album, fan opinion tends to divided on whether it's a mostly decent album marred by unusually bad singles, or a mostly-terrible album with only a few decent tracks.
  • Creator Breakdown: Nas was creatively running on fumes for Nastradamus due to his mother's worsening illness, and it shows.
  • Faux Symbolism: Some of the music video for "Hate Me Now" is kinda reminiscent of some Passion Play.
  • First Installment Wins: Illmatic.
    • In a rare double-example of this trope, Nas's first on-record appearance, on the Main Source's "Live at the Barbeque", is considered by some to be one of his best verses.
  • Insult Backfire: Like virtually any rapper in his position, Nas shrugged off Jay-Z's "Takeover", which insulted him and fellow Queenbridge natives Mobb Depp, but as he pointed many times in later interviews, "The streets"' response to it was basically "You're gonna let him get away with talking shit about you".
  • Harsher in Hindsight: ''Hip Hop Is Dead''.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Many listeners thought Nas was taking subliminal shots at Tupac in his song "The Message" with the opening lines ("Fake thug, no love,you get the slug CB 4 Gusto"), including Tupac himself. The truth is Nas was actually taking shots at The Notorious B.I.G. in the whole song and the fake thug he mentioned in the song was just any typical thug in general who would get no love in the streets and receive a bullet for their troubles.
  • Seasonal Rot: Nastradamus does have its moments, but it's widely regarded as his weakest album.
    • With the help of hindsight, Hip Hop Is Dead seems significantly less impactful/meaningful than the three albums that followed it—his untitled album for its Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped approach to race relations, Distant Relatives for its pan-African consciousness, and Life Is Good for its well-grounded examination of his own life as a man who'd made it through the madness of his youth and became a more grounded, balanced person. Compared to these, Hip Hop Is Dead is rife with tired cliches, though it does have good moments as well.
    • On another note, one can also say that God's Son, despite the catchiness of some of its tunes, isn't as emotionally or intellectually nuanced as most of his other albums, including Hip Hop Is Dead.
  • Signature Song: "N.Y. State of Mind".
  • So Bad, It's Good: Many consider "Shoot 'Em Up" from Nastradamus to be this, as it's a generic gangsta story rapped entirely to the tune of Christmas carols.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Much of his untitled album discusses racism, social inequality, and censorship in a blunt manner.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Nothing he has made after Illmatic has been so acclaimed.
  • Vindicated by History: His second album, It Was Written, which was given flak for not being Illmatic 2, has since grown in status over the years.
    • It's been said that Illmatic is his best album if you're a fan, It Was Written is what you study if you want to be a rapper.