I’m hurt that Nas is the first musician to sample a Wiz track (correct me if I’m wrong). The Wiz is my favorite movie. Anyone who thinks they know me knows that. I LOVE THE BLEEPING WIZ. I have a mental list of impeccable, immaculate songs that could not be improved due to their inherent perfection at the time of composition and a song from the Wiz soundtrack is on there. Excessive? Maybe.
“Surviving the Times” is off of Nas’ Greatest Hits album. It starts off with Nipsey Russell’s “What Would I Do If I Could Feel? ” and some simple, well-placed keys that helps lead the sample into a beat that is, admittedly, less than impressive. As usual, I think he relies on his repuation as a heavy lyricist and allows production to be a little sparce. It plays real smooth, but I would have like to hear something a little more creative. The lyrics themselves are Nas explicating his entrance into both adulthood/manhood and hip hop. He speaks of his first crush, his first mic, first rhyme and label advance.
It isn’t gold, but it’s worth listening to.