It's refreshing to hear Nas -- one of hip-hop's most esteemed, lasting voices -- taking on more than swagger and girls in his latest song. Or, rather, he's rhyming about girls, but more specifically his own "little" girl, who is now 17.
"Daughters" is another new track to arrive from Nas' "Life Is Good" album, due on July 17. "Daughters" goes on sale in the usual spots on May 1.
Among Nas' temptations is to blaze through another elder-statesman "I'm still top of the game" kind of jam, but this super-specific track touches on a tender topic oft-ignored (or undercooked) by hip-hop on the whole. Raising a daughter and rapping aren't mutually exclusive, and Nas tackles his own daugther Destiny's parenting head-on. He addresses the fact that his little princess posted a photo of condoms on her bedside table to Twitter, and that she's already fielding numerous calls from, erm, suitors.
"At this point I realized I ain't the strictest parent / I'm too loose, I'm too cool with her," he admits. "They say the coolest players and foulest heartbreakers in the world / God gets us back, he makes us have precious little girls."
Nas also touches on the hypocrisy of upholding a thug image for himself, for profit, and "switching women," but not wanting his own daughter to end up with a guy like, well, himself. It's paradoxical, but at least it's honest. Plus, dudes raising dudes is one thing, and dudes raising daughters is a whole other can. "When he date, he straight, chip off his own papa / When she date, we wait behind the door with the sawed-off."
Not so big on the repeated riff "Shit for niggas with daughters / I call this," doesn't really trip off the tongue, does it? "Glory," this is not.
Nas' video for "The Don" is due to drop tonight (April 27) on MTV and Vevo.