A recommended video came across my screen titled ‘Metal Heads React to I Gave You Power by Nas’. Being an uber Nas fan, I clicked to see the content. The video simplistically matched the title. Two white guys (who happen to be Metal/Rock afficandos who are open and appreciative of great music while rocking lip piercings and eyeliner) listened to Nas for the first time and the track selected happens to be I Gave You Power. Their reaction as they mentally break down the track’s symbolism and meaning for me was reminiscent of my first time.

I Gave You Power is poetry disguised as a rap song. The four to six note piano infused beat supplements the frantic paced flow, pushing the track’s emotional impact forward. I Gave You Power solidifies why Nas is the best emcee and most underrated rapper to exist in the last 30 years in addition to why DJ Premier is a legend in production. Nothing compares to this classic track, especially not the lack luster commercial Me and My Girlfriend by Tupac. I Gave You Power is the Old Testament compared to Wayne, Yeezy, Lamar, and Cole’s New Testament. No mumble rapping in cursive but pure Mark Twain lyricism.

What’s noticeably absent from the track is the overt Versace, Gucci, Coogi materialism of the era in addition to the “how many bitches I fucked“ hyperbole that’s common place in new rap and rap of yore. I Gave You Power is just a pure masterful hood tale consisting of instincts and survival.

Check out the track (if you haven’t heard it before) and the Metal Heads reaction below.