Rolling Stone - p.1573.5 stars out of 5
- "DISCIPLE is the rare instance of hip-hop old and wise enough to look backward without forgetting what it was like to look ahead with awe and wonder."
Entertainment Weekly - p.84
"The set's nostalgic production - old soul samples, '80s-era breakbeats, bluesy guest appearances from his jazz-player pops - nicely underscores Nas' reconciliation with his roots and responsibilities." - Grade: A-
Personnel: Nas (rap vocals, various instruments); Olu Dara (vocals, guitar, harmonica, trumpet); Emily, Kelis, Keon Bryce, Maxwell , Scarlett , Quan (vocals); Ludacris, Busta Rhymes (rap vocals); Vincent Henry (guitar, strings, harmonica, saxophone); Chucky Thompson (guitar, piano, bass guitar, drums); Salaam Remi (guitar, Fender Rhodes piano, organ, bass guitar, drums); L.E.S. (drums); Doug E. Fresh (sound effects).
While Nas has never been one for false modesty, it must be quite the rush to include his father, jazz trumpeter Olu Dara, on his single "Bridging the Gap" to speak of his son becoming "the greatest man alive." While that's a tall order, Nas is indisputably among the premier lyricists and provocative thinkers in hip-hop history. The Queens, New York native's seventh record, STREET'S DISCIPLE, is his most ambitious to date, a double album consisting of more than an hour of continual flow, encompassing many corners of the musical map with style.
Without need for filler or skits, the ultra-focused Nas has more than enough on his mind and in his rhyme arsenal to fill the two discs. He opens by raising Cain on false idols, first indicting both sides of the political spectrum on "Nazareth Savage," then scathingly tearing into Kobe Bryant and Puff Daddy (among others) on "These Are Our Heroes." Nas does a double shot of old-school rap, chronicling the life of Rakim on "U.B.R. (Unauthorized Biography of Rakim)" before nodding to Doug E. Fresh on "Virgo." Tying together this potent outing, Nas closes with a flurry of classic rhymes, on the grimy-yet-melodic bonus track, "Thief's Theme."