Classic verses: Nas on ‘Small World’ – an incredibly underrated masterpiece

This year Hip-Hop turns 50 years old, and we’re curating some of the best verses from its timeline.

A flurry of genius is always up Nas’ sleeve and on each album he paints vividly the world in which he pursues. Small World depicts scenes of clarity with its opening verse attesting to his prolific writing ability.

The track unravels like cinematic beauty as it effortlessly aids the listener to portray graphic images in the mind, evident in only the first few lines of Nas’ classic:

“Carolyn from Maryland, she Lady Heroin,
She elegant, her apparel in the M-Class caravan,
Keys of dope, loving cats to ski in her throat”

Cultivating a picture of paranoia, intersecting agencies and life in the underworld, the production (provided by Nashiem Myrick and Carlos Broady) can be visualized as smoulder which, I myself felt present in a smoke filled room listening to the evidence of a rapper’s past life. Small World is a criminally underrated track, as is the album ‘I Am…’ .

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