Nas

Live Shots

Nas

Emo's, Aug. 24
Live Shots
Photo by Sandy Carson

Rap royalty owns the method. Three songs into both of Nas' Sunday night sets, the Queensbridge prophet popped Austin with one sublime request: "Can y'all go back in the day with me?" "N.Y. State of Mind," Illmatic immortality heading a string of roof rockers from his seminal 1994 debut – "It Ain't Hard to Tell," "Represent," "One Love," "The World Is Yours," "Life's a Bitch" – put Nas in the role of "Hero" before two sold-out crowds too sold on this self-proclaimed God's Son to worry about the evening's sweat storm. Donning camouflage pants and a black Obama T before coming back for seconds well past midnight in a white V-neck and stunna shades, the MC behind this summer's most controversial hip-hop album led a 32-song charge from start to finish, touching on raw power from his nine-album arsenal: The James Brown-sampled "Get Down," "Got Ur Self A ..." spliced with a freestyled "Still D.R.E," and Stic.man's charging "Sly Fox" 2008, thrown at Bill O'Reilly. Second rounders were treated to an extended Stillmatic suite, with cues from its title cut, "You're Da Man," and "Ether" posting up on either side of Main Source's 1991 Nas-guested "Live at the Barbecue," before a fueled "One Mic" and cropped "Testify" sent Esco, DJ Green Lantern, and the school of headbangers packing. Fourteen years under the spotlight of hip-hop's pantheon, the Little Homey finally completed his first trip to Austin and left nothing to be desired.

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