It’s always welcome to see a pair of hip-hop greats connecting on wax, and though not exactly what some were expecting, Nas and Eminem‘s first-ever collaboration remains a big deal. True, they didn’t exactly trade verses, but Slim made sure to bless Nas with a haunting instrumental, one that stood out as a highlight on the fan-favorite album God’s Son. On that note, Nas’ sixth studio album recently celebrated its eighteenth birthday a few days back, and it feels appropriate to spotlight “The Cross,” a reflective piece fueled by some stellar penmanship from the Queensbridge emcee.
Evocative in its use of religious imagery, Nas establishes a striking tone with the bars of the chorus. “I carry the cross, if Virgin Mary had an abortion, I’d still be carried in the chariot by stampedin’ horses,” he raps, asserting his divine roots with a controversial what-if scenario. All the while, Eminem’s spooky piano arrangement floats underfoot, giving Nas ample space to showcase a slew of impressive flows. “I changed it up from that pop shit, it’s hard to see R&B rappers arguably, started fuckin’ up the game horribly,” spits Nas, a relic of what used to bother lyricists back in 2002. “Cause I parted the sea, then these novices targeted me.”
Be sure to revisit this classic collaboration between two of rap’s greatest, and sound off if you consider God’s Son to deserve classic status eighteen-years removed from its release.
I changed it up from that pop shit, it’s hard to see R&B
Rappers arguably started fuckin’ up the game horribly
‘Cause I parted the sea, then these novices targeted me
Bitches infatuated say they love me lyin’ to me
What I’ve discovered is my brother’s tryin’ to be
The next me, yeah I support him, but he’s blinded I see