The world has changed immensely since the release of "I Gave You Power," but the issue of gun violence in America has, more or less, remained the same. Aside from being a baronial and complex story, Nas' song was a forewarning of what was to come.
I may sound like I'm gushing when I write that meeting the wise, striking Dev Patel and listening to a talk with the handsome, funny Jake Gyllenhaal were the highlights of this year's Dubai International Film Festival for me. And make no mistake, I am.
"Rapper's Delight" was the song for which Sugar Hill Gang became famous and it featured one of the first examples of sampling (Chic's "Good Times" threaded though the track) that was also a harbinger of the appropriation frenzy that would infect the art world at the same time.
"Ready to Die" is a multifaceted masterpiece, but its driving force is Biggie's supplication for America to recognize a young black man wrought with the fear and rage of existing in a life rooted in continuing stagnation.