While it certainly wasn’t as in-depth as more knowledgeable fans would have hoped for, Behind The Music: Nas offered a serviceable cliff notes version of his career up to the present day. Many milestones and events were touched on. It was nice to see both Primo and Extra P appear as talking heads on a VH1 documentary program. The early meeting between Rakim and his heir apparent was a nice little gem that I hadn’t any prior knowledge of. Such moments made the broadcast well worth the watch.
Still, there were some glaring oversights that stood out like a sore thumb. Nas very public beef with former friend and colleague Cormega was noticeably absent. No mention was made of his collaborations with Dr. Dre. The depiction of his fued with Jay-Z was, as expected, very one sided (“Ether” remains the most overrated diss track of the new millennium). Also, Nas account of his fateful meeting with Tupac sounds very different than the one related by Snoop back in 2004. Perhaps this special will prompt a more in depth investigation of what actually happened, so that a definitive version of events may one day emerge. One can only hope.
As much as “Behind The Music: Nas” begs to be criticized, I’m still overjoyed to see him finally being given the icon treatment that is normally reserved for aging rockers and pop stars. It’s only been a little over a decade since VH1 decided to even acknowledge Hip-Hop in any real way. Those of us who want a more in depth portrait of Hip-Hop’s premier wordsmith will have to wait for Toure’s autobiography. After all, how can the life of a legend be paid proper tribute in a mere 41 minutes? Anyway, the full episode is embedded below. Decide for yourself if it gives “Kid Wave” his due.