Rolling Stone (4/29/99, p.66) - 1/2 Stars (out of 5) - "...jumping from the virtues of getting heave, seven figure lifestyles and busting guns to existentialism and back again, all in seconds..."
Entertainment Weekly (4/2/99, p.91) - "...With the right choreography and costumes, I AM... could easily be marketed as rap's answer to RENT. And Nas may touch on enough universal themes--sex, death, inequity, jealousy, retribution--to convince high-falutin critics that his vision is worthy of serious analysis..." - Rating: B
Muzik (5/99, p.81) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...a schizophrenic tour de force....there's something for everyone..."
CMJ (4/26/99, p.3) - "...suggests [Nas] has a firm grip on both his past and his present....[positions] him as a curiously contradictory figure in a world of one-sided rhyme heads..."
The Source (2/00, p.95) - Included in The Source's "Top 10 Albums of the Year ."
The Source (4/99, p.195) - 4.5 Mics (out of 5) - "...A cursory listen...will uncover traces of the lyricist we used to call nasty....And as further proof that reports of his demise may have been premature, the one man who has come to embody hip-hop's adoration of all things material declares Esco's continued existence..."
NME (Magazine) (4/3/99, p.40) - "...This, after all, is what makes this autobiography far phatter than the average 25-year-olds."
Personnel includes: Nas, Puff Daddy, Aaliyah, Scarface, DMX.
Producers include: DJ Premier, Pretty Boy, Nashiem Myrick, L.E.S., Grease.
Engineers include: Eddie Sancho, Kevin Crouse, Steve Souder.
I AM was nominated for the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
The original street poet is back. The third chapter in Nas' book of scriptures comes at a time when hip-hop starves for what made the rapper famous: intelligent, realistic songs with a hardcore street edge. I AM combines the underground feel of ILLMATIC with the commercial appeal of IT WAS WRITTEN. Fortunately for Nas, the production matches up to his superior lyrical skills, making for yet another hip-hop classic.
Nas keeps the guest appearances to a memorable minimum (DMX, Scarface, etc.) allowing listeners to focus on his own unmatchable talent. And with producers like the critically acclaimed DJ Premier providing the background for the above average "Nas Is Like" and hitmaker Puff Daddy working the boards for the hype-igniting "Hate Me Now," Nas proves that his contribution to hip-hop far surpasses that of many MCs.
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