Friday, May 01, 2020

Nas "Made You Look... Back" (Ego Trip Mag/Postcard, 1994-2004)


"Today, the most anticipated east coast ghetto griot of choice, hands down, has to be the rapper Nas of Queensbridge. The posse cut/movie soundtrack graduate has arrived, splashing break beat blood upon the now dry / already scab infested souls who revolve around hip hop's spherical mass. Listening to his lyrics - the tales which grace the album Illmatic, and growing up myself within a fairly close proximity of the Queensbridge cypher, I can assure you that the shit he rhymes about is shit he knows about first hand. Nas is no studio prankster gangster, which to some extent, has saved my faith in hip hop (musically, commercially) - a difficult task considering that there are so many gimmick group bastards out there. The following is a conversation with Nas, conducted behind closed doors while lounging upon the prime black leather chairs which fill the offices of Columbia records. That day, I met a man who had the face of a 15 year old, but whose words communicated experience, pain, triumph, hope and love on a level equal to that of a ghetto grandfather, who in his younger days existed as a street god father and has lived on through to today to tell his story."


As a bonus, these "Made You Look... Back" postcards were sent out by Ego Trip back in 2004. They were for an event in NYC that would feature 10 years of photography in Ego Trip magazine. The postcard features the original Nas photo from their debut issue by Danny Clich (Summer '94, seen above) and the event would also include photographs from other legendary photographers like Rachelle Clinton, Brian Cross, Glen E. Friedman, Daniel Hastings, Chris Jensen, Sue Kwon, Lisa Leone, Shawn Mortensen, Ricky Powell, and Mpozi Tolbert. These photographers are responsible for many of the greatest images/moments to be captured in Hip-Hop history, including your favorite album covers, magazine issues and promotional materials. I recommend picking up a copy of the book Contact High, which documents countless original photographs and their stories. In some cases, you can support these photographers directly by purchasing original prints as some are available to the public via their websites and IG! I hope that this post made you look... back!!