Other Nas records ('cept God's Son which is so good) reek of a sort of cynical nostalgia- the still-young MC declared best from a debut, trying to recapture that for fame or relevance more than anything else:
You said you've been in this 10, I've been in it 5 - smarten up, NasThe unreleased stuff he was making at the same time, however, has a different kind- that which aids in the individual's introspection- The Lost Tapes. It's raw, sometimes not ready, and never once sounds cynical. Rather than promising Illmatic and not following through with it, we get personal insights to the guy after that record. It's got everything: social commentary, vivid stories, the relationship with his dad, alcoholism, reminiscences, it goes on. Sometimes it's too raw, but mostly it's the guy people still maintain is best doing what he wants to do, rather than what he thinks we want. And he has no fucking clue what we want, so The Lost Tapes is it.
4 albums in 10 years, nigga? I could divide
That's one every...let's say 2
2 of them shits was doo
1 was "nah", the other was "Illmatic"
That's a one-hot-album-every-10-year average