Life Is Good, his 11th studio album and strongest in three or four presidential administrations, is basically the answer.
Jayson Greene on Pitchfork, judging Nas’s career even more harshly than Jay-Z did. A one hot album every 19 year average!
I know it’s probably meant to be hyperbole, but between this and the opening “Nas has been disappointing people nearly half his life” line, the position this piece is taking is that Nas has been putting out shitty records since 1993, when he was nineteen and had not yet released an album.
So, um… way to go, Nas? Pitchfork is letting you know that your new album is the first thing worth a damn you’ve done since you were nineteen and featured on a Main Source track?
I’m guessing this is a misused bit of governmental terminology rather than a Krazy Hipster Contrarian Gambit. Go back three or four presidential terms — two W; two Clinton — and you get It Was Written (July ‘96), which is one of three albums people typically slot into the “best since ______” category anyways (the other two being Stillmatic for bet-hedging reviews and Illmatic for breathlessly excited ones). As for that other thing, there is a significant difference between “disappointing” (“there are too many filler tracks and pop radio bids on this otherwise-decent 80-minute album”) and “shitty” (Nastradamus).