Is Your Old Droog Nas??

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by 2xUeL, Jun 29, 2014.

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Do you think Your Old Droog is Nas?

  1. Yes

    77.8%
  2. No

    22.2%
  1. 2xUeL

    2xUeL Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hip hop fans here might be familiar with the buzz around a mysterious new hip hop artist named Your Old Droog. The rapper's voice and style bear a striking resemblance to hip hop legend Nas, and the hip hop community hasn't been able to help but speculate as to whether or not the newcomer is actually Nas himself. When I first heard Droog's new EP, I was so sure it was Nas that I didn't even bother reading any of the hype. But a friend pointed me in the direction of some press that apparently disproves the theory that Droog is actually Nas. Since then, I have taken it upon myself to become an obsessed expert, and here is what I found:

    1. While Droog apparently had an internet presence prior to this year (a YouTube video and perhaps some other activity under the moniker “Grandma on Drums”), the Droog story got kick-started on April 28th of this year when NahRight.com (http://nahright.com/news/2014/04/28/your-old-droog-nutty-bars/) and EgoTripLand.com (http://www.egotripland.com/your-old-droog-y-o-d-nutty-bars/) both broke stories on the appearance of the new single “Nutty Bars” on SoundCloud, which technically had been on the website since April 9th:



    The Nah Right article indicates that writer Timm Hotep tipped off the publication, and while it also says that Ego Trip co-founder Sacha Jenkins had “co-signed” Droog, the Ego Trip article gives credit to Nah Right for breaking the story first. The Nah Right article also indicates that Droog is a 24 year-old rapper from Coney Island, Brooklyn. It should be noted, however, that Jenkins writes for Mass Appeal, the sister publication of Nas' new label of the same name, and created the “Nutty Bars” blog entry for Mass Appeal the following day on April 29th (http://massappeal.com/your-old-droog-nutty-bars/).

    2. Droog's self-titled EP was released on June 3rd with fanfare from many blogs. Then on June 13th, Complex writer Dharmic X published an article explaining that Your Old Droog is not Nas (http://www.complex.com/music/2014/06/your-old-droog-is-not-nas). The author claimed to have met the real Droog on three separate occasions. The article also linked to the YouTube video for a song titled "Rhyme Strange" by Droog (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayZrTBqmEE4) that was published in December 2013 and done at a time when Droog went by the name "Invisible Droog". The cover art for the single depicts a caucasian male (apparently of eastern European descent) and a couple other photos surfaced as well. The same day the Complex article came out Mass Appeal tweeted the following: "Is @YourOldDroog actually @Nas? We've been sworn to secrecy. Listen to his new EP and decide for yourself."

    3. Three days later, an interview with Dharmic X surfaced on audiomack.com (http://www.audiomack.com/song/refinedhypecom/nas-is-not-your-old-droog-1). In the interview, Dharmic X explained that he met an artist in 2012 and didn't think a whole lot of it, but when DJ Skizz, a collaborator on the Droog EP, forwarded "Rhyme Strange" to Dharmic X in December last year, Skizz explained that the artist Dharmic X met a year ago was Droog. In the interview, Dharmic X verifies that he met Droog on a couple other occasions but does not go into detail regarding the other meetings.

    4. Regarding lyrics, there are several clues. In "Nutty Bars" Droog raps, "PBS throwing my special on / Sometimes I watch my special to feel special". This doesn't make a lot of sense coming from an unknown rapper. As for Nas, though he has had two appearances on PBS, they are very recent and actually didn't air until after "Nutty Bars" was released.

    On "Bad to the Bone", Droog raps, "Used to bag b!tches from Murrow to Midwood". This is apparently a reference to high schools in Midwood, Brooklyn, which is close to Coney Island, and while Nas grew up nearby in Crown Heights, he moved to Queens at a young age.

    Also in "Bad to the Bone", Droog raps, "Make these crackers think I'm smart and tell me how I'm so articulate". This line makes much more sense coming from someone who is non-white.

    On "U 47", Droog raps, "Hoes on my meat 'cuz I remind them of Boris Kodjoe". The allegedly eastern European male on the cover of the "Rhyme Strange" album art does not appear to bear any resemblance to Kodjoe, who arguably has a darker complexion.

    5. As for Droog's voice, I personally originally thought it was just Nas rapping in a lower register, but I have come to agree with others that if it is Nas, he is probably pitching down his voice for the recordings. (My change of heart is largely due to the fact that--if it is Nas--the effect seems to have been used more liberally on "Rhyme Strange".) Someone actually went as far as pitching up the song "Gunsmoke Cologne" and posted it on SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/user1402886/gunsmoke-cologne-pitch-corrected).

    6. The word "Droog" is apparently Russian for "friend". It could be a Clockwork Orange reference, and while it would make sense if Droog were really eastern European, it would also make sense for Nas to essentially choose a pseudonym that essentially reads "your old friend" in light of what would arguably be a return to an older, more raw and hardcore style of his.

    - - -

    Personally, I still think it's Nas despite the Complex article. Not only does the voice of Droog compare to Nas, but the vocabulary, vocal stylings, and subject matter do as well. The other key reason I think it's Nas is because it's too good. I find it very hard to believe that a newcomer could produce such a brilliant piece of work no matter how hard they tried to remain out of the spotlight. The rhyming reeks of the experience of a seasoned veteran.

    If it's not Nas, it also doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me for Droog to not come forward and clarify the confusion, and on the flip side, if it was Nas, it actually makes sense that Nas himself wouldn't come forward because it would contradict the point of the whole thing.

    Finally and to be honest, I merely hope that it's Nas. If it is, the EP stands to me as a brilliant work by a veteran artist making a triumphant comeback. But if it's not, while technically impressive, it is so similar to Nas' style in so many ways it would be hard for me to respect the work of someone who mimics such a well-known artist so closely.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
  2. Campbell Saddler

    Campbell Saddler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Central Valley, CA
    From the first 18 seconds of the "Nutty Bars" clip you posted, it sounds like Nas' work from the rhyming style. The backing track is a different flavor for him if it is Nas...
     
    Front 242 Addict likes this.
  3. 2xUeL

    2xUeL Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
  4. 2xUeL

    2xUeL Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
  5. NapalmBrain

    NapalmBrain Forum Resident

    Damn this is fierce and he sure does sound like NaS. Very lyrical, great beats definitely reminded me of his 90s output. Thanks for sharing!
     
  6. NapalmBrain

    NapalmBrain Forum Resident

    either way we can be happy, either NaS is doing a cool publicity stunt, and will generate a lot of buzz for him or we can look forward to an emerging, young talent that may put out some classic material
     
  7. nbakid2000

    nbakid2000 On Indie's Cutting Edge

    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    I'm completely unfamiliar with this artist, (or NaS in general) but thanks for the heads up. This is going on the list of stuff to listen to tomorrow.
     
    2xUeL likes this.
  8. zebop

    zebop Forum Resident

    I can't tell, the clip is very good though, made me laugh and think--like good rap should. I think references to older stuff (Vienna Fingers? Fudge Rounds, ha!) might point it towards an older rapper or person in general though....
     
    Front 242 Addict likes this.
  9. 2xUeL

    2xUeL Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    In point 2. above, I glossed over the fact that between the release of the EP and the Complex article, the speculation as to whether or not YOD was Nas built significantly, which caused numerous websites to comment on the issue including Complex, Hip Hop DX, Okay Player, DJ Booth, and BET.
     
  10. mikemoon

    mikemoon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I like this for sure.
     
    Front 242 Addict and 2xUeL like this.
  11. Front 242 Addict

    Front 242 Addict Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tel Aviv ,Israel
    I can not decide but one thing I'm sure , this is a Great track!
     
    2xUeL and mikemoon like this.
  12. 2xUeL

    2xUeL Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
  13. BurgerKing

    BurgerKing Forum Resident

    I read the thread title and thought we were speaking Clockwork Orange
     
    Robin L and 2xUeL like this.
  14. 2xUeL

    2xUeL Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Welp, after all this speculating and theorizing, I feel quite certain now that Your Old Droog is in fact not Nas.

    I was doing some pretty heavy research about Droog last night and came across the following three fresstyles of his:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0g480_yZc0
    http://picosong.com/c9Su/

    There's also an very informative thread at philaflava.com (http://philaflava.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=135685&p=2712865) where people have been talking about Droog since the first day a major website blogged about him back in April of this year. The conversation confirms that he has been doing things here and there on the web for a while, that he has changed his name several times, and that he even had a video up at one point but it's been deleted.

    So anyway, Mass Appeal, Nas' new label, is definitely stirring up controversy and creating confusion by playing dumb about the whole thing in their posts about Droog (http://massappeal.com/your-old-droog-no-message-ft-rast-rfc), and I gotta say, I think this is pretty lame. I also think it's pretty lame that Droog is promoting the confusion as well by remaining silent. I also have to say that even though Droog's music is well done, the confidence he exerts just doesn't make any sense for an amateur and seems phony. I think he's more or less just stealing Nas' 90's persona and imitating his vocal stylings, which especially isn't cool if he isn't really about the life he talks so much about on his records.

    And finally, I can't quite wrap my head around an artist like Nas supporting another artist who imitates his older style as much as Droog. Psh.
     
    Campbell Saddler likes this.

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