Music review: Nas

Multi-million-selling New York rapper Nasir '˜Nas' Jones concluded his previous show in Glasgow back in 2015 as part of the 20th anniversary tour for his iconic debut album Illmatic with a pledge of new material soon. Save for a handful of standalone tracks, it's proven a mostly empty promise, leaving this show '“ calibrated for and slotted in amongst summer festival appearances with its mixture of mainly greatest hits and tributes to his late idols '“ without any particular sense of purpose.

Nas performed a mixture of greatest hits and tributes to his late idols. Picture: Getty

O2 Academy, Glasgow **

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“Can we start this from the beginning?” Nas inquired loudly, and nobody in the audience seemed to protest as Illmatic’s one-take-wonder of a second track N.Y State of Mind boomed from the PA. Also featuring scratch DJ Green Lantern and a versatile young drummer and vocalist who at one stage left his stool to come stage front and nail the lead line of a hip-hop re-versioning of Eurhythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), this wasn’t a performance lacking for flair.

It just felt a bit weirdly thrown together. Other menacing Illmatic classics such as Life’s a Bitch, The World Is Yours and Halftime were worked in among strange sort of half-cover, half-playbacks of songs by Nas’s dearly-departed inspirations – including Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Amy Winehouse and Prodigy from Mobb Deep – often accompanied by surreally naff video graphics. Disposable party bounce The Don brought things up to Nas’s latest album, 2012’s Life Is Good, at the end – but self-evidently it’s time he found new focus for his live shows.

MALCOLM JACK