[MUSIC REVIEW] Jerrel Breaks Down ‘Nas Can’t Play’ – Speaks To His Son After Death
If you haven’t already read the review on Jerrel Moore’s latest mixtape, you need to definitely go check that out now, but you’re still in the right place. Here we are breaking down each meaningful, well-written song and diving into this rising artist’s mind, music, and personal life.
Jerrel recently released his mixtape Nas Can’t Play, a tribute to his son after his own metaphorical death. An album which reflects on his current, future, and future’s past experiences. He touches on his death, his grind, women, and fatherhood in a way that is not only extremely personal but relative to his audience.
How does he do it? By crafting each song as a message to his son, Nas, and rapping as if he is speaking directly to him, yet it resonates to any listener young or old.
After hearing his mixtape, not only was I impressed, but I also wanted to know the inspiration behind his creative wordplay and dedicated lyrics. That’s why we met up face to face for an overview of his mixtape song by song, and now, I’m here to send along his meaningful message behind his project!
Keep on reading if you want to dive deeper into the mind of this artist, lyricist, and father.
#1 “If I Die”
This song is the opener to the project. It starts strong beginning at the end, Jerrel’s death. He explicitly details the acts leading up to a robbery where his assailants murder him in front of his own son. That isn’t where it stops though, like mentioned before, he is speaking to Nas, almost in reflection of the story. He speaks to his son on revenge, family bonds, and what’s really important in life. Even touching on gang affiliation, letting his son know that, indeed, his family is the set he needs to rep.
This track starts the project off strong and keeps us listening for more. You can watch his latest video for the song below, then keep it pushing through the rest of the project with me!
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#2 “Nas Can’t Play”
Coming in second on the tracklist is “Nas Can’t Play.” A song where Jerrel dives into the obstacles he faces as a father in the lifestyle that he lives.
The hook pretty much sums the title up and sets the tone.
“Nas can’t play, there’s too much drugs in the house. I got crack, I got weed, I got mud at the house.”
This is where Jerrel really opens up about the pull between fatherhood and his everyday life.
“Insight” is, of course, a story for his son, but one of the most audience reaching songs on the project. Here Jerrel takes us to the club, and into Nas’ teenage years, to preach to all of us the knowledge of women and their provided distractions. Picture this: You’re in the club, you see one of the baddest chicks in the club, and you, yes YOU of all people, gets curved. Now to the average young man, this might be disheartening, but to Nas, to us listeners, Jerrel lays it all out on how we should really feel; not pressed. He coaches us into personal confidence with this one, letting us know there’s somebody out there for all of us and to keep it moving to the next one.
#4 “Coney Island”
Keeping it consistent on female drama problems, Jerrel takes us to New York, on track 4, “Coney Island.” No, he may not really have a side piece in the beachy town, but that’s what makes this entire project so good; the stories told and the future acknowledged. In this song, he describes a more detailed relationship than the one in “Insight” and how to maneuver through it. Jerrel actually gave me some exclusive personal details about the woman in this song, but you gotta move on to the next song description for that!
#5 “World In My Palms”
Good! You stuck around to find out more about this mystery woman he is referencing. Well, in this song, track 5, we are visually sucked into an entirely new situation. Taken from the Boro to the tropics, Jerrel has us follow him through his personal experience with his main since before he made it. The catch is, the “main chick” from this song is really the same girl from “Coney Island,” just a different aspect of her. Almost as if in the past, Jerrel has dealt with a major struggle in a meaningful relationship, and now, in order to save his son and us from the same hardships, he gives us a little game on these females.
Here he wants his son to remember two major things, “always wil’out while you’re young” and “if you smooth, you can float your way through anything.”
When it comes to what this song describes, it’s a little more self-explanatory, title wise. Yet, Jerrel Moore puts a personal spin on a classic comparison to the famous NBA player, Allen Iverson. Unlike many, Moore skips the common place lines about ballin’ and getting money like Allen, and acknowledges the major grind the pro-baller put in to make it. Jerrel feels like he’s one in the same when it comes to his hustle in the music industry.
He has been through ups and downs through his journey towards success. Between multiple car accidents and just general hardships life can bring, Jerrel has stayed on top against all odds, like Iverson. Not only has he overcome obstacles and put in time and effort, but unlike many, he has actually put his money up in belief of his own aspirations. As a message to his son, this couldn’t be any stronger: do what you gotta do to make it, “even if you don’t get the ring!”
#7 “On A Mission”
Originally the last song on the mixtape, “On A Mission” talks about those trials he overcame in before he made it in “Iverson,” before the clout.
Although each song is relatable, this is another that stands out as something we’ve all felt and been through. Each of us has had that moment where we can only count on ourselves, a time when everybody is on some bullshit and there’s no one in your corner.
Speaking to Nas, Jerrel pictures himself spitting some game to his son, after his passing, while his son deals with the same feelings we’ve all felt, needing some strengthening words to make it through. Here he lets us know our will power and God will take us where we need to be in life, a message every son needs to hear from their father, especially once they’re gone for good.
#8 “Enough For Me”
Playing off the last track, Jerrel continues to instill in all of us that, indeed, we can get there alone. He touches a bit on spirituality in this song with my favorite line being, “If your soul isn’t level, you exposed to the devil.”
The lyrical and raw talent of this artist is refreshing. He gives us more to think about than the average trap rap artist, making him stand out from his competition. After listening to this project, you’ll understand where I am coming from, but let’s continue on to the last two songs of the mixtape.
#9 “I Can’t Hold You”
This interlude type piece comes in second to last and as one of the more personal pieces on the mixtape. A flashback to the beginning, Jerrel describes this piece as the moment Nas realizes his father’s gone. Imagining a scene in the park, Jerrel reflects on how he doesn’t have the option of “babying” his son.
Finally, he made it! But wait, we all thought he was dead?! Well, he fooled us all, including his son, Nas. An alternate ending to the story, Jerrel switches up the script, moving from death to success instead.
In the final song, he is walking in a mansion and realizing, “I’m tripping, I’m here. We good!” From his untimely death in track one, through his life lessons and experience, Jerrel manages to see his death only metaphorically, bringing us full circle on a journey of losses, gains, and ultimately success.
Clearly, after reading these song by song descriptions, you are ready and eager to hear the tracks.
You can find his music on Spinrilla now. The mixtape is just over 30 minutes making it an easy listen and trust me it’s worth your time!
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The author Nia Boom
It’s ya girl! Dj Nia BooM NY Radio & Media Personality
Host of “Tha Boom Show”
Producer of “Behind the Grynd” Webseries –
Fleet DJ New York Manager.
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