Initially, the album is thugged-out and fierce. With epiphanies in place, he's out to shame the competition. "Made You Look" is one of those battle songs in the tradition of "King of Rock"; its swift, psychedelic "Apache"-sampling beat rocks, and the rapper attacks it feverishly: "King of the town/Yeah I been that/You know I click-clack where you and your men's at/Do the smurf/Do the wop/Baseball bat/Rooftop like we bringing '88 back." He also assails enemy Jay-Z on "Last Real N***a Alive," the latest in a series of brutal cuts that have marked the feud ("I was Scarface and you was Manolo"). The album rises in intensity until the rapper finally confronts his grief, shifting God's Son from street poetry to pop art. Sampling soul man Eddie Holman, he loses it on "Heaven" -- "Thinking I'm a lose it/My mom's in chemo/Three times a week/Yo keep tryin' but people it's hard/And God, your young soldier ain't sober but I need you." That's deep, and after a slow crawl back to prominence, so is Nas.