Every childs afraid when his mother and father get sprayed
Forced in the army, young killer brigade
Shine On 'Em by Nas

Childs soldiers is a consequence of the diamonds trade. Therefore directly/indirectly you are supporting military use of children by buying conflict diamonds.

Diamonds are worth so much they do anything to get it and earn money. They use kids beause they are easier to brainwash. They are brought into war by warfare killer (a.k.a rebels) after their villages/towns are raided and shot up, their families killed. Being used for patrol purposes, attacking villages, and guarding workers in the diamond fields.

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Everybody wants Heaven but nobody wants dead Shine On 'Em by Nas

This can be seen as a contradiction which applies to the next statement. Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die, but you have to die to go to heaven. Just as everybody wants diamonds, but nobody wants people getting killed because of it. But just as the first statement, there is not one without the other. At the same time as they don´t want bloodshed, they still aren´t willing to do anything about it because it would interupt their way of living.

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When you shop for me you think about the misery? Shine On 'Em by Nas

A bad habit is that generally people don´t really think about where the things they buy come from and how it came here. It is also hard imagine or put yorself the shoes of these diamond workers, what a misery they live in for you to buy to his. Or they just don´t care.

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The same way we made apartheid history
We can do the same way to the conflict ice
But everybody wanna shine right?
Shine On 'Em by Nas

Apartheid was an official policy (now ended) of racial segregation and white supremacy enforced by the South African government. It was used to limit the governing power and place of residence of non-white people. The official abolishing of apartheid occurred in 1991 and is therefore now history. Nas is likining this to how we can boycott conflict diamonds, but instead peope want to show off and brag.

Ties to the hook, which ends with:

They wanna shine on ‘em
Shine on 'em
Shine on 'em

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Yea, guess that's how we got here, slave trade and the diamond trade Shine On 'Em by Nas

The original population was native-american, african-americans wasn´t born here. It was through triangular trade/slave trade. Just as then and now diamonds doesn´t come from north america, they are imported from africa.

It´s like a cycle!

This is Nas making a statement likining how cruel the slave trade and the process to the diamonds trade. In fact you can make a parrallel with the first part of the verse with the slave trade. Slaves were also taken (dug) from africa (motherland) to being both legally and illegaly smuggled to america, while slaves wanted back to their home.

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They wanna shine on 'em
Shine on 'em
Shine on 'em
Shine On 'Em by Nas

Even though they are conflict diamonds, and everybody knows it. People still buy them because they want to show off, their money, how tough or cool they are.

Or as Kanye said:

It’s in a black person soul to rock that gold
Spend your whole life trying to get that ice
On a Polo rugby, it looks so nice
How can something so wrong make me feel so right?

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Start dancin' in this motherfucker Black Republican by Nas (Ft. Jay Z)

As Nas explained the vibe recording the record with XXL that it was party in there:

I was having a slow day in the studio, and he swung by, It was a party. Not like tons of people. Easy party. That was actually us warming up to working together. We never got a chance. Maybe I over-thought it. I needed the beat. I mean, we needed the beat to be crazy. We wanted Dre to do it, then we wanted ‘Ye to do it. And I had a timeline and shit. It never would have came out, so I go back to the thought of, “This is rap music. This is bangin’ on the lunchroom table and makin’ a freestyle, so, don’t over-think it. Here it is. Take it, guys. This is what it is.” We wanted to get off a crazier joint, but never got around to it.

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[Produced by L.E.S & Wyldfyer] Black Republican by Nas (Ft. Jay Z)

A massive composition with a long intro to build up the mood and anticipations for this huge moment in hip hop when the two biggest rappers in NY made peace and “Black Rebulican” was their collaboration since their beef.

It features an orchestral piece “The City of Prague Philharmonic” by Maria Religiosa sampled from The Godfather Part II. There have been several interpretations of this interesting choice of sample. Wyldfyer, one of the producers of the record shed light upon the process of making the record in an interview with Istandardproducers:

NaS told me when he first heard it, he just thought “Wow. This is so dirty and hardcore.” He said the sample and the grimy drums made him feel like it was ’88 again. Thats the exact energy that I put into the record when I first made it. I just wanted the drums to be crispy but grimy, almost like a break beat. I tried to make it feel “presidential”. And of course if you don’t already know, Jay has an affinity for strings. He said when he hears strings, it automatically puts him in the mood of story telling…which I think is reflected in the song.

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[Hook: Jay-Z] Black Republican by Nas (Ft. Jay Z)

Peep the video below where Nas spoke on the track and why him and Jay procaimed to be “Black Republicans”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMK1pZ1AaMw

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What if Jungle wrote my shit and I'm really illiterate
And the whole Nas catalog was just an experiment
Death Anniversary by Nas

Mindception!

Unlike other genres it´s taboo in hip-hop having someone write for you, and a part of the charm that everything is supposed to be totally real. If you have not written your own work you image will suffer. Especially if you are considered a lyricist like Nas. Considering what a hit just a rumour by a journalist who wasn´t even during the process or recordings took on Nas and that was only one album.

Nas might have faded into obsurity and Jungle would have been called GOAT. It was just a experminet to see how far they ould go/how easliy people are fooled etc.

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