Nas, Maxim and the Truth Behind Music Reviews

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Following the Black Crowes debacle earlier this week, Maxim magazine got caught again. This time, they “reviewed” the new Nas album even though, well, there was no new Nas album to review.

But here’s the thing, kiddies. Even if the album actually existed, and even if the writer had a chance to listen to it, there is an ugly truth to this business of music that would’ve reared its head. Nas’ album most likely would’ve been played only once, in a noisy conference room full of uninterested music critics, with an entirely different track-listing than would’ve ultimately been released in stores, months and months down the road (this is Nas, remember, who’s never late but never on time, either). So the real crime is not the indignity of a non-review review, but the fact that anyone is reading music reviews in Maxim in the the first place.

Anyway, the laddy mag’s editorial director, James Kaminsky, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the mistake his rag really made was by using star-ratings for the pieces when they were intended only to be previews, not actual album reviews. MTV News’ own Jayson Rodriguez got a statement from the Nas camp telling us that Maxim hadn’t actually heard any of the album at all, not a single note. The statement says, “Nas is putting the final touches on the highly anticipated new album. He has not played any music yet for press, but is looking forward to doing so very soon.”