top of page

Nas with King's Disease is showing us is still a King

Longevity in rap is not something easy to achieve. If an artist reaches five years, he 's considered a success. If he reaches 10, he 's a respected veteran. Nas has been i n the game for nearly 30 years and is now back with his thirteenth album King's Disease, having released classics and genre-defining albums like " Illmatic', "Stillmatic 'and "it Was Written".

King's Disease hosts 13 tracks lasting almost 40 minutes. It includes only a main single, the Ultra Black track which was released on August 14th. Nas goes back to his roots and offers his most mature side to date.

The New York rapper sets the mood for the whole project with the first two tracks, King's Disease and the beautiful Blue Benz. His lyricist power and superhuman descriptive ability stand out right away.

Throughout his career, Nas's best attribute has always been his ability to deliver vivid images through his lyrics. He demonstrates his excellence as a storyteller on tracks like Car # 85 assisted by Charlie Wilson, he talks about his experiences as a young man who grew up with different projects and how he was able to evolve as a man, through trial and error. Nas shows his bravado in 27 Summers, flaunting his penchant for luxury rap, a two-minute long piece. The album finds a very mature Nas, due to his role achieved over the years, as a kingmaker in hip-hop and black culture. He celebrates the black excellence of all those kings (artists, sportsmen or members of his community) who, according to him, do not receive the praise they deserve on 10 points.

King, gotta learn to let it go and move forward
King, you should learn to say no, keep all your dough in
King, Michael Jordan gives back and you didn’t know it
Like LeBron does, but it’s just seldomly shown
King, get ten points from one bird doin’ your thing
King, ’til one of your homies decide to sing
King, I started sayin’ “Peace King” on my song “The Flyest”
And after that, it took off like fire, peace,

Don Toliver is busy in "Replace Me" where he offers us his version of Ella Mai's "Trip", while Big Sean plays the second verse in which he raps about his relationship with J hene Aiko, this is certainly the most playable piece on the radio. As i n " Replace me", also in " All Bad" (feat. Anderson .Paak) we find the artist absorbed i n meditations, on the regret of a failed relationshi p and on the pain of retrospective admiration for a previous love.

Lil Durk, one of the game's most prominent rappers right now, is featured in Til The War Is Won, where he deals with the chorus and the second verse. This instrumental is perfect for both styles. Nas often uses his albums to address issues such as systemic racism and domestic violence, in the past he was accused of abusing his ex-wife Kelis, which he has always denied. Perhaps the most touching aspect of this 13-track album is the focus on the relationships men have with women and in Til The War Is Won, it challenges men to respect single black women and appreciate the constant struggle they face. daily basis.

The album feels very uniform because he worked with Hit-Boy who produced the entire record. Often there are great teams of producers who make hip-hop albums and they work perfectly, but there is something special about that connection between an artist and a producer when they make a full album. Rhythms range f rom simple drum sequences, to slow jazz i nstrumentals and classic sounding jams.

Nas seems to be rapping effortlessly on these beats - far more than he did working with Kanye West o n "Nasir." With this collaboration alongside Hit-Boy he seems to relive his creativity, he is not afraid to take pictures and critically examine the world around while always remaining himself.

The concepts of racism, the wrong presidential administration, poverty and global warming are all topics covered in this album. Consistent high-end production, coupled with Nas's reinvigorated delivery, leaves room for an enjoyable and necessary audio experience.

Although there have been instances in his career where his lyrics went far beyond the heads of some of his listeners (in the past there would have been narratives about African gods and obscure social constructs, to which only people with some level of knowledge about those topics could relate) alienating the remaining audience, at times Nas was accused of being overly preacher in his music. However King's Disease is educational, but still easy to digest.

King's Disease serves as a guideline for the young male on how to s urvive on many levels. Being proud of who you are, loving and respecting your partner, and protecting your peace, are all lessons men should adhere to , i n achieving emotional, mental, and spiritual stability.

Sonically, King's Disease takes a step forward i n dissolving Nas's reputation over the past few years for choosing the wrong productions, which are far from exceptional i n many of his projects. From start to finish, this album stops deviating from its core concept and Nas doesn't have to sacrifice the quality of his music to do so. Produced mainly by Hit-Boy, one of the most popular young and talented producers of the moment, King's Disease offers an appropriate atmosphere for the times by demonstrating Nas's ability to maintain his style by adapting it, at times, to give us pieces featuring artists new school . It certainly hits the mark as one of the best rap albums of the year.

It's hard to find anything negative on this album. Unlike many of Nas' past projects, King's Disease lacks a moment where you can skip and not listen to a song. It's the best Nas project since Stillmatic. It has already been proclaimed among the best rap albums of the year by many so far, so could it mean that Nas can finally aspire to earn a Grammy, missed so many times to other artists? King's Disease is certainly his strongest and most beautiful project of the last 20 years, so maybe I could bet he could win this time.


bottom of page