14 Nominations Later, Nas is Finally a Grammy Winner

The Queens rap icon took home the first Grammy of his career for King’s Disease.

Nearly 27 years after the release of his classic debut, Nas is finally a Grammy winner.

The Queensbridge rapper’s 2020 album, King’s Disease, was awarded the Grammy for “Best Rap Album.” His win arrives during a particularly competitive year for the category, beating out Freddie Gibbs and Alchemist‘ Alfredo, Jay Electronica‘s A Written Testimony, D Smoke‘s Black Habits, and Royce Da 5’9″‘s The Allegory, for the 2020 crown. Prior to tonight’s victory, Nas had been nominated for Grammys on 13 occasions (four times for “Best Rap Album” alone.)  earning his first nod for “If I Ruled The World” in 1996. In the years since, the rapper has been nominated for virtually every other rap category, including “Best Rap Song,” “Best Rap Performance,” and “Best Rap Performance By A Duo or Group.”

King’s Disease was produced entirely by Hit-Boy and features contributions from Charlie Wilson, Anderson .Paak, MonoNeon, Big Sean, Lil Durk, and more. The album was a notable follow-up to Nasir, a collaborative project with Kanye West met with generally mixed reviews that managed to crack the Top 10 in the states despite an abbreviated 7-song format.

Like several artists nominated this year, Nas earned the first Grammy award of his career before the ceremony even started.  The winner for “Best Rap Album” was announced ahead of the televised portion of this year’s Grammy Awards, along with “Best Progressive R&B Album” (Thundercat‘s It Is What It Is,) “Best Dance Recording” and “Best Dance/Electronic Album” (both for Kaytranada.)

On Twitter, fans and peers celebrated the rapper’s win, including a fellow nominee or two. “I might’ve lost today, but I’m undefeated in court,” joked Freddie Gibbs in a video posted from his Grammys party.

Comb through some of the fan reactions below.


Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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