Nas is back.
The rapper has released his 13th solo studio album, King’s Disease II. The album is a sequel to Nas’ 2020 Grammy award-winning album. Once again he is reunited with Hit-Boy, who executive produced the entire album (as well as all of the tracks.) The album features Nas embracing his status as one of rap’s elder statesman. He has features from the likes of A Boogie wit da Hoodie, YG, and Blxt. But, for the most part, he doesn’t chase a lot of current trends. Rather, he is doing songs with legends. “EPMD 2” is an electrifying posse cut with EPMD and Eminem. Em is spazzing here, rapping:
“I just pray for the day when I’m able to say that I’m placed with the greats
And my name’s with the Kane’s, and the Wayne’s, and the Jay’s
And the Dre’s, and the Ye’s, and the Drake’s
And the J Dilla’s, Jada’s, Cool J’s, and the Ra’s
And amazin’ as Nas is, and praise to the Gods of this
Shout to the golden age of hip-hop and the name of this song is”
However, the song that fans are most excited about is his collaboration with Ms. Lauryn Hill. Twenty five years after the release of their hit collaboration, “If I Ruled The World,” the duo connects on “Nobody.” However, unlike “If I Ruled the World” Lauryn isn’t on the hook. Rather, she is rapping on the track. And she sounds phenomenal.
On the song she raps:
“Now let me give it to you balanced and with clarity
I don’t need to turn myself into a parody
I don’t- I don’t do the shit you do for popularity
They clearly didn’t understand when I said “I Get Out” apparently
My awareness like Keanu in The Matrix
I’m savin’ souls and y’all complainin’ ’bout my lateness
Now it’s illegal for someone to walk in greatness
They want the same shh, but they don’t take risks
Now the world will get to see it’s own reflection
And the anointed can pursue their own direction
And if you’re wrong and you’re too proud to hear correction
Walk into the hole you dug yourself, fuck a projection”
Wow. On social media, fans went crazy over her verse
This is the first song Lauryn has rapped on since “Consumerism” in 2013. Listen, Lauryn doesn’t have to give us a new album. But a couple of features like that every year (ala André 3000) would be great.
Alongside the release of the album, Nas dropped the Savannah Setten-directed video for “Rare.”
The King’s Disease II release landed at the end of a month in which multiple rarities from the rapper’s catalog have resurfaced. As a part of the It Was Written rerelease, Nas retouched a nearly 30-year-old freestyle with a little help from Freddie Gibbs and Cordae. Another track, “Real Niggass,” was uploaded to Youtube a few weeks back, providing a glimpse at a short-lived feud with Tupac, who, in the last few years of his life, was sending shots at damn-near every rapper of import.
Last year, Nas took home the first Grammy of his career with King’s Disease after 13 prior nominations, dating all the way back to 1997, when he earned his very first nod for “If I Ruled The World” with Ms. Hill. Could he go two-for-two with a sequel?
Check out King’s Disease II below.
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