Nasir “Nas” Jones has done everything expected of him and more, although some critics still believe he has never reached his audio apex after his classic debut, Illmatic. Now with his 13th studio album King’s Disease available to the masses, Hip-Hop Twitter is largely praising the Queensbridge legend’s return to form.
Critics have long said that Nas has few peers with the pen but has struggled to select production that matches the majestic scope of his lyrics. With producer and rapper Hit-Boy helming the current project, most expect King’s Disease not to be plagued with that particular issue.
Across 13 tracks, Nas sounds rejuvenated and engaged, and the classic flow remains intact, most especially on the soulful opening title track. The hunger is present on the following track “Blue Benz,” with Nas giving the late Chris Lightly a shoutout, a testament to how long the Queens MC has been a fixture in the culture.
The first feature of the record appears on the third track “Car #85” with vocal assistance from Charlie Wilson, a nostalgic callback to some of Nas’ early run-ins on the street just prior to his foray into rapping. Again, Nas sounds completely at home over the R&B-tinged production and Wilson adds just enough flair.
It isn’t all straight-ahead flow for Nas, as he employs a busy flow on “27 Summers,” and one of the more anticipated tracks is the reunion of supergroup The Firm (sans Nature), but AZ, Foxy Brown, and Queensbridge torchbearer Cormega all deliver strong verses across the warm bassline and muted drums.
Across Twitter, it appears that most are enjoying the finished product although there are some requisite replies of folks who found the project underwhelming. Overall, there is plenty of pro-Blackness and celebration of Black culture across the track and if nothing else, that’s far more necessary than ever in our present times.
Check out the streams of King’s Disease below. Click here to select the DSP of your choosing. Keep scrolling to check the Twitter reactions.