Nas is back with a new album called King’s Disease. The album was produced entirely by Hit-Boy.
The album, led by the single “Ultra Black,” which was released on the rapper’s own Mass Appeal imprint, and features appearances from Anderson. Paak, Lil Durk, Big Sean, Charlie Wilson, Brucie B., Don Toliver, Fivio Foreign, and A$AP Ferg. The most anticipated track on the album is “Full Back,” which features the original Firm lineup, Cormega, AZ, Foxy Brown, and a special appearance from Dr. Dre. (Interestingly enough, Nature doesn’t appear.)
Over the years, Nas has caught heat for his production choices. And even when Nas worked with all-time great producers the results weren’t good. Nasir, his 2018 album produced entirely by Kanye West, was seen as one of the worst records of his career. While, his side project The Lost Tapes 2, which featured production from names like RZA, Pete Rock, Swizz Beatz, and No I.D., was also deemed a disappointment.
In the past, Hit-Boy produced “Royalty” on The Lost Tapes 2 and “Another Black Girl Lost,” which never made an album. But this is the first time Nas and Hit-Boy have worked together on an extended project. And the results are…good.
On King’s Disease Nas sounds refreshed; he’s in full nostalgic mode — where he is at his best — reflecting on eras and people he came across over the last 30 years. While Hit-Boy gives Nas a large palette to work with. Hit-Boy is best known for his making songs that knock, and he doesn’t disappoint on here. The drops on this album are always crisp and often juxtaposed sounds and production that is subdued. This best reflected on the warm “Car #85” or the lush “Till the War is Won,” which features a sample of the music used in the 2018 film If Beale Street Could Talk.
Nas is back? You make the determination for yourself. Stream King’s Disease below.