Hip-hop artist, songwriter, entrepreneur, and tech investor Nas has released more than a dozen albums since launching his recording career in Queens, New York, in 1994.
He made his debut with the groundbreaking album “Illmatic.” Seven of his albums have been certified platinum and multi-platinum in the U.S. alone. Now Nas, known for his thought-provoking lyrics over sick beats, has released a new CD that has already garnered great praise.
“King’s Disease,” the follow up to 2018’s “Nasir,” was released on Aug. 14 on Mass Appeal Records. Nas debuted the album’s first single, “Ultra Black” on Instagram. He also released the track lineup.
The 13-track album features Anderson .Paak, A$AP Ferg, AZ, Big Sean, Brucie B, Charlie Wilson, Cormega, Don Toliver, The Firm, Fivio Foreign, Foxy Brown, HIT-BOY, and Lil Durk, according to Free Music Credits.
Here are five things to know about the new Nas album, “King’s Disease.”
People went straight to Twitter to heap praise on the new Nas rhyme collection. Former NBA star Kris Johnson @PointForwardPro tweeted, “This King’s Disease is banging. Appreciate Nas for blessing us”
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Jack @JRaena14 tweeted, “King’s Disease.. best album of the year.”
“King’s Disease shows that Nas still has it at the age of 46. His linkup with Hit-Boy was great and he assembled a decent set of features to make one of the best albums this year,” Kanan @weezyfiles tweeted.
Hip Hop Rates @HipHopRates tweeted, “King’s Disease by Nas9/10 I’m so happy we got a decent Nas project after all the hype. Age 46 and still killing the game, incredibly punchy verses, stellar production from Hit-Boy himself, this album did not disappoint. Great storytelling perspectives, great features.”
jell z@jellzman raved, “NaS dropped so much jewelry on King’s Disease bro… what an album”.
Hip-hop veterans Nas and Cormega go way back. In fact, Comega got his first record deal all because Nas did a shout out to him in the classic song “One Love.” Cormega was incarcerated at the time, but Nas’ shout out piqued the curiosity of Def Jam records who signed Cormega immediately after his release from prison.
This seems to be when things turned sour between the two New Yorkers. Cormega was supposed to be part of the Nas clique The Firm. But it seems Nas didn’t feel his friend was appreciative enough and filled the spot on the crew with another artist, Vice reported. The Firm was conceived by Nas, his manager Steve Stoute, super-producer Dr. Dre, and production team Trackmasters. The group was strictly East Coast and consisted of Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ, and also Nature, who replaced Cormega.
The Nas-Cormega beef grew and grew until 2006 when they were reunited on stage.
“Long story short, I got dismissed or whatever they want to say it,” Cormega told NPR. “I wasn’t in the group, but after that I went hard, to preserve my name, and the fans responded to me. Like right now, I could do a show with any — I could do a show — when Nas brought me out at Nokia Theater, it was a surprise show. This was during me and Nas’ beef, or whatever you want to call it, during those years.”
Nas started to perform “One Love,” and during the lyrics “What’s up with Cormega? Did you see him? Are y’all together?” Cormega stepped out on stage.
“It was planned by me and Nas…The crowd went ape s—.”
But the track “Full Circle” on “King’s Disease” marks the first time Cormega performed with the original Firm members — Nas, AZ, Foxy Brown, and Cormega. Dr. Dre even shows up on the track.
Cormega went on Twitter to talk about the latest Nas collaboration.
“I’m proud to be a part of this album and even prouder of me and Nas realigning as men who have mutual respect and admiration. Fans have been waiting years for this and he has given you what you want.… https://instagram.com/p/CECl4eanV9V/“
A few days later he tweeted, “I didn’t hear Full Circle until today I never heard Nas, AZ, Foxy, or Dre verse I just heard Hit-Boy production and I felt it. The song is a beautiful moment in an ugly time and I’m appreciative to have been apart of it. #kingsdisease“
The Cormega-Nas beef may be squashed, but Nas has a beef with Gayle King over her controversial interview with WNBA star Lisa Leslie in which King references a years-old rape allegation against Kobe Bryant.
On the track “The Definition,” Nas rhymes “Antarctica is 65 degrees/Global warming, they don’t wanna believe/And they’re hanging people on trees/And what the fuck is up with Gayle King?”
He continues, “A black male, a female thing, a failed thing/Journalism or internalism/Shirley Chisolm wouldn’t play the victim/Eartha Kitt woulda been finished with him/Top of the charts, guarded my heart, playing my part/Sun rising but they want us to stay in the dark/Scorned woman wanna slump me, to fade me to dark/King’s disease, I cure this shit with my art.”
Baddie Bee @LoveQueenBee tweeted, “The Gayle King line on this new @nas has me CRYIN”.
Hip-hop artist Doja Cat also thinks Nas is dissing her on “Ultra Black,” on which he spits, “Cash Money with the white tee and the soldier rag/We goin’ ultra-Black, unapologetically Black/The opposite of Doja Cat, Michael Blackson black.”
But Nas claims the Doja Cat line wasn’t a diss. He said during an interview with Power 106 radio that “I was really just saying a rhyme,” Complex reported.
Not only do the fans seem to love “King’s Disease,” but the critics do as well.
“Over the course of 13 tracks, representing just shy of 40 minutes of music, Nas shows that he hasn’t lost a step — and arguably may have even gained one or two — as he rocks the microphone with undeniable charisma, talent, confidence and purpose,” The Mercury News critiqued.
It added, “The writing here is absolutely topnotch, with Nas tackling the tricky balancing act of life, navigating both highs and lows through an assortment of memorable rhymes running over so many cool beats and grooves.”
The Okay Player reviewer wrote, “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…The drops on this album are always crisp and often juxtaposed sounds and production that is subdued.”
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Upon the release of “King’s Disease,” Nas sat down and talked with the crew of the popular radio show “Ebro in the Morning” based in New York City. During the interview, Nas talked about his last words with Tupac, how it was to reconnect with Cormega, as well as his beef with Prodigy.
God’s Son even spoke about working with the late Amy Winehouse, about having the status of a hip-hop icon, and he talked about some of his ventures, Yaosoner-Welcome to Mars reported.