Iconic hip-hop artist and investor Nas gave the world an early Christmas present when he dropped “Magic” – his 15th studio album – on Christmas Eve.
Nas announced the unexpected drop on Dec. 23 on Twitter. “#MAGIC is in the air. Midnight et brand new music to vibe to,” Nas tweeted, along with cover art and a tracklisting. He tagged Hit-Boy, who he collaborated with on the effort, and his independent label Mass Appeal Records.
Some fans are marveling at how Nas is churning out music so fast as “Magic” is his second album of the year. The first, “King’s Disease,” was released in August and he also worked with Hit-Boy on it.
Fans also noted the renowned MC’s timing couldn’t have been better. In addition to dropping the album in the midst of the holidays, Nas dropped it while many on social media are still debating Jay-Z’s statements that no one could beat him in a Verzuz battle.
Not only could the “One Mic” MC best his former rival, he’s already done so in the past, Nas’ fans said. “25 years in the game and he just keeps on cementing his legacy but let’s keep acting like he couldn’t go head to head with Jay Z,” @EricRomero tweeted on Dec. 27.
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Boasting nine tracks, “Magic” is being well received. Only one track, “Wave Gods” has artist features – which come from ASAP Rocky and DJ Premier.
Though many were pleasantly surprised, Nas alluded to “Magic” in August during an interview with Apple Music and hailed Hit-Boy as his Quincy Jones.
“A lot of times I walk in the studio and his headphones is on, he’s like, ‘Yo, check this out.’ Something he’s already working on. And as soon as I hear it, it’s like, that’s the one. He’s like my Quincy [Jones], you know what I mean? He has that he’s pushing himself thing,” Nas said during an interview on the Apple Music Studio with Ebro Darden.
“I feel like the next thing I do, if I was to work with Hit-Boy on the next thing I do, I think that we might do something that is going to be magical,” Nas continued. “I think what we have is magic. And I think the next thing we do would have to be the next page. And that, to me, excites me, that possibility.”
Here’s what Black America and other Black people across the diaspora are saying about Nas’ “Magic” album.
“Nas gave us three classic albums within two years and we didn’t even deserve them. And he said King Disease 3 is on its way. People better start appreciating his greatness because what he’s doing right now is truly special. #Nas #Magic,” @english_shamar tweeted.
“This album felt like a personal gift to me, I’m so happy! When he said ‘Gotta be a special type woman to feel what I write’, felt like he was specifically referring to me,” @CarolineA_M responded to one of Hit-Boy’s tweets about Magic.
“Magic proves Nas is on an unstoppable run right now. Thank God he and Hit-Boy discovered each other because they literally making magic in the studio,” @HipHop4Everyone wrote. “This album crazy. But what’s nuts is Hit-Boy announced Kings Disease III is on the way so this new project is just the appetiser.”
“Listening as I type 40-16 ‘If they don’t say I’m the GOAT that’s just silly behavior’ Most definitely silly behavior,” @Lovematic tweeted.
“This is so f**king dope my brother. Thank you and Nas for the MAGIC y’all blessed us with. Word,” @TaDarreanLand tweeted.
“Nas. Magic is obviously fire so was KD2. He’s spoiling us. GOAT sh*t for real. I’m so happy,” @ShadyTitania tweeted, using emojis to accentuate her point.
“Nas’s Magic is the second best album this year, the first is Nas’s King’s Disease 2,” Nigerian film director Imoh Umoren tweeted.
“What a year for Nas fans…He just dropped 2 10’s in the same year. Magic is very likely my AOTY, and it’s totally crazy, because he’s in the game since 27 years. And KD3 is already on the way,” @Nelly_Norsk Chimed in.
“The thing I love about what @Nas and @Hit_Boy are doing the most is that they have a sound that’s so current yet classic. They successfully bridged the gaps,” @LISN@DABEAT tweeted.
Here are a few more reactions from Twitter:
Photo: Rapper Nas waves to the crowd during his performance at the 2014 Coachella Music and Arts Festival on Saturday, April 12, 2014, in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)