Nas Attempts To
Bridge The Age
Gap In Rap
BILLIE BLUNT | AUGUST 25, 2020
PHOTOGRAPHY | IMAGE PRESS AGENCY
King’s Disease, NAS' 13th studio album: Let's see if this project emulates the NAS gold standard, in conjunction with producer Hit-Boy. Certified platinum producer Hit-Boy prove to have wonderful chemistry with Top 5 rapper Nasir Jones, while providing the updated sound of today's Hip Hop generation.
Nas is very aware of his legacy; more importantly he’s aware of his influence on the Hip Hop culture, which he flaunts with finesse when dissing Doja Cat on "Ultra Black", "We goin' ultra black, unapologetically black. The opposite of Doja Cat, Michael Blackson black." Nas is a frequent advocate of Black empowerment and that continues on "Ultra Black", an appropriate conscious tune that resonates with the climate of Black Lives Matter. There's never any pause on NAS tryna kick knowledge as he quickly tackles the ongoing issue of skin complexion within the black race, "Grace Jones skin tone, but multi that. Multiple colors, we come in all shades, mocha black." By now you can tell that "Ultra Black" is one of the highlights on King’s Disease.
"Blue Benz" highlights a similar NAS gold standard in terms of swag and his laid back signature flow. The chemistry between NAS and Hit-Boy heightens on "Blue Benz" as the beat and melodies change frequently to accommodate the intricacies of a NAS flow. NAS has had a few problems when selecting the right beats to back his poetic intricacies, but there's no problems with this particular tune "Blue Benz". My favorite club in the mid-90s was The Tunnel, a Hip Hop based club venue on the West Side Highway in Manhattan, where top celebrities would dwell, such as Diddy, Janet Jackson, Lil Kim, Nas, and too many to name. NAS mentions, "I used to be at The Tunnel twenty deep in a huddle. Razors on us that'll make skin bubble, Moet, we guzzle. Chris Lighty let me in a few times with nines. That's on God, wish you woulda walked by, and bumped me hard or just looked at me wrong. My chain on, try to book me, you gone. Goons, Italian leathers, couple bottles of Dom. Took risks, this ain't what you want, there's rules to this. Don't get it misconstrued, my suit gamе is crisp. Silk, linen, chiffon, Dior to Diadora. But I rock custom more, that hustler aura. Tap in, razor cutter, nineties, eighties lover, raised in gutters." Hardcore NAS fans will really appreciate a NAS gold standard which continues on "Car #85", with the legendary Charlie Wilson singing over this mellow tune.
NAS Nation of die-hard fans may not favor his choice of featured guests like Don Toliver, Big Sean, A$AP Ferg and Lil Durk. Actually they might be pissed off. Attempting to bridge the age gap is a wonderful thought but NAS doesn't mesh very well with these artists. Actually on "Replace Me" NAS sounds like a featured guest on his own song. WTF!
Another bright moment of this album is the reunion of the Firm – NAS, AZ, Cormega and Foxy Brown featuring Dr. Dre! They dropped a load of lyrics on “Full Circle”. However it was AZ leaving the booth with the most flames as he spits, "Dialogue superb, flyest cars on the curb, word. When I evolved, a higher God emerged reserved. More subtle, come from the stress and the struggle. Young then, obsessed in the bubble about it. Took advantage if a woman allowed it.
One of the foulest, some would say I was childish, money-driven."
If NAS NATION is craving that vintage NAS album then it's best to listen to Illmatic, It Was Written, Life Is Good & Nasir. But, nothing is wrong with bridging the age gap in Hip Hop, especially when the project is not a failure. Turn on that "Car #85" and feel as good as the groove, baby!