Nas and Hit-Boy set the hip-hop world on fire this weekend with the release of King’s Disease III. While the album is full of references and plenty of newsworthy moments, it’s still an excellent collection of classic hip-hop. Specifically, tracks like “First Time” and “30” have caught fans’ attention for their approach to Nas’s legacy. Interestingly, Nas paints musical love at first sight and recalls listening to Kendrick, today’s crowning MC, for the first time.
Given Nas rapped about competition with Jay-Z on KDIII, he did a great job of also looking at current relationships. Rap fans of any era know that the old school passed the torch to Kendrick years ago, but it’s still great to see the connection flourish. Nas raps on “First Time” about the incredible joy that comes from falling in love with a new favorite song or artist. He vividly describes how a West Coast friend put him on to the Compton rapper before his rise.
“Since when did rap leave me so suspended in air / Since Kendrick entered the atmosphere, ’09, I was there / On La Cienega, my n***a from L.A. said there’s a n***a from Black Hippy / I was happy to just witness history,” he rapped.
While the two have yet to trade bars on wax, they have a lot of love for each other. Nas called Kendrick’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city one of his favorites of that year and K. Dot tributed the Queens MC many times.
“You hear in my music what’s surrounding me and just to be able to elevate your mind a little bit,” Kendrick said in a 2014 Google Play interview. “I wouldn’t have been able to do that if it wasn’t for that album, truthfully.”
Meanwhile, Nas also laced King’s Disease III with a tease of a collaborative album with the legendary DJ Premier. On the track “30,” where Nas reflects on 30 years in the game, he caused an uproar with a single line. “Doesn’t matter this is sheer relief, I feel the breeze this is / Superhero material, rap star status / Premier album still might happen.”
However, these rumors are nothing new. In fact, they’ve been around since at least 2007 when they expressed interest in a team-up in an interview. Regardless, their work together is monumental. Nas’s classic Illmatic features Preemo on “N.Y. State of Mind,” “Represent,” and “Memory Lane (Sittin’ in da Park).”
Furthermore, Nas is capitalizing off the success of his Hit-Boy records and massive impact. The Queens rapper even threw shots at Pete Rock for seemingly attempting to stunt it with a lawsuit. He announced a one-night-only show in Madison Square Garden where he and Hit-Boy will play the King’s Disease trilogy. Additionally, he shared the date: February 24th, 2023.
Stay tuned to HotNewHipHop for the latest on Nas, Hit-Boy, and their incredible run and career.