Nas Details Listening To Kendrick Lamar For The First Time

BYGabriel Bras Nevares10.9K Views
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The New York legend also teased a DJ Premier collab and announced a Madison Square Garden show.

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.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 19: Hit-Boy and Nas speak at The GRAMMY Museum on October 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

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.

About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.