This is the 12th full-length album from Queensbridge icon Nas. A man who really doesn’t need an introduction at this point because of the fact that his first 2 albums illmatic & It Was Written are widely acknowledged as some of the greatest in hip hop history. Other high points in Escobar’s discography include stillmatic, The Lost Tapes, God’s Son & Life is Good. Then after a 6-year hiatus, Nas returned in 2018 with the Kanye West-produced NASIR & then with The Lost Tapes II last summer. Both which received polarizing responses, but I felt like they were fine additions to his catalogue. However after leaving Def Jam Recordings & to celebrate his newfound independence, Nas is teaming up with California producer Hit-Boy for King’s Disease.
Things start off with the title track, where Nas talks about how he’s gracefully aging over an angelic beat. The next song “Blue Benz” ponders the value & worth of the stuff we buy over a lavish while the track “Car #85” fondly reminisces on his younger days over a calming boom bap beat. The song “Ultra Black” is a full blown Black Lives Matter theme with an instrumental kin to Life is Good & even though I appreciate the call for more black CEOs on the track “27 Summers”, it just sounds unfinished to me.
The song “Replace Me” with Big Sean sees the 2 getting flirtatious over a lush beat while the track “‘Til the War is Won” with Lil Durk finds both of them talking about single mothers over an atmospheric instrumental. The song “All Bad” with Anderson .Paak sees the 2 talking about their significant others doing them dirty over a piano instrumental with a funky ass rhythm to it while “The Definition” dives into the meaning of the album’s title & I love the uplifting feel to the production.
The track “Full Circle” is an immaculate Firm reunion down to the eargasmic beat & the Dr. Dre outro while the song “10 Points” talks about the meaning of being a king over a jazzy beat & the drums just hit so hard, that they’re bound to blow some speakers out. “The Cure” has the most dynamic instrumental of the entire album as Nas pays tribute to Kobe Bryant & Nipsey Hu$$le, but then the closer “Spicy” with A$AP Ferg & Fivio Foreign finds the 3 bragging over a trap beat that has a bit of a luxurious feel to it.
Not only is this better than the last 2 albums Nas has put out, but I’ll even go as far to say that this is honestly what the 2008 untitled album should’ve been. Nas’ gets on his pro-black shit which is perfect given everything that’s been going on this year & Hit-Boy nails it behind on the boards.