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Nas — King’s Disease II Album Review By Rehan Sabri

Nas and Lauryn Hill are back ruling the world … Can you imagine that?

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On Friday, August 6th, Nas released his 14-studio album, “King’s Disease II,” which is a sequel to the 2020 Grammy award-winning rap album of the year, King’s Disease. The previous release earned the Queensbridge rapper his first-ever Grammy.

And now he might be on his way to adding another piece of Grammy hardware.

The 2021 sequel bolsters a nostalgic star-studded lineup of past hip-hop icons: from the rap god Eminem to the Queen MC, Ms. Lauryn Hill.

The 15-track project is a cross-generational and multifaceted euphonious body of work. Showcasing some of the best emerging rap stars such as A Boogie and YG on songs like “YKTV.”

But one track had social media in a frenzy: “Nobody,” the 9th song on the album, which boasts an ultra-rare Lauryn Hill feature. The surprise appearance by the Fugees legend was nostalgic for rap diehards who consider both her and Nas to be one of the best duos to ever bless the rap game.

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The collaboration marks the reunion of the 1996 timeless classic “If I Ruled The World (Imagine That),” which is widely considered to be one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time.

And fans were ecstatic to find out that Ms. Hill hasn’t missed a beat after taking such a long break off from music.

The Queen MC jumped on the track flowing with the same iconic fiery delivery and brilliant lyricism she had on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which achieved RIAA diamond status and won five Grammys, back in 1999.

She is still the only female rapper to ever achieve such a feat.

And the song serves as an emphatic reminder to the doubters who may have forgotten about her greatness and place in hip-hop royalty.

“That’s probably why they keep on tellin’ me I’m needed now/They tried to box me out while takin’ what they want from me/I spent too many years living too uncomfortably/Making room for people who didn’t like the labor. Or wanted the spoils, greedy, selfish behavior.”

Her long-awaited grand return to the rap scene is also a voyage of vengeance as she addresses the many rumors and criticisms that she has received in recent years for tardiness at her concerts.

“My awareness like Keanu in The Matrix / I’m saving souls and y’all complaining about my lateness,” she rhymes.

Her full verse is a lyrical masterclass that reminds everyone of her pedigree.

The song was so well received on social media that both fans and artists from all over the industry were found complementing their impeccable chemistry.

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During the album, Nas also pays tribute to a few of the late great rappers who passed away this year — MF Doom, and DMX.

While also dedicating a track to pay homage to his former rap rival, Tupac Shakur, who passed away in 1996.

Listen to Nas Diss Tupac on Rare, Unearthed Track From the '90s

The album features a song called “Death Row East,” where Nas opens up about his clash with ‘Pac and the infamous East coast vs West coast beef — sharing his account of their conflict and his own frustrations for getting caught up in the politicized coast war.

“Lookin’ through a fresh lens / Everything I know now, wish I knew back then,” he raps.

He reveals that he and Tupac actually had plans to squash their beef, just days before his murder in Las Vegas, Nevada.

At the end of the song, listeners are presented with an incredible soundbite of the very moment when Nas stopped his show to have Ed Lover, a popular radio host, address the crowd and publicly announce Tupac’s passing.

Now as a seasoned veteran, cemented as one of hip-hop’s greatest MCs, who has already reached the mountain top of rap allure, we now find Nas rapping from a different place — choosing to impart wisdom and pass the baton onto the new younger generation of rappers.

“I’d rather show them the ropes.”

While also disclosing to fans that they will be hearing from him and Lauryn more often now.

“Ms. Hill, we ain’t goin’ nowhere/They gon’ have to deal with us,” he raps.

“They sent a lot against me, thinking I’d just stand back/I got my legs beneath me, I got my hands back,” Lauryn adds.

(L-R) Nas and Lauryn Hill perform at HOT 97's Summer Jam 2012at MetLife Stadium on June 3, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Collectively, the album is yet another cutting reminder that even at age 46, and nearly 30 years into his rap career, Nas can still produce some of his best work yet.

And that is why the “King’s Disease” projects are a testament to Nas’ great longevity in the rap game.

Serving as one of the best two-volume series ever recorded in hip-hop history.

Check out my appearance on Black Westchester presents The People Before Politics Radio Show where I reviewed Nas’ latest album.

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About The Author: Rehan Sabri is a Reporter that hails from White Plains, NY.

He likes to do it all: produce, write, report, and tell stories in front of a camera or on a column in your favorite newspaper.

Rehan reports, unapologetically, on everything that is happening in the world of sports, politics, and entertainment. He is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ).

Twitter: @ReyAponte09
Instagram: @reyaponte_tv
Website: rehansabri.wordpress.com
Email: rs642@cornell.edu

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About Black Westchester (955 Articles)
Black Westchester - News With The Black Point Of View is an online news magazine for people of color for Westchester and the Tri- State area of New York at every economic level. Our mission is to promote the concept of “community” through media.
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