After the success of his first Grammy Award-winning album ‘King’s Disease.’ Nas has linked up with Hit-Boy yet again for a sequel with ‘King’s Disease 2.’
On this album, Nas continues to shine with Hit-Boy’s production. As he’s gotten older, you can hear the growth in his mindset. Nas is undoubtedly one of the best storytellers Hip Hop has ever seen, and on ‘Death Row East’ he tells a story about ending his beef with 2pac prior to him sadly passing away. This ruined their plans to form Death Row East records to show solidarity between the East and West Coast.
When the tracklist for the album came out, a few names got everybody excited, one of them being the Hip Hop icon Eminem. It’s crazy to think that two legends that have been in the game for around three decades hadn’t made a song together before. But with ‘EPMD 2’ that all changes.
Nas, EPMD, and Eminem all go crazy on this track. Nas comes will cold bars referencing some of his old work. Whereas EPMD skilfully goes back and forth with each other trading bars.
Then Eminem gives listeners a warning before going berserk in a way only Eminem can. His wordplay play is ridiculous in the first half of his verse, and then in the second half, he pays tribute to some of the genre’s greats, because as this past year has shown us, we never know when we may lose someone.
One of the few let-downs on ‘King’s Disease 2’ is the track ‘YKTV’ featuring A Boogie Wit da Hoodie & YG. This song sounds like an attempt to appeal to a younger audience. Nothing about it is really Nas-like. For that reason, it’s one of the very few skippable songs on the album.
After that comes some beautiful music that shows even late into his career, Nas is still capable of producing some of the best music in Hip Hop. ‘Store Run’ might be his best lyrical performance on the whole album. The majestic production blends in perfectly with his voice. He finds all the right pockets to fit into on this track.
‘Nobody’ featuring the great Ms. Lauryn Hill is another standout song on the project. Lauryn Hill hasn’t been active in the music scene for a while. But with this new verse, she shows why she is regarded as one of the greatest artists ever.
There’s a lot of irony in this song as on their first classic collaboration, ‘If I Ruled The World’. Nas rapped about his idea of a perfect world and all the things he’d change in it. Fast forward to 2021, he is now rapping about having a place in the world where he can be alone and be a nobody for a while.
Lauryn’s verse is elite. She raps about all the people that tried to hold her down in her career, and how ironic is it that so many people tell her she’s needed now, but when she was trying to say things before, they didn’t want to hear it. She indicates that she sees everything that’s been going on in society, and she wants no parts of it as she refuses to become a parody for anyone, as she takes her artistry very seriously.
She wonderfully also addresses something that’s been a critique of hers in recent years. Which is her turning up late for some of her concerts. Lauryn raps ‘My awareness like Keanu in the Matrix. I’m saving souls, and y’all complaining about my lateness?’.
She lays out powerful introspective line after line in her verse about the world we currently live in, to the point where you never want her verse to end. Lauryn’s presence in music has been sorely missed. So her performance on ‘King’s Disease 2’ will be remembered for many years to come.
After a few more nice tracks, including a good verse from Hit-Boy on ‘Composure’. Nas shares a few words from the great Nipsey Hussle in the intro of another excellent song titled ‘My Bible’. Nas raps about different chapters of his life’s Bible. He starts with men and the negative mentality that many from the hood brought up with at first and him wanting to be an example for them.
Then in his second chapter, he touches on all the dark activities in the music industry and how important it is to stay pure throughout your journey. Otherwise, you may lose yourself forever. The third chapter is about women. Nas uplifts women by pointing out how important they are not just to men but the entire world.
You can see how highly he thinks of women as he pours his heart into ‘My Bible’ with touching lyrics such as, ‘ Kiss your mother cause we only get one (One). A grandmother’s words to her grandson. Beautiful minds develop in time (Yeah). Checks every month cause you held me for nine. They might see an image of a woman who’s flawed, but I see a woman in the image of God.’
‘King’s Disease 2’ shows how a legendary rapper can age gracefully and still have something to say deep into his career. Besides a couple of tracks that fail to move you in one way or another. This project is full of great music, life lessons, and good content.
In terms of lyrical performance, this album is probably near the middle of Nas’s discography. However, with Hit-Boy’s production, Nas’s storytelling, plus the gems he drops, and the flashes he shows of him still being able to rap at a top-tier level. ‘King’s Disease 2’ is a very good body of work.
Nas’s legacy has been cemented for a long time now. He has nothing left to prove but the way he’s still rapping 30 years in shows how great he is and how much he truly loves music.
Check out the Hip Hop legend Nas’s 13th studio album ‘King’s Disease 2’ below.