KING’S DISEASE – NAS / HIT-BOY
When this album was announced my whole Inland Empire, California region had high hopes but what could prepare us for how great it is?
Every song’s production is A1, top-shelf melodic, banging and funky premium content from Fontana, California’s Hit-Boy.
“Car #85” brilliantly showcases Nas’ ever-improving myth-making skill featuring the legend Charlie Wilson on more vocals. “All Bad” is the song he was still too hurt to give us on “Life is good” when we were waiting for explanations.
'HIT-BOY ON THE BEAT, IT'S S'POSED TO SLAP/ WE GOIN' ULTRA BLACK ...'
“Ultra Black” shows how Nasty Nas’ pen still is – alternating between transcendent ethnic pride ("Black is beautiful!"), venom ("the opposite of Doja Cat") and hilarity ("Michael Blackson Black!") with masterful ease.
“Full Circle” has Dr. Dre and the firm reuniting with Esco along with Nas actually shouting out the I.E.
“The Definition”, “10 Points”, “The Cure” all smartly follow-up on the album’s intro and concept which I think revolves around fearing the complacency and softness that can come with the success of becoming king. It plays with themes of Midas, aging and restoring yourself to strength in its text and subtext- it’s almost some Dark Knight Rises shit imo.
As someone who’s lived where Hit-Boy is from, I know I’m biased but I still feel like this is as good as anything Nas has done since Illmatic – up there with Stillmatic, God’s Son, Life is Good and even better than It Was Written, Hip-Hop is Dead and Nasir in my estimation. Peep and try to tell me you don’t agree that Nas has made a west coast classic and revel in how wild it is that I got to write that sentence.
Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for Zus Entertainment, a Jooseboxx and Untapped Hip-Hop contributor, and member of the Inland Empire, California based nerdculture hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers