#69 - Nas - King‘s Disease II REVIEW
Video animation by: Big Flowers
Intro/Outro beat by: BLOODBLIXING
Beginning of Episode (0:49).
Making hip-hop music well into your 40s and 50s is an astonishing feat to accomplish on its face, especially within a genre where many of the greats have sadly passed away. Legends in Black Thought, Jay-Z and Nas are not only still breathing... but are still making music at the forefront of the hip-hop scene.
With Nas, his technical ability is still mostly intact, but with most or all of Nas records post-It Was Written... there has always been something off.
The common gripe with his music is his beat selection, but I think that's a lazy argument. Nas has picked good enough production for the most part, just not to the level that his rapping ability has demanded.
For me, I think what has kept Nas' modern output at arm's length was his music's social commentary, and the inconsistencies between that and his personal life, and my personal socio-political opinions.
The core issue I have with King's Disease II, and most of Nas' later releases is that Nas merges black excellence/liberation ideas with what I call “mimosa rap”... where the end-point of all of this struggle is the accumulation of obscene levels of material wealth.
Nas makes all of this content sound super decadent and well painted lyrically, but it lacks the depth that I am looking for.
At some points, Nas does offer some solid commentary on issues in his community related to poverty, violence, etc. But then seems to make these disjointed jumps that connect his career and rise to glory, as the righteous end-result that all people in his community should have the opportunity to achieve as well.
In reality, we all know this is not true and is a gross simplification of how the world works.
But more importantly, what Nas paints on the other side of this journey to success, is just a bunch of material wealth of brunches and island getaways that lack self-awareness in the fact that he's participating greatly in the same system that is keeping his people down.
This all makes this brand of social commentary not resonate with me all that much.
RMPP Preferred Cut: "Nas is Good"
Stream King's Disease II here: https://open.spotify.com/album/6CM5qhYBvpgYNek5kYwuOJ?dl_branch=1&si=jAPZLalOT76CB0nOTn6J_w
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