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Nas-Magic ALBUM REVIEW


Written Before Listen


Well…here we are, my third Nas review. Before Kings Disease III, we have a little prelude to it, a 9 track album that was released on Christmas Eve, well since classics and lists are out of the way, lets get right into this shit, so without further ado, lets get into it.





Production

Hit-Boi is back at it again to produce another Nas album. And he does a really good job. His production might not be as dense and layered as the second Kings Disease but god damn, some of these beats are so good. The beat for the first two tracks are phenomenal. I also love the beat for “4016 Building”. I also love the minimal appraoch on the tracks “Ugly” and “Wu For The Children” because it leaves space for Nas to kill it. Hit Boi strikes again im telling you.


Comparison To Kings Disease (1 & 2)


The thing about both King Disease’s was that the production was luxurious and triumphant. This album is less like that and sounds like a modern take on the 90s sound. The songs “Wave Gods” and “Meet Joe Black” are like 90s hip hop tracks but with sub bass and modern mixing. Instead of Nas looking at his current life and bragging a little more than usual, Nas is talking strictly for hip hop. This album is also 10 minutes shorter than the original King’s Disease and almost half the length of the second one. When King’s Disease’s 1 & 2 are like the complete projects with multiple styles, this is the album thats just straight to the point.


Performance


One thing that caught me right away is Nas’ performance. Flow wise, timbre wise and energy wise, he sounds like hes in his 20s. He honestly hasn’t sounded this hungry since Stillmatic, but this time around, the album has stronger production and harder tracks. Songs like “Speechless” and “The Truth” are super aggressive on the rapping standpoint with great one liners, slick flows and everything else that makes Nas the elite rapper he is. As he said on King’s Disease II, hes really in rare form.


Chemistry


First off, the Nas rapping is pure hunger but Hit-Boi does a great job complimenting it. His production always does a good job backing Nas and the chemistry is the sole reason each track is lovable. From track 1 to track 9, its nothing but beats and bars and the beat switch at the end of “Dedicated” showed even more than we thought we could’ve gotten on this album. I told you on King’s Disease II that Hit-Boi is not the stereotypical producer for Nas tracks but on here, he replicates some of the aesthetics that made Illmatic really good. The vintage samples, the booming drums and the street-tinged grit. Nas does amazing but so does Hit-Boi.


Cons


The only thing I can really say bad about this album is that…its not even 30 minutes. It feels incomplete. Nas and Hit-Boi bring 9 amazing tracks but theres no completeness to it. As Nas said on “Ugly”, this is basically just an appetizer for King’s Disease III, but other than that, this is the best Nas project since the early 2000s.


Verdict


I dont know if its just the new decade beginning, but Nas might be in his prime…again. Surely he’s not in Illmatic mode but he’s at the closest he could possibly get. I think when its all said and done, this will be a Top 3/Top 5 Nas album.


8/10

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