Nas continues to get better. As the emcee nears the age of 50 years old, he’s got all money and rap accolades in the world. Yet he’s clearly staying hungry in the studio with Hit-Boy. Alongside the mega-producer, Nas just released their latest effort titled Magic.
Building Off King’s Disease
It’s impressive to see an artist that comes from the era of ‘less is more’ participate in the surplus of content style seen more prevalent in the 2020s. The rapper and producer duo has released two projects in 2021 and three total within the last two years. Keeping it classic, staying with one producer through all of this music has created a rare cohesive sound. Hit-Boy is one of the hottest producers in the game right now. Yet he is also clearly a student of the craft. He was able to do with the Queens rapper what Kayne almost achieved. Merging Nas’s timeless vibe with the sounds of the now.
The first time they linked up on Kings Disease, they won the best rap album at the Grammys. Their second offering Kings Disease II made our best album list of 2021. Magic is a continuation of the dynamic duo’s formula of hard-hitting beats that can satisfy today’s rap fans and the old heads of yesteryear and will ultimately resonate with those of those that remain fans of all hip-hop over the past few decades. Magic runs at 9 songs with a sole feature from ASAP Rocky and the project puts more emphasis on bars than commercial song structure and catchy hooks.
The project’s name is summed up perfectly in a line on “Wu Is For The Children” when Nasir proclaims “Hit turn up the sample we making magic.” On the same record, he draws parallels between Drake, J. Cole, and Kendrick Lamar as himself, Jay-Z, and Biggie. While both of the KD albums held a cohesive sound of street and soul, Magic tip-toes that line a tad more while leaning more into the soulful side. That personally gives me some Stillmatic vibes, but I need a few more rotations to get more familiar with the record before I give any solidified claim.