King's Disease

King's Disease is the thirteenth[1] studio album by American rapper Nas. It was released on August 21, 2020, through Mass Appeal Records and marketed by Universal Music Group. It succeeds his twelfth studio album, Nasir, released two years prior. The album features guest appearances from Charlie Wilson, Hit-Boy, Big Sean, Don Toliver, Lil Durk, Anderson .Paak, Brucie B, Nas's supergroup the Firm, Fivio Foreign, and ASAP Ferg.

King's Disease
King's Disease by Nas.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 21, 2020
Recorded2020
GenreHip hop
Length38:24
Label
Producer
Nas chronology
The Lost Tapes 2
(2019)
King's Disease
(2020)
King's Disease II
(2021)
Singles from King's Disease
  1. "Ultra Black"
    Released: August 14, 2020

King's Disease received generally positive reviews and was viewed by music critics as a return to form following the critical disappointment of Nasir (2018).

The album won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, becoming Nas' first Grammy.[2] The album's sequel, King's Disease II, was released on August 6, 2021[3] and is Nas's first release to be marketed by Sony Music (through The Orchard subsidiary) since the release of Street's Disciple in 2004.

BackgroundEdit

Following the release of his twelfth studio album Nasir, Nas stated that he would be working on an unfinished album produced by Swizz Beatz and RZA, who both contributed to Nas' compilation album The Lost Tapes 2 in 2019. However, on August 10, 2020, Nas announced via Instagram he would be releasing a different album produced and executive produced by American record producer Hit-Boy, which would become known as King's Disease. Four days later, on August 14, Nas released the album's lead and only single, "Ultra Black", featuring Hit-Boy.

Music videosEdit

The official music video for the album's final track and only bonus track, "Spicy", featuring American rappers Fivio Foreign and ASAP Ferg, was released on October 2, 2020.[4] The official music video for "Replace Me", featuring American rapper Big Sean and American singer Don Toliver, was released on October 21.[5]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic72/100[6]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [7]
Clash8/10[8]
Consequence of SoundB+[9]
Exclaim!7/10[10]
HipHopDX4.1/5[11]
NME     [12]
Pitchfork6.3/10[13]
Rolling Stone     [14]
Tom Hull – on the WebB+ (  )[15]

King's Disease was met with generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 72, based on nine reviews.[6]

Andy Kellman of AllMusic felt that the album was an improvement from the rapper's work in recent years, writing: "Nas is more ruminative and measured, like he's found his stride again, even as he flagrantly contradicts himself and waylays men and women with relationship advice that rings hollow. Going strictly by the conviction and feeling in each line, King's Disease is the MC's best work since 2008."[7] Robin Murray of Clash wrote: "'The King's Disease' finds Nas grappling with a raft of contradictions, contrasting the opulence of his lifestyle with the need for vitality in his message," adding that "it's not perfect, but it's less an end product, and more the search for creative process – by the end, you become convinced the Queens rapper has found his throne."[8] Okla Jones of Consequence of Sound praised the album for its cohesion and production, writing that King's Disease "delivers a feel appropriate for the times" and "hits the mark as being one of the better rap albums of the year."[9] Similarly, Riley Wallace of HipHopDX wrote: "The creative process seems more organized and thought out, allowing Nas to do all the things he's good at, without embellishing any of them."[11]

Reviewing for NME, Will Lavin appraised the album for its lyricism, claiming that the album's lyrics demand "high levels of dissection" and that the album is an "acutely perceptive and culturally relevant body of work that finds its author willing to try out new ideas." He concluded by writing: "There's a genuine conversation to be had about whether it's the best rap album of the year so far."[12]

In a more mixed review, Pete Tosiello of Pitchfork wrote that the album "marks a retreat into a nostalgia-act comfort zone—one which suits Nas, even as it yields diminishing returns."[13] Ryan Feyre of RapReviews.com wrote that the album's biggest missed opportunity lies in "Nas’ inability to reach beyond the ambitious presentation found in everything surrounding the lyrics," adding that "he's entertaining in spurts, but much like his 'godly' contemporary Jay-Z, one has to wonder if what he says ever really matters on King’s Disease anymore."[16] Danny Schwartz of Rolling Stone called the album a "slick Illmatic redux" and a "fresh portrait of Nas' now-mythical hustler years," but criticized the album for attempting to "paper over" the rapper's abuse allegations and showcasing his "increasingly questionable politics when it comes to women," concluding by writing: "26 years after Illmatic, Nas still has room to grow."[14]

Commercial performanceEdit

King's Disease debuted at number five on the US Billboard 200 with 47,000 album-equivalent units, of which 28,000 were pure album sales.[17] It serves as Nas's fourteenth top-ten album in the United States.[17]

The album's last track and only bonus track, "Spicy", featuring American rappers Fivio Foreign and ASAP Ferg reached number 96 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 36 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and the track "Replace Me" with Big Sean and Don Toliver reached number 49 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[18]

Track listingEdit

All lyrics are written by Nas, Hit-Boy, and their collaborators; all music is composed by Hit-Boy.

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."King's Disease"
1:52
2."Blue Benz"
  • Jones
  • Hollis
2:21
3."Car #85" (featuring Charlie Wilson)
  • Hit-Boy
3:29
4."Ultra Black" (featuring Hit-Boy)
  • Jones
  • Hollis
  • Hit-Boy
  • Audio Anthem[a]
  • Corbett[c]
3:19
5."27 Summers"
  • Jones
  • Hollis
  • Hit-Boy
  • Rogét Chahayed[a]
1:43
6."Replace Me" (featuring Big Sean and Don Toliver)
2:51
7."Til the War Is Won" (featuring Lil Durk)
  • Hit-Boy
3:22
8."All Bad" (featuring Anderson .Paak)
[b]3:49
9."The Definition" (featuring Brucie B)
  • Jones
  • Brucie Robinson
  • Hollis
  • Hit-Boy
2:01
10."Full Circle" (featuring The Firm)
  • Hit-Boy
  • G. Ry[a]
3:52
11."10 Points"
  • Jones
  • Hollis
  • Hit-Boy
3:05
12."The Cure"
  • Jones
  • Hollis
  • Hit-Boy
3:53
13."Spicy" (bonus track) (featuring Fivio Foreign and ASAP Ferg)
  • Hit-Boy
2:47
Total length:38:24

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[c] signifies an uncredited co-producer[19]
  • ”Ultra Black” features additional vocals by Corbett, Jon Lewis and Ashlee.
  • "Full Circle" features additional vocals by Robin Thicke and uncredited vocals by Dr. Dre.[20]

Sample credits

PersonnelEdit

Musicians

  • MonoNeon – Electric Bass, Producer, Additional Producer: Dwayne "MnoNeon" Thomas Jr. (track 8)[21]

Technical

  • Hit-Boy – engineer (all tracks)
  • Mark "Exit" Goodchild – engineer (all tracks)
  • Gabriel Zardes – engineer (all tracks)
  • David Kim – mixing (all tracks)
  • Mike Bozzimastering (all tracks)

Artwork

Label

  • Peter Bittenbender - CEO & Creative Direction
  • Annie Chen - VP of Marketing
  • Celeste Li - Marketing

ChartsEdit

Chart performance for King's Disease
Chart (2020) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[23] 58
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[24] 59
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[25] 12
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[26] 52
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[27] 16
UK Albums (OCC)[28] 24
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[29] 1
US Billboard 200[30] 5

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Velasco, Ana (August 2020). "King's Not Dead - It's Still Nas Vs. The World". Highsnobiety. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  2. ^ Powell, Jon. "Nas wins his first Grammy for 'King's Disease'". Revolt.tv. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  3. ^ Strauss, Matthew (August 3, 2021). "Nas' New Album King's Disease II Features Ms. Lauryn Hill, Eminem, EPMD, and More". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  4. ^ "Nas - "Spicy" feat. Fivio Foreign & A$AP Ferg (Official Video) - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  5. ^ "Nas - "Replace Me" feat. Don Toliver & Big Sean (Official Video) - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2020. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Reviews for King's Disease by Nas". Metacritic. Archived from the original on September 7, 2020. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Kellman, Andy (August 21, 2020). "King's Disease - Nas, Songs, Reviews, Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Murray, Robin (August 21, 2020). "Nas - The King's Disease". Clash. Archived from the original on August 23, 2020. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Jones, Okla (August 26, 2020). "Nas' King's Disease Reintroduces the Legend to a New Generation: Review". Consequence of Sound. Archived from the original on September 25, 2020. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
  10. ^ Morawitz, Owen (August 31, 2020). "Nas's 'King's Disease' Is Uneven — but Still His Most Satisfying Project in Years". exclaim.com. Exclaim!. Archived from the original on September 3, 2020. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Wallace, Riley (August 30, 2020). "Review: 'King's Disease' Is Food For True Nas Fans' Soul". HipHopDX. Archived from the original on August 31, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Lavin, Will (August 21, 2020). "Nas – 'King's Disease' review: a stately and royal return to form for rap's original scholar". NME. Archived from the original on August 24, 2020. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Tosiello, Pete (August 27, 2020). "Nas: King's Disease Album Review". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on August 30, 2020. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
  14. ^ a b Schwartz, Danny (August 28, 2020). "Nas' 'King's Disease' Gets Derailed by Petty Mysogny". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 28, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  15. ^ Hull, Tom (September 14, 2020). "Music Week". Tom Hull – on the Web. Archived from the original on September 16, 2020. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  16. ^ Feyre, Ryan (August 25, 2020). "Nas :: King's Disease". RapReviews.com. Archived from the original on October 24, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
  17. ^ a b "Taylor Swift's 'Folklore' Ties for Most Weeks at No. 1 in 2020 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart". Billboard. August 30, 2020. Archived from the original on August 31, 2020. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  18. ^ "Nas Chart History: Hot 100". Billboard. Archived from the original on October 16, 2020. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  19. ^ Corbett (August 14, 2020). "Beyond honored to be a part of this song. This one is special. I remember buying @nas albums and trying to sneak them past Mom so she didn't take them and throw them away ... Prod by @hitboy with additional prod by @audioanthem and me. Mixed by @davidyunginkim . More big records coming!!". Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved August 24, 2020 – via Instagram.
    HAZE (August 21, 2020). "@nas #kingsdisease #ReplaceMe ft @bigsean and @dontoliver #phzmsc #hs87 Prod by Me @hitboy and @ericchoicemusic". Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved August 24, 2020 – via Instagram.
  20. ^ Gelenidze, Remy (August 21, 2020). "New Song: Nas – "Full Circle" ft. Dr. Dre, Foxy Brown & more". Southpawer. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
  21. ^ Bass Magazine (August 21, 2020). "MonoNeon Plays On Nas' New Track Featuring Anderson .Paak, "All Bad"". Bass Magazine. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
  22. ^ Wright-Jackson, Killian (July 7, 2021). "Why Nas Is One of Hip Hop's Original Pioneers". Cultured Magazine. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  23. ^ "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 31 August 2020". No. 1591. Australian Recording Industry Association. August 31, 2020. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Nas – King's Disease" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  25. ^ "Nas Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  26. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Nas – King's Disease" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  27. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Nas – King's Disease". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  28. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  29. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  30. ^ "Nas Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved September 1, 2020.

External linksEdit