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Nas - King Disease 2 by VOFO.

by Rapjoint Lagos

Nas - King Disease 2 by VOFO.

by Rapjoint Lagos

King's Disease II is the thirteenth studio album by American rapper Nas. It was released on August 6, 2021, through Mass Appeal Records and marketed by The Orchard.

For Nas acolytes, the rapper’s story is practically scripture. His journey from baby-faced teenager growing up in the Queensbridge projects to prodigious MC is well-known. While most of today’s prominent rappers were not yet born when a 20-year-old Nasir Jones was coming up in New York City, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that doesn’t cite his 1994 benchmark debut Illmatic as an inspiration.

Nas returns to the throne of Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for the first time in just over nine years as King’s Disease II debuts at No. 1 on the list dated Aug. 21. King’s Disease II is the direct follow-up to 2020’s King’s Disease album, which peaked at No. 3 on the list. Among its achievements, the latter-mentioned album won Nas his first Grammy Award, for best rap album, ending a streak of 13 previous unsuccessful nominations.

Of the album’s first-week total, just under 35,000 units derive from streaming-album equivalents -- representing 47.4 million on-demand streams of the set’s tracks ­-- 19,500 are from traditional album sales and the remaining 1,500 arrives via track-equivalent units. (One unit equals the following levels of consumption: one album sale, 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams for a song on the album.)

A long-awaited Nas-Eminem collaboration is souped up further with an appearance from EPMD on “EPMD 2” – a joint effort that makes for some of the album’s most impressive and emphatic bars. Ms Lauryn Hill reunites with Nas for the first time in 25 years on  “Nobody”.

Three of its songs debut on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, led by “EPMD 2,” featuring Eminem and EPMD, at No. 27. The track registered 5.4 million U.S. streams in its opening week -- the second-highest sum of the album’s tracks, just a hair behind “Rare” (also 5.4 million) -- and is the top-seller of the set, with 5,000 downloads in the same period. “Rare,” meanwhile, opens at No. 39, while “Nobody,” featuring Ms. Lauryn Hill, kicks off at No. 42.

He deals out history lessons on “Death Row East” – in which he claims the shooting of Tupac in an attempted robbery in 1994 wasn’t organised by Queens rapper Stretch (who was killed himself in a shooting the following year) – as had been rumoured. The song closes on a powerful note – Nas’s address abruptly gives way to a 1996 recording of American rapper Ed Lover interrupting one of Nas’s New York performances to announce the sudden death of Tupac, requesting a moment of silence for “one of the greatest rappers that will ever live”.

King’s Disease II is produced by Hit-Boy and Nas himself, and features appearances from Eminem on EPMD “EPMD 2,” A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and YG on “YKTV,” Ms. Lauryn Hill on “Nobody,” Charlie Wilson on “No Phony Love,” BLXST on “Brunch On Sundays” and Hit-Boy on “Composure.”

King's Disease II track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "The Pressure" • Nasir JonesChauncey Hollis Jr.Dustin James CorbettQuentin Miller • Hit-BoyCorbett 3:07
2. "Death Row East" • JonesHollisCorbettStrange Punch • Hit-BoyCorbett 3:20
3. "40 Side" • JonesHollis Hit-Boy 2:40
4. "EPMD 2" (featuring Eminem and EPMD) • JonesMarshall B. Mathers IIIErick SermonParrish J. SmithHollis • Hit-BoyEminem 3:34
5. "Rare" • JonesHollisCorbett • Hit-BoyCorbett 3:26
6. "YKTV" (featuring A Boogie wit da Hoodie and YG) • JonesArtist DuboseKeenon JacksonHollisCorbett • Hit-BoyCorbett 3:23
7. "Store Run" • JonesHollis • Hit-BoyEzreaux 3:19
8. "Moments" • JonesHollisJustin Keith Williams • Hit-BoyJansport J 4:11
9. "Nobody" (featuring Ms. Lauryn Hill) • JonesHillHollisCorbettJoshua Strange • Hit-BoyCorbett 4:42
10. "No Phony Love" (featuring Charlie Wilson) • JonesHollisWilliams • Hit-BoyJansport JBrian Alexander Morgan 3:05
11. "Brunch on Sundays" (featuring Blxst) • JonesMatthew BurdetteHollisDerrick Carrington GrayCorbettRogét ChahayedMark Steven EvittsNicholas Leon RaceShawn Jerritt • Hit-BoyCorbettRogét 3:51
12. "Count Me In" • JonesHollisBrandon Carrier • Hit-BoyB. Carr 3:17
13. "Composure" (featuring Hit-Boy) • JonesHollisChahayedEarl TaylorShaka Senghor • Hit-BoyRogét 3:23
14. "My Bible" • JonesHollis Hit-Boy 3:48
15. "Nas Is Good" • JonesHollis Hit-Boy 2:19
Total length: 51:32

King’s Disease 2 finds Nas where he has always been – comfortable in himself and at ease with confronting his past. As he puts it: “Face to face with my omens, I never ran.”


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