Nas and Hit-Boy look to go 3/3 with the release of “King’s Disease III.”
Nas reminds us that we are all from the same block in “Hood2Hood.”
One of my favorite Nas tracks of all time is “It’s Mine” with Mobb Deep. There’s something about the song’s Miami Vice-Esque beat that I think brought the best out in him. “Hood2Hood” boasts a very similar beat. In the song, sounding like his vintage self, Nas does a fantastic job of hurling out impactful raps that speak on what it takes to be a king and how to celebrate when you are an eternal boss. Overall, I feel like “Hood2Hood” is everything from catchy to sly as hell.
The old black men on “Legit” shine hard.
I know exactly what you were thinking thirty seconds into “Legit”: Is this what the whole song will sound like? After enduring a halfway beat and an old black man that could probably hold his breath underwater longer than Michael Phelps, you get pure music porn! A piano-driven beat that has a helluva knock to it eventually shows its face, provoking Nas to hit us with exuberant raps that highlight his transformation from shaky business owner to legit business owner. More than anything, I love this song’s spirit.
I never knew what “thun” meant growing up… It doesn’t matter, the word is always used in fire-ass rap tracks.
Do you know the first thing that came to my mind while listening to “Thun?” Karate. There’s something about the song’s dramatic/action-packed/bee-swarming-a-white pastor-in-the-bathroom-of-a-haunted-house-ass beat that makes me think of karate chops and Roundhouse kicks. The good news is this: Nas kicks ass in the song! In his verses, he uses a flawless flow to highlight his epic come-up in the streets of New York. The way he sticks his chest out like a dude that knows how much work he put in during his heyday will give you chills.
2. Ghetto Reporter
Nas and Hit-Boy literally start this album off letting the world know why they should listen to it. That’s great marketing.
The number one thing that I love about this song is that it has this celebratory feel in every single way. To be more specific, I feel like the festive Hit-Boy-produced beat combined with Nas’ lyrics about being one the realest in the game will make you want to pop a champagne bottle.
1. Michael & Quincy
I’m pretty sure laptops, mics, speaker systems, and Nas himself were all on fire during the making of this song.
No, I didn’t put “Michael & Quincy” on this top 5 list because it pays homage to me; I put it on the list because Nas goes the hell off in the track! Over a beat that gets more and more fierce as it plays on, the Queensbridge rapper gives us several reasons to believe that he is a superhuman. He also drops several clever Michael Jackson/Quincy Jones related punchlines.
How much do you want to bet that, during the making of this song, Nas had the same yellow shield around him that Mario be having when he touches a star.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. Ghetto Reporter (4.5/5)
2. Legit (4.5/5)
3. Thun (4.5/5)
4. Michael & Quincy (5/5)
5. 30 (4.5/5)
6. Hood2Hood (4.5/5)
7. Recession Proof (4/5)
8. Reminisce (4.5/5)
9. Serious Interlude (4/5)
10. I’m On Fire (4.5/5)
11. WTF SMH (4/5)
12. Once a Man, Twice a Child (4.5/5)
13. Get Light (4/5)
14. First Time (4/5)
15. Beef (4/5)
16. Don’t Shoot (4.5/5)
17. Til My Last Breath (4/5)
Not too many third installments of s**t are good. I can confidently say that King’s Disease III is the best part three of anything that I’ve ever heard or seen (It’s definitely better than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III).
As much as I want to bow the f**k down to Nas, the biggest kudos in the world have to go to Hit-Boy. I literally think that the beats he hooked Nas up with are amazing. All in all, the way Hit is able to channel different eras, different tones, different gears, and different coasts throughout the album blows me away. Aside from that, I feel like the beats are multi-layered, intricate, and powerful as hell.
Not many veteran rappers have aged as well as Nas has. What’s dope about him is that his voice still sounds similar to what it sounded like during his Illmatic days. Also, I absolutely love how he pays homage to his past, lets us know how great he feels today, and gives the youth some advice they could use in the future throughout King’s Disease III. All in all, Nas fully sounds comfortable in his skin on this album, and that is something I absolutely love.
All three King’s Diseases push hip-hop forward but also remind us how far hip-hop has come. Right now, Nas and Hit-Boy are literally on the longest hot streak hip-hop has ever seen. We need to encourage them to keep the good work going.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.