Nas pulls a classic out of his hat once again in “Magic 3.”
5. Speechless, Pt. 2
I’ve been speechless after listening to these King’s Diseases and Magics.
In “Speechless, Pt 2” Nas touches on his achievements, including an Emmy nomination and directing a docu-series, as he strives for EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) award status. He also talks about some of the challenges he’s gone through throughout the years, how AI (Artificial Intelligence) will never be able to be a viable rival to human creativity, and the nonsense that is going on in the political stratosphere these days. All this s**t has Nas at a “loss for words.”
What I absolutely love about this song is how pleasant and easy on the ears the flute-heavy production is, while Nas comes through sounding everything from cocky to frustrated to freewheeling. I feel like Nas and Hit-Boy made this song in a botanical, being loud as hell around a bunch of annoyed potential buyers.
4. Based On True Events, Pt. 2
You get top-notch storytelling in “Based On True Events, Pt. 2.”
“Based On True Events, Pt. 2” has a better beat and a more exciting story than “Based On True Events.” The former’s beat has this theatrical, dark feel that caught my attention and a tantalizing, suspenseful story about a fresh, wealthy individual who got jammed up on his way back from a Spain vacation. I legit was on the edge of my seat listening to this s**t, mesmerized by Nas’ vivid lyrics and action-packed deliveries.
3. Never Die (Ft. Lil Wayne)
Nas and Lil Wayne might be 1 and 2 on many ‘top 5 rappers’ lists.
“Never Die” boasts production that has a nice knock to it, but at the same time, these soulful elements that are hard to ignore. What we get from Lil Wayne and Nas are inspirational lyrics (Nas practically snatches the flowers you’re supposed to give him out of your hands in his verse), competitive lyrics (Lil Wayne sounds like he had the whole rap game in a headlock in his verse), killer punchlines, and outstanding flows. While the former sounds ho-hum in his verse (I feel like he was staring at his nails while laying it down), the latter comes with tons of aggression and energy. Seriously, these guys make a great duo.
Lowkey, the intros to these King’s Diseases and Magic albums have been fantastic.
You get Nas’ craftiest flows and most divine lyrics in “Fever.” In his verses, he mentions rocking with luxury elements like gold teeth, cufflinks, and lobster sauce, emphasizing his refined taste. He also calls himself a griot who has Deepak Chopra’s wisdom and brings up the winning streak he’s currently on. What’s really dope is that this intro sounds a lot like an outro.
1. I Love This Feeling
I feel like you get the definition of a classic Nas performance in “I Love This Feeling.”
A beat with DJ scratches, a nice tempo, hard-hitting elements, and a soulful sample will always be some Nas s**t. Thankfully, we get all of that in “I Love This Feeling” (Hit-Boy really knows this guy). As for Nas, he shines on the track. In his verses, he talks about the importance of making sound financial investments, having life insurance, and being authentic. He also highlights how important he takes this music s**t, not giving in to commercial influences or gimmicky measures.
This is one of those tracks aspiring rappers need to have a pen and pad ready for.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. Fever (5/5)
2. TSK (4/5)
3. Superhero Status (4.5/5)
4. I Love This Feeling (5/5)
5. No Tears (4/5)
6. Never Die (Ft. Lil Wayne) (4.5/5)
7. Pretty Young Girl (4/5)
8. Based On True Events (4/5)
9. Based On True Events, Pt. 2 (5/5)
10. Sitting With My Thoughts (4/5)
11. Blue Bentley (3.5/5)
12. Jodeci Member (4.5/5)
13. Speechless, Pt. 2 (5/5)
14. Japanese Soul Bar (4/5)
15. 1-800-Nas&Hit (4.5/5)
This is supposedly the last Nas and Hit-Boy album we will be getting. Let me take the time to say “thank you” to these two amazing brothers.
Doesn’t it sound amazing when MCs put their heads down and raps? That’s what we get yet again from a Nas and Hit-Boy collaboration project. In Magic 3, an album that features unbelievable production that is dramatic, soulful, hard-hitting, action-packed, timeless-sounding, and more, Nas puts up an inspired performance. He plows through songs sounding hungrier than ever while, at the same time, content with how far he has come. He also flows stupendously, shows great animation when needed, and gives some valuable life lessons. In a nutshell, it feels like Nas is rapping with a purpose on this album, which is beautiful to see, given that his resume, at 50, is more than complete.
The thought of this album is just as beautiful as its music. Once again, major kudos to Nas and Hit-Boy.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.