We The Best frontman and Miami representer DJ Khaled unrolled his ninth studio album Major Key on Friday, July 29. The 14-track LP features heavyweights like Lil Wayne, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Nicki Minaj, and Nas, among others. From the super producer’s latest offering comes “Nas Album Done,” a highly-praised single that serves as a preview for the Queensbridge rapper’s own upcoming album. Not only does it feature a classic sample by the Haitian-influenced Fugees (“Fu-Gee-La”), but it also references Latino culture in more ways than one—a quiet reminder of sorts of how some of hip-hop’s most beloved have been and continue to be heavily influenced by the culture.
Now everywhere all I see is Pablo, Esco/ Last time I checked I was still breathin’/ My neck was still freezin’/ Now everybody got an Escobar Season
Nas, who used to call himself Esco (short for Escobar) back in the early ’90s, here mentions infamous Medellin drug cartel leader Pablo Escobar. Netflix’s original hit series Narcos brings the late kingpin’s story to a streaming forefront.
A lot of sisters hold me to somethin’ holy and Catholic/ Cause the rosary and gold flashy
While Catholics have made up a remarkable share of all people on Earth, by 2010 the largest share of all Catholics (39 percent) were in Latin America and the Caribbean. That doesn’t mean that Latinxs, most notably of the diaspora (or Afro descent), do not practice or are not influenced by more culturally significant religions like Santeria or Vodou.
Celebrity Apprentice a devil show/ Big up to Africa, Mexico
Here Nasir makes note of the evil spirit that is Trump, while sending a shout out to Mother Africa and Mexico, both of which are experiencing a state of turmoil (genocide, drug cartel, law enforcement violence). This call also hits closer to home as the 2016 Republican nominee continues to make headlines that denote his hostility toward people of color, namely, immigrants of Mexican ancestry.
Hennessy, margarita, venison eater
While the Don sips on his choice beverage of Hennessy (also popular within urban communities), he calls attention to a more regional specific spirit, made from 100 percent agave, in the Guadalajara area of Mexico.
Shine brighter, bonita mami meet a line sniffer/ Never, poetic rhyme writer, chiefer
Nas isn’t the first rapper to use Spanish lingo, nor is this the first time he embraces it, as he tips his hat to all the fly mamis across the U S of A.