It might be hard to tell but April 19th will mark 28 years since the release of Nas’ classic debut album Illmatic.
After finally winning his first and only Grammy last year for Best Rap Album for his 2020 masterpiece, King’s Disease, less than one year later, the veteran Queensbridge rapper returned to the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night (April 3) in honor of his 16th nomination.
The 48-year-old touched the stage to collect his flowers performing a gumbo of his most notable songs including “I Can” and “Made You Look” from 2002’s God’s Son. Accompanied by an orchestra, the man who Trevor Noah described as the “rapper’s rapper,” Esco also performed “Rare” from King’s Disease II.
The follow-up record to King’s Disease faced off against J Cole’s The Off-Season; Tyler, The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost; Kanye West’s Donda; and Drake’s Certified Lover Boy before the Canadian rapper withdrew his two nominations without giving an explanation.
Once again vying for the top spot in Hip-Hop Esco also secured a nod for Best Rap Song for his feature alongside Jay-Z on the late DMX’s “Bath Salts” from his posthumously-released final album Exodus. Nas challenged his Belly co-star for the prize of Best Rap Album.
Scroll down for “Bath Salts” by DMX featuring Nas and Jay-Z as well as snippets from his Grammys performance.