Rap fans were treated to a pleasant surprise this past Friday (Dec. 24) when Nas delivered an early Christmas present in the form of his new album, Magic. A nine-track effort that sees the rap legend reconnecting with producer Hit-Boy, whom he previously worked with on the first two installments of their King’s Disease series, Magic continues Nas’ hot streak as he puts forth a string of performances that harken back to the period when he was referred to as the “Nasty” one.
Scored by Hit-Boy, with an additional contribution from Dustin Corbett, Magic includes standout salvos like “Meet Joe Black,” on which Nas shuns being pegged as the greatest of all-time, but cements himself within the genre’s deified triumvirate. “40-16 Building” captures the QB poet spouting slick couplets, boasting, “I got so many kids in the game, it’s like a gender revealing,” before joining forces with A$AP Rocky and DJ Premier on “Wave Gods,” the album’s sole collaborative outing. Additional highlights like “Wu for the Children” and the album’s two-pronged finale, “Dedicated,” add to the firepower found on Magic, a full-bodied effort that finds its creator in the midst of a creative renaissance.
If the impromptu release of Magic wasn’t enough, the 48-year-old pulled another trick from up his sleeve, announcing the third volume in he and Hit-Boy’s King’s Disease series with Esco rapping, “KD3 on the way, this just to feed the buzz,” on the Magic cut, “Ugly.” Hit-Boy later confirmed the news with a post on social media, writing “KD3 otw this just to feed the buzz… @Nas my dawg is a maniac,” in a tweet shortly after the new album’s release, further ramping up fanfare for the project.
KD3 otw this just to feed the buzz… @Nas my dawg is a maniac
— Hit-Boy (@Hit_Boy) December 24, 2021
Having finally nabbed his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Album for their work on King’s Disease in 2020, and earning another Best Rap Album nomination for King’s Disease 2 at next year’s ceremony, Nas and Hit-Boy’s chemistry has proved to be a winning formula and one that has resulted in some of the best music 2021 has had to offer. And with King’s Disease 3 already in the works, it appears the pair have no intention of slowing down anytime soon.