King's Disease III

Nas

King's Disease III

“Father Time is undefeated,” goes the old sports adage, but on King’s Disease III, legendary Queens-hailing MC Nas is out to prove that age ain’t nothin’ but a number. The project marks the third album-long pairing of the 49-year-old and Hit-Boy, the Fontana, California-originating producer 14 years his junior. The two have clearly stumbled onto something special, Nas sounding as comfortable in his own skin as ever when telling the stories of his developmental years (“Legit,” “Recession Proof,” “Reminisce”), celebrating his career’s longevity (“Thun,” “30,” “I’m on Fire”), and even staring down his own mortality (“Once a Man, Twice a Child”). With Hit-Boy production—and also maybe some distance from the pressures of his days as contender for New York rap’s throne—Nas relishes the freedom to indulge some of his more experimental whims, like imagining, on “First Time,” what it was like for different fans to hear his music for the first time, or on “Beef,” where he raps from the perspective of street static itself. There are no credited guest MCs on King’s Disease III, a subtle acknowledgment that as prolific as Nas has been, the man once known as The Pharaoh still has plenty to say. And that’s not to mention, as he does on “Ghetto Reporter,” the many people he has to say it to: “When I’m 50 years old,” he says. “I wanna have 50-year-old fans, 60-year-old fans, and 16-year-old fans.”

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  • Dec. 12: Nas