Album Review | Nas – King’s Disease II

This album was released on August 6th this year. I enjoyed the first King’s Disease album quite a bit, so I was looking forward to this album after Nas announced it a week or two in advance. I remember being really turned off by the features on the original album, but I wasn’t too worried when I saw the tracklist for this latest project. I had pretty strong faith that this would be about as good as the first King’s Disease. Once again, every single track is produced by Hit-Boy.

As always, I’ll write about the songs I like before getting into the material that I won’t be returning to. The album starts off with The Pressure, which is a highlight for me. I think the production from Hit-Boy & Corbett is really damn great. The first verse from Nas is nice too.

Hit threw me the beat, and I had to eat it
The lies y'all recorded in your session, delete it
Hurtin’ niggas, I think they out for the rest of the season
Tried to play it cool, they don’t wanna see me heated

The simplistic hook is pretty cool, and I like the uncredited background vocals from Don Toliver. The way the beat switches up about halfway through the second verse is pretty fucking awesome to me too. Nas of course did his thing on the second verse.

The world on my shoulders, it’s gettin’ too heavy
I been bench pressing the problems, ain’t even get sweaty
Cops brutalizing kids, I see it too steadily
Correctional facilities never do it correctly

I was honestly mainly impressed by the production here, but Nas’ rapping was good as well. I think the song is dope as hell. It’s followed by another pretty dope track called Death Row East. Once again, the production is top notch. As the title indicates, Nas is pretty much just rapping about the history behind the East Coast sect of Death Row Records, which was supposed to include artists like Big Daddy Kane & K-Solo. I guess the whole purpose of setting up Death Row East was to end the infamous East Coast / West Coast battle.

Like it was only so much time left
Before Makaveli the Don left
Booked a flight, flying out West
We was tryna squash the whole shit in Vegas
No media to eat it up and leak it in the papers
Eric B, Big D, and 'Preme was affiliated
Peace to E.D.I., Napoleon and all the innovators
We had respect before we was ever some entertainers

Once again, I’m mainly impressed by the production, but Nas’ rapping is good. I can’t say that the content is really that interesting to me, especially since he doesn’t really reveal any new information in the song. It’s still a dope track overall though. The production is fantastic, and Nas flowed over it really well. It’s followed by yet another dope song entitled 40 Side. This song has an uncredited feature from Future, but, thankfully, he only provided some ad-libs. This track has one of the darker, more Trap-adjacent instrumentals on the album. I think it’s pretty dope. I actually really like the hook on this track, and same goes for the first verse.

Ain't no pity party for yourself
You gotta get up, rise for your wealth
Can't spend all that time in your feelings
Tryna sympathize with yourself
Don't nobody owe you, ain't nobody holding you back
You stuck in illusions, attached to something that ain’t even that

The content isn’t that interesting to me, but Nas’ flow and delivery sound great. I think the second verse is much better to be honest. He killed this shit in my opinion. That line about how the first King’s Disease was just a warning shot was pretty awesome.

They finally gave Nas a Grammy, just front me the gold
That wasn’t the goal
First clip was a warning shot
Nigga, we spinnin' back up the road
Through the boroughs, pull up our Rolls
Empty this bitch and reload

The song is dope. The next highlight for me is entitled Rare.

I think this is one of the best tracks on the album. The production here is amazing. There are like 3 beat switches, and all of them are dope. I love the way this song is structured too. Nas is just rapping the whole time with no hook or bridge. I love the way he started this shit.

Musically I'm on Mars
Walkin' all over the beat, puttin' my feet on the stars

That’s just some really cool imagery to me. It reminds me of a similar line that Backxwash had on her latest album. The whole verse from Nas on this track is just really dope. I love the way he flowed, and the beat switches really add a lot of flair to the song. Nas’ flow switches up for each beat too, which is really nice.

Salmon shish kebab in a misty fog, rollin' sticky log
Big dawg affair, no kids involved
Roundtable havin' war council
Press one button, it'll change the world around you
Too rare, nothin' to see here, Cuban over my streetwear
You're nobody 'til somebody kills you just to be fair
It's okay to keep the mystique, I learned that in the street
On me, solo or deep, I'm puttin' on for the G's

He killed this shit. Again, it’s one of the best songs on the album in my opinion. I think it’s dope as hell. The next highlight for me is called Store Run, which I think is even better. The production from Hit-Boy & Ezro on this track is frankly amazing to me. I love how soulful it is. The opening verse from Nas is great too.

Moving too fast, blues on your ass
The boys came through with the task
Peep through the blinds, you knew it was curtains
Breadwinner take a L, leave the whole family hurting
Seen it a million times, sister washed him out with the verdict

I think the second verse is even better though. I even love the hook on this track too. There’s really nothing about the song that I don’t like. The production is gorgeous, and Nas killed it.

Yo, as I'm looking at the New York skyline
Reminiscing on night-time, shootouts with my guys
Pouring this white wine, you could Richard Millie your left wrist
Keep in perspective, we on God's time

I also appreciate how he paid his respects to legends who’ve passed away recently like Ecstasy & Prince Markie Dee. The song is dope af. It’s followed by another highlight called Moments, which is co-produced by Jansport J. The beat is really dreamy and pretty. The first verse from Nas is great too.

Sassy models thе curviest
Brothers you knew from thе sandbox'll do you the dirtiest
Government assistance, poverty is big business
Overrun the Senate, both parties got policies built for the wicked
Look in the jungle, you gotta move like an animal
Prey on the predators, go where anybody that challenge you
Board rooms, courtrooms, it'll leave you with war wounds
I ain't wanna be this cold hearted but I was forced to

I love the way the drums come in for the hook, which is also pretty solid. There’s also a set of background vocals that come in for the second verse that sound really angelic. It’s a really pretty-sounding song. I think it’s dope as hell. The following track is entitled Nobody, and it features a glorious verse from Lauryn Hill. I absolutely love the jazzy production on this track too. Even though Lauryn Hill is kind of the highlight of the song, the first two verses from Nas are really great as well.

Me and my higher self, we often would speak
Somehow we lost the connection, might meet at Joshua Tree
And it's been bothering me, too many wavy women
Gotta log outta IG, can't be my age DM'ing
No kidding, it's hard to move like a civilian
I write the truth 'cause I live it, not like you musical niggas
We did it big and they bigots, they'd rather shoot than write tickets
What it feel like to go get it? What it feel like to go missing?

I can’t stress enough how good Lauryn Hill sounds over this beat though. She fits it perfectly. It was interesting to hear her mention how she’s been catching heat for showing up hours late to her performances too.

My awareness like Keanu in The Matrix
I'm savin' souls and y'all complainin' 'bout my lateness
Now it's illegal for someone to walk in greatness
They want the same shit, but they don't take risks
Now the world will get to see it's own reflection
And the anointed can pursue their own direction
And if you're wrong and you're too proud to hear correction
Walk into the hole you dug yourself, fuck a projection

Everything about the song is just super well done. All three of the verses are great, and the production is phenomenal. The song is dope af to me. No Phony Love features more additional production from Jansport J along with Brian Alexander Morgan. The production is really great, and the vocals from Charlie Wilson sound amazing. The first verse from Nas is pretty good. As the title kind of indicates, this is a track about relationships. The content isn’t super interesting to me, but I think Nas did it well.

She want me very exclusive
Relationships bound to fail when you barely into it
Stupid of me, continuously I leave it in ruins
You perfect, but I might just be married to music

The vocals from Charlie Wilson are honestly my favorite aspect of the song. He was singin’ his motherfuckin’ ass off, as always. I think the song is really dope overall. It’s followed by Brunch on Sundays, which is one of the weaker songs in my opinion.

It’s still good though. I just don’t find the content to be particularly interesting, and I find the hook to be kinda lame. The production is nice, and I dig Nas’ verses to an extent. I even dig the feature from Blxst, who I was previously unfamiliar with. He pretty much does what I would expect Ty$ to do on this track. I’ve seen a few people say this is one of the best songs on the album, and I’m not really sure what it is about this song that stands out to people so much. I do enjoy it to an extent though. I don’t think it’s bad at all. It’s a pretty good track. It’s followed by a highlight for me called Count Me In. I really love the beat from Hit-Boy & B.CaRR on this track. I think it’s an amazing instrumental to be honest. I like the straightforward structure of this song too. There are just two verses along with a simplistic hook, all of which are great. I think the second verse from Nas is one of the best parts of the song.

Fifth Ave, they snatchin' bags with the double Cs
They itchin' to up and squeeze
Shit is not a hundred 'til a nigga see a hundred Bs
Seen ego and greed take over and kill a hundred kings
Daily, a hundred niggas come for me
I'm tryin' to calculate the shit, they gotta count me in
Can't cure me with over-the-counter shit
Fireworks every time I turn an album in
When it ain't even July, I got it hot again

I actually think this song has one of the best hooks on the project. It’s pretty simplistic, but it works really well. The song is dope as hell overall. It’s followed by Composure, which begins with a decent verse from Hit-Boy. He never really stood out to me very much as an MC, but I don’t think he’s trash or anything. His verse is solid. His flow actually reminded me of Nipsey Hussle, so that’s kinda cool I guess. I really dig the lavish production, and the second verse from Nas is great.

Fast forward to when I started to play ball
From a place where we hate law
See the Jakes and we take off
Hit the gate, I get home and take my chain off
Thankful I got through the day and all the evil I prayed off

I really like the way those lines flowed together. This isn’t really a highlight for me on the album, but I like it a lot. I think it’s dope. The penultimate song is entitled My Bible, and it’s another highlight for me. I think Hit-Boy’s production here is phenomenal, and I love the way this song is structured. Nas just raps throughout the whole track with no hook or bridge or anything like that. The titular bible is split into three chapters. It’s basically just Nas describing his morals and lessons in life that he’s learned.

The other side of what you think is fly
Your jewelry could be cursed and so can your ride
Let that soak in your mind, Suburbans and Beamers
Shot up with Ninas, how to stop a young genius
Spiritual like a deep cut from Shirley Caesar
I wonder if it's Jesus when a baby reach up
Sharpenin' up myself 'cause I know they need us
My African skin gave me the passion to win (Ooh, ooh)
Yeah, prayin' this doesn't come to a tragic end

I think the last chapter in which he raps about women is pretty interesting, especially since he’s been accused of beating women in the past.

This chapter called "Women"
Y'all been the rib since the beginnin'
A woman's intuition, is what a man is missin'
To understand your wisdom is something I had to learn
Somehow you the most unprotected on planet Earth
Your smile lift me up and your eyes kiss my soul
Your sweetness is honeycomb, such a lovely tone
You hold the power to make a house a home
Because of you, I wanna right my wrongs

I really liked the line where he says “my African skin gave me the passion to win.” That was a dope rhyme. The song is dope as hell to me overall. The closing track is one of my favorite songs on the album. It’s called Nas Is Good, and the beat is pretty incredible. It might just be my favorite beat on the album, which is saying a lot. I think it’s a perfect outro honestly. The production is top notch, and Nas killed it.

Catching up with those who had a head start
Used to get eviction notices that had a red mark
The lights was out, that's why we sip dark
Acting a fool at the pool in Queensbridge Park
Niggas would not survive in my hood
Pull up with all of my jewels on and Nas is good

Part of me wishes it was a little longer just because it’s so short and sweet. I seriously can’t stress enough how much I love this beat. It’s one of my favorite instrumentals of the year for sure. I think the song is dope af. There are only two tracks that I won’t be returning to on this album. The first one is the most popular track from the album, EPMD 2. I don’t think it’s a bad song, but I won’t be listening to it again in the future. It has easily my least favorite beat on the album. I just find the production to be kind of gaudy to be honest. It just gets really annoying by the time the song is over. It was cool to hear EPMD rapping together again, but I honestly thought their flows sounded kinda awkward. I would’ve preferred if Erick & Parish each got their own verse instead of having to trade bars with each other. They were okay on this track. I think Nas’ verse is easily the best part of the song. I feel like he kinda stepped up his flow since he knew he was gonna be rapping alongside legends on this track. I unfortunately didn’t care for Eminem‘s verse at the end of this song either though. I don’t think it was trash or anything. I just really didn’t care for his flow to be honest. The lyrics were fine though. I just can’t get into the song sonically. Again, it was awesome to hear EPMD rapping together again, and Nas did his thing on his verse, but aside from that I didn’t really enjoy the song. It’s okay to me overall though. The only track that I haven’t mentioned yet is YKTV. I kinda knew I wouldn’t like this song just based on the title and features. YKTV stands for “You know the vibes,” which is just really corny to me. I think Nas’ verse on this song is cool though. It’s by no means one of his best performances on the album, but I don’t think it’s bad. The features ruined this song though. A Boogie wit da Hoodie has always been trash to me. I didn’t realize anyone over the age of 16 even listened to him. His verse is easily the worst part of this song. The final verse is performed by YG, who was about as mediocre as always. Now that I think about it, I wasn’t aware that people still listened to YG anymore either. The hype for him as an artist kinda came and went with Still Brazy. Overall, the song is some midpack to me. I don’t even really think the beat stands out that much. It’s a mediocre track.

This album is pretty great. I really don’t have any consistent gripes with it. I still don’t think Nas sounds as hungry as he did on Life Is Good, but I think this is a step up from the first King’s Disease in all honesty. I think it’s one of the best-produced albums I’ve heard all year. Seriously, there are a lot of beats on this album that blew me away. Hit-Boy is on a hell of a run right now. Nas’ rapping is just as good as it was on the first King’s Disease in my opinion. After this, I wouldn’t mind hearing a third King’s Disease honestly. As far as gripes go, my only complaint is the features. I don’t know why Nas is working with guys like A Boogie wit da Hoodie & YG when he has a whole label with guys like Boldy James & Dave East. It’s just odd to me that he’s going for these commercial features when that sound has never worked for him in the past. It’s definitely not a big enough issue to really tarnish this album that much though. I wouldn’t say it’s one of my favorite releases of the year, but I’m still more than satisfied with it. This shit is dope.

Favorite Song: Nobody
LEast Favorite Song: YKTV


Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this album.

Grade: B+



Tell me if I'm trippin'

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s