Nas has been on a comeback run recently that is unmatched. Three albums released within two years – King’s Disease, King’s Disease 2 and now Magic, all clearly demonstrate the Queensbridge natives ability to remain relevant over decades. To span this long surely puts him with the elites not only in Rap but across any Genre’s Kings.
Magic is Nas’s 15th studio album, arriving late December as his surprise second project of 2021. The album is entirely produced by Hit-Boy who has proved to be a big part of Nas’s fire run. Soaking Nas’s polemic raps with soul.
Lets face it, what many of Nas’s loyal fans want to hear is an album that reminds them of Illmatic. Police raids, Commission Housing, New York Gang Life, Chipped tooth, all come to mind. Having such an iconic ground breaking first album can cause rapper’s to get understandably complacent, and Nas has been guilty of that on the 1999’s I am & Nastradamus and 2008’s Untitled Album. Nas is at his best when he is in the pocket, pushing himself to his limits with nostalgic couplets that take us back in time, a truly special storyteller. I find myself listening to Nas’s new music hoping to uncover some cryptic gem lyric about the golden age about rap when the eastside, westside , Tupac and Biggie beef projected the genre into mainstream. This album doesn’t do that.. and it does sound different King’s Disease 1 & 2.. But it’s absolutely fantastic. A finely aged wine serves as a good comparison, not accompanied by any sharp welfare cheese though.
Speechless is a fine start to the album with some cutting and unforgettable lines…
“I’m 21 years past the 27 club It’s like I went back into may past and then I sped it up Robert Johnson, Winehouse, and Morrison found where heaven was Heaven on Earth, this shit is magic with no fairy dust.”
“Yall did adversity to death I got a proposition You and your brothers stop plottin’ on eachother, plot on millions Educate yourself, find ten different areas of interest Spread your bets out, double down on what’s working Then you double up.”
Wu for the Children is also nice, soulful, with Nas as relaxed as ever…
Some of these songs have the most amazing introduction lines ever, such as this one with “Yeah I don’t work this hard to be around people I don’t like.”
“I should’a had Grammys when Ol Dirty said Wu For The Children Should’a did that remix verse on “Gimme The Loot” for Biggie.”
The Truth and Dedicated are beautiful, so elegantly performed but yet hard. Send tingles up my spine.
Nas is a lyrical genius, that is stating the obvious. Every word in this album has meaning with his figurative expressions. He’s a story teller who uses words to paint vivid, excellent pictures to his audience. Even his mellow voice makes you feel you’re in the room as he narrates his story.
This album is timeless. It makes me feel like lyrical rap could possibly come back. Though out lyrics, wordplay, metaphors, double entendres, cadence. Let’s hope so.