Nas & 21 Savage Make Peace With A Song Together

To say Nas and 21 Savage had a beef would be a grand overstatement. However, the two Grammy Award-winning artists appeared to land in a misunderstanding the same month that each released albums.

21 made the first move, when earlier this month, he appeared in a Clubhouse chat (clip embedded below) titled “Is Nas the Greatest Rapper or What?” There, the Slaughter Gang founder suggested that Nas isn’t relevant despite his recent prolific output. “What y’all saying relevant, though?” asked 21 to the social media room. “I don’t feel like he’s relevant. I just feel like he got fans.” Adding more, the 30-year-old offered, “He’s not relevant. He just has a loyal ass fan base and he still make good-ass music.”

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Those comments prompted a reaction from Nas’ brother Jungle, who was also a member of Bravehearts. Responding to a post from The Shade Room, Jungle tagged the artist and claimed, “21 Savage is trash ???? glas Nas dropped King’s Disease III[] so fans can hear real bars… 21 can u do something for me?? ????????????????.” He included a mock of Drake and 21 Savage’s “Rich Flex,” a November collaboration from the pair’s Her Loss album that has prompted many memes online. Additionally, Nas’ KD collaborator Hit-Boy “Even take like the 21 Savage thing. I just feel like that’s a part of King’s Disease. How do you look at a Black hip-hop artist, legendary guy, who just won his first Grammy a couple years ago, right…just put four critically-acclaimed albums,” he began, referring to Nas’ 2021 win. Hit-Boy said this behavior is an inspiration to the series theme, which landed on volume 3 earlier this month. “We have to see that with Hip-Hop, and that’s just wack, man…that’s what King’s Disease is.”

However, by November 14, 21 Savage clarified his point as it made the news. “I would never disrespect Nas or any legend who paved the way for me,” he tweeted. “Y’all be try’na take stuff and run with it.” That came as artists like The Diplomats’ Jim Jones and Juelz Santana called for more context in Savage’s remarks, while KD1 collaborator Fivio Foreign cited the initial comment as disrespect. Meanwhile, Nas remained tight-lipped about the other man’s opinion.

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Less than three weeks later, Nas, 21 Savage, and Hit-Boy come together with a statement of peace. “One Mic, One Gun,” is a loosie released on Mass Appeal Records today (November 30). From the first seconds, it is clear that the song is a gesture and seeking the last word in any misunderstanding. “Ain’t no back and forth, ain’t no left or right / I got King’s Disease but I move like a knight / Rappers bandwagon try’na get some likes / I do it for the fam’, never for the hype / When you turn to legend, no such thing as relevance / They must’ve forgot that I’m a new rapper that got integrity.” Then, the Atlanta, Georgia based artist blamed the media. All of the media and blogs, that’s just a place I don’t care to be / Most of these ni**as wouldn’t say sh*t if they was ahead of me.

Nas then reclines to flaunt his legacy, clearly suggesting he’s relevance is not to be questioned. “No back and forth, I did it back then, I do it right now / I opened a lane for my era, I’m goated, they gavе me the crown / G.O.A.T. with all the succеss, the negative press, I’m watchin’ it pile / They sayin’ that Black music dyin’, I’m sayin’, ‘They wipin’ us out’ / But look at me now, damn, y’all, look at me now.” As he illustrated on his album, Nas is above the beefs. But he also owns his place among the greatest.

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In the ensuing lyrics, Nas shouts out his recent tour with Wu-Tang Clan and boasts about his Ring investment. 21 then says he plans to go where Nas is at. “I’m on that same trajectory,” several bars before “F*ck the jewelry, I rather buy land and invest successfully.” He then positions Nas as the leader. “If Savage like the capo that mean Escobar the don, one mic’, one gun / My net worth like eight figures, I’m workin’ on gettin’ me nine / You know that I’m one of them niggas, I ain’t doin’ no cappin’ or lyin.’” “One Mic” refers to Nas 21-year-old moment from Stillmatic. He then emphasizes his point. “I ain’t goin’ against no legend, ni**a, I’m try’na be next in line / They actin’ like I just popped, I was platinum before I signed / I went platinum without no features, I put platinum on your mind / This Glock I got two-tone, and this b*tch don’t bust no rhyme / They wanna see me f*cked so they could deport me like I’m Shyne.” The British-born rapper is referring to early 2019, when he was detained by ICE and faced deportation ahead of being released.

Nas gets the last word, reminding all of his status and pedigree. “No back and forth, I did it back then, I do it right now / They tellin’ me that I’m the G-O-A-T, I been here for a while / G.O.A.T., love me today, hate me tomorrow, no switchin’ my style.

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#BonusBeat: A comprehensive analysis of Nas and Hit-Boy’s King’s Disease III from Ambrosia For Heads’ What’s The Headline podcast, including a reaction to 21 Savage’s initial comments about Nas’ relevance: