Nas Pays Tribute To Takeoff With Powerful Words About Self-PRESERVATION
Yesterday (November 11), Nas and Hit-Boy released their fourth collaborative album since 2020. King’s Disease III finds the legendary MC and the acclaimed producing carry on a tradition that earned both men Grammy Awards in 2021. The new collection of songs, released through Nas’ Mass Appeal Records imprint, is about reflecting on Nas’ incredible trajectory in Hip-Hop, personal life, as well as the streets of New York City.
Late last night, Nas hosted an album release party, which also served as a birthday event for his Mass Appeal partner, Peter Bittenbender. Joey Bada$$, Statik Selektah, Termanology, The Kid Daytona, J. Period, Ari Melber, and other noteworthy guests were in attendance. Ambrosia For Heads was among those in the building, and filmed a video of Nas paying tribute to Migos member Takeoff, who was killed this month in Houston, Texas at 28 years of age.
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“Since I’m here, I gotta say, rest in peace to Takeoff,” Nas mentioned early in the clip. A few minutes later, he returns to the message: “Shout out to the family and my man Takeoff, and may he rest in peace,” Nas said at 3:00 in. “We’re trying to tell these people out here, man, we’re here for a purpose. We can’t be destroying each other over bullsh*t. Look at these little brothers and be like don’t shoot; don’t throw your life away. It ain’t worth it. There’s something to live for, something to be here for. All that tough sh*t is cool when you’re growing up, but we gotta learn that we’re here for a purpose, and there is a design that’s out here to make sure we don’t grow, to make sure that we don’t make it. And we gotta recognize that there is something in existence that’s trying to stop the youth from the hood from growing into its proper purpose.” Nas never released material with Takeoff, but he’s long been a supporter of emerging voices in Rap. Don Toliver, Fivio Foreign, and A Boogie wit da Hoodie have been among the guests in the King’s Disease series.
At the event, Nas also spoke about the chemistry with Hit-Boy which includes three volumes of KD and late 2021’s Magic. “His old soul is what made him able to capture sounds of New York, even though he’s from the West; music is universal. And his old soul was able to get with my old ass, and understand what I wanted to do—what so many other producers were trying to do with me, but we just didn’t get that connection. My brother right here was like, ‘Let’s work.'”
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That dogged approach to making music is something that Nas doubled down on. “I wanna thank my brother Hit-Boy for getting me to work faster than I’ve ever worked in my life—absolutely, for bringing something out of me that I’ve kinda been wanting to unleash for a while. You’re a bad mothaf*cka, man. You’re a bad mothaf*cka, and the production you do speaks for itself. You outdid yourself on this album; you outdid yourself on all of the albums we did.” Nas lists the four albums, and later calls his musical partner, “The greatest producer in the game right now.” On KD3, Nas used “30” to also suggest that a long-anticipated LP with Gang Starr’s DJ Premier could still transpire: “Superhero material, Rap star status / Premier album still might happen,” he spits. Earlier this year, Nas and Preemo linked for “Beat Breaks,” a single from Mass Appeal EP by the Gang Starr legend.
Hit-Boy, a Fontana, California native, said that his love affair with music began with Snoop Dogg, WC, and Tha Eastsidaz. An early credit is his career came via Snoop’s Ego Trippin’ in 2008, before seminal work with JAY-Z & Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Drake, and many others. Hit-Boy pointed out that despite nearly a year in the studio, he and Nas never let the public know that KD3 was happening through social media photos or posts. Nas said that the pair decided to avoid traditional album promotion strategies and simply announce the album a few days before its release.
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Nas and Hit-Boy’s “Legit” as well as several other selections from KD3 are currently on the official Ambrosia For Heads playlist.