When it came to light that Nas had made an album produced by Kanye West, quite understandably, every hip-hop fan began to salivate at the prospect of the record. However, it would turn out to be a major disappointment as either talent failed to cover themselves in glory.
2018’s Nasir was the legendary rapper’s first album in six years, and to say it was underwhelming is polite. Due to his prolonged absence, the anticipation for the record was rife, and when people heard that Ye was at the helm for the record, this only amplified expectations.
After Nas dropped it, people thought he was a busted flush and no longer resembled the same guy who masterfully crafted Illmatic. The common consensus was the rap game had passed him by, and Nas’ place was firmly in the past. Thankfully, the failure of that album has given him a renewed vigour to prove his doubters wrong, which he has successfully done with his King’s Disease series.
Reflecting on Nasir, the rapper explained what went wrong and his regrets on the projects. The album only boasts seven tracks and has a running time of just over 25-minutes which is a result of the rushed recording process, according to Nas.
He told The Breakfast Club, “I don’t know what went wrong. I did want to work more with [Kanye]. We spent time and I was working on ideas. He would give me a few loops and I would write to them but they weren’t finished.
“He was working on a lot. He had [Kid Cudi], he had Teyana Taylor, he had his album and I was the only one coming in starting fresh. So, I had less time with him. We really did that album the week it was supposed to come out.”
However, not everything about the album is a source of frustration for Nas, and there are elements of Nasir he rates. “I like ‘Cop Shot the Kid.’ I like ‘Adam and Eve,'” he said. “It’s a short album. We just didn’t get enough time. I wish we would’ve worked on it more.”
With Kanye, it’s impossible to know if he’s going to blow hot or cold and which version of Ye will show up. Although, Nas didn’t bring his A-game on Nasir either and should have put his foot down about the dissatisfactory beats West served him. Sometimes, these dream collaborations are best left to fester in our imaginations.