Nas is in full press mode following the release of his 12th studio album King’s Disease. While speaking to The Breakfast Club on Tuesday (August 26), the Illmatic mastermind opened up about the Kanye West-produced project NASIR, which he dropped in 2018.
The album received mostly mixed reviews and was criticized for what felt like a Kanye “rush job.” At the time, Ye was juggling multiple albums, including Teyana Taylor’s K.T.S.E., Pusha T’s DAYTONA and Kids See Ghosts.
After Charlamagne Tha God asks Nas what went wrong with the project, he replies, “I don’t know what went wrong, but I would say I did want to work more with him. I did spend some time there with him, but I was working on ideas. He would give me a few loops and I would write to them, but they wasn’t finished.
“[Kanye] was working on a lot. He had Cudi, Teyana Taylor, he had his album. 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.
He adds, “I wanted to work with him a lot more than what we did.”
In a recent episode of The Joe Budden Podcast, the show’s namesake admitted he was skeptical of King’s Disease because of NASIR. He ultimately issued an apology for judging the project’s quality based on the lead single “Ultra Black.”
“I’m just saying I didn’t see where some of the features were about to take me because I have been thrown off from that Kanye project,” Budden said. “I’m gonna be honest here. A lot of people out there had been asking and inquiring, ‘Hey, is there Nas hate up there?’
“No, there’s not Nas hate, but he’s such a great that when it’s not great, you try to just avoid it, not discuss it, not speak about him in his proper place. Not only did Nas deliver, but Hit-Boy did an amazing job. Every one of these features killed.”
As for King’s Disease, the album is receiving plenty of positive feedback. Fans were most surprised to discover a Firm reunion on the track “Full Circle.” The former supergroup was comprised of Nas, Foxy Brown, Cormega (who replaced Nature) and AZ. It featured production from Steve Stoute, the production team Trackmasters and Dr. Dre who actually made a cameo appearance on the song.
While Nas was working on the project, producer Hit-Boy said he’d be willing to reach out to AZ to make something happen. He told The Breakfast Club that’s when he knew something special was in the works.
“I was like wow, I knew he was really invested, serious about what we were working on when he mentioned A,” Nas says. “And AZ was working on his new stuff too so it was perfect. And then G-Code was like, why don’t you call Cormega and Foxy Brown? And lightbulbs was going off, like let’s get at it. They was with it, and then it happened. [Dre] came at the end and really made it full circle.”
Listen to it below.