It’s been five years since Nas, one of the best living rappers, released Life is Good, but those of you who’ve been watching Netflix’s original series The Get Down have been listening to the words of Nas for two seasons now, as he’s the executive producer and top lyricist for the Baz Luhrmann directed project. Though we’ve enjoyed hearing Nas’ words about growing up in the Bronx, words that have been fueled with deep love, fascination, and nostalgia for his upbringing, we were elated to hear Nas confirm that he will be releasing a new album this year.
In an interview with Billboard, Nas said that his 11th studio album will definitely arrive before the end of 2017. Nas said he is finishing up the project in his new, WeWork-built Mass Appeal headquarters in New York City. Currently, no title is known for Nas’ upcoming album. When asked about when the record will see an official release, Nas avoided giving a direct answer, and simply said “it’s not done till it hits the streets”.
We don’t think there’s a better time than now for Nas to release his 11th studio album. Next week, it will officially be 23 years since Nas released his debut album Illmatic. Since then, the Queens MC has not only released 10 incredible rap records, but he’s been ranked as Number 5 of “The Greatest MCs of All Time” by MTV, co-wrote for the Hamilton Mixtape, become a board member for one of the best fried chicken joints in Brooklyn, and finally, expanded his vision and expertise to film. We’re pretty excited for what will come out of the Mass Appeal recording studio in New York, especially since it begins with the completion of Nas’ upcoming album.
Since we don’t know when Nas will release his next record, we suggest binging through The Get Down, a platform which holds plenty of Nas’ original material. His most recent material arrived on the show in the form of “Angel Dust“, a song that references the huge drug epidemic in New York City during the late 70’s, early 80’s. Nas’ lyrics, as always, are on fire: “Angels with dirty faces, angels with broken wings/The devil’s dust, PCP, invaded blood streams/People lining up to get it, Fantastic knew how to flip it/Illegal substances constructing, but plus addicted/Trust it and respect it, almost got me arrested/All of the time I invested in school is now of question/Child prone to violence like a dog returns to its own father,” he raps.
In addition to The Get Down and his 11th studio album in the works, Nas has finally received the green light for his long gestating autobiographical drama TV series Street Dreams. Named after Nas’ 1996 It Was Written single, Street Dreams aims to take a biographical look at Nas’ life, of growing up in Queens, his rise from the streets to becoming one of the most acclaimed rappers of his time. According to Nas, who has a heavy hand in the production, the show is “100% authentic”, and won’t let down on even the most difficult of memories that Nas is handing over to the project. “Even if I don’t look cool in it, I just want it to be real and raw. I didn’t see this as a full autobiography at first. But I have so much that’s happened in my life already, there was no room for fantasy. I wanted it to be entertaining, but everything from my life seemed to be so strong. It’s all reality. There’s nothing from my life I didn’t want in there,” Nas said, in an interview with Rolling Stone.
So for those of you who thought Nas dropped off the rap scene, be assured that he is active in many mediums right now: TV, film, and above all, music. He’s probably adding promising touches to his 11th studio album as we speak. Check back for updates of Nas’ new album, due sometime this year.