After 13 nominations and 25 years, hip-hop legend Nas wins his first Grammy. For his 13th album, “King’s Disease,” the 47-year-old rapper from the Queens borough of New York City won Best Rap Album.
The album beat out D Smoke’s “Black Habits,” Jay Electronica’s “A Written Testimony,” Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist’s “Alfredo,” and Royce da 5’9’s “The Allegory.”
Released on Aug. 21, the album was an unapologetic affirmation of Black culture in America. Nas said in an interview with the British music magazine NME that he tried to emulate James Brown. He was inspired to make an album comparable to James Brown’s 1968 classic “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud,”. Nas reiterated how important for Black musicians to make similar anthems.
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“We’re in a world right now where we’re facing some terrible racist practices. And there are people who don’t realize it’s happening,” Nas said. “So these records were made to remind us that we are God’s creation. Just like every white man, every Asian brother, and everyone else.”
Known as one of the most talented hip-hop emcees of all time since his 1994 debut album, “Illmatic,” Nas recently got his due with his 14th nomination. On Twitter, fans were swift to congratulate Nas, while some argued that he should have won a Grammy years ago.
Hit-Boy, the executive producer of “King’s Disease,” cried after learning of the victory in an emotional video that went viral, garnering tens of thousands of views on Instagram. The artist previously won Grammys for albums with Kanye West and Jay-Z in 2013 and Nipsey Hussle in 2020, and said his win with Nas inspired him to “put in more effort.”
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