In August, Nas made an impromptu return with his King’s Disease album. While the effort spanned across 13 total tracks, one line on the project’s standout “Ultra Black” caught the attention of most: “We going’ Ultra Black/ unapologetically black/The opposite of Doja Cat, Michael Blackson black.”

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In a recent sit down with NME, Nas touched on the public’s reception of the line, insinuating that it was simply blown out of proportion.

“Well, I’ve been away, so, of course, I mention someone’s name that’s popular and people are gonna talk about it,” he told the publication. “I hear people do it all the time but no one makes a big deal of it. Maybe it’s because I don’t put out records a lot, so they’re like, ‘Whoa!’ I don’t really know the world that these stars live in anymore. I’m rapping the same way I did when I was on the block, but now there’s a new world and what I say can take off with social media and I can’t do anything about it.”


He went on to draw a line between the project as a whole and 2006’s Hip Hop Is Dead. When pressed on his thoughts on the “clout” culture of Hip-Hop’s current generation:

“Today’s game doesn’t faze me; it’s different. I’m in a different place. I have a different job when it comes to making music. It’s strange because I’m the same me, but I’m older. So there are different ways of going about things and different things that I care about. But the clout thing stands out because it’s show business.

He adds: “It’s Muhammad Ali when he’s mouthing off, which changed boxing and made him more entertaining. It’s 2Pac when he was going wild on people, which creates entertainment. So I get that part of it, but I don’t care for it when it’s only that. When it’s only clout. When there’s no real purpose behind the record other than trying to get streams. I wish artists would try not to do so much clout because the people notice it and it’s corny. But at the same time, who am I to say anything? Everybody carry on.”