Nas finally played his hometown Madison Square Garden last Friday, February 24. The one-night-only event celebrated Nas’ collaborative King’s Disease trilogy with Hit-Boy, and the New York legend is keeping King’s Disease III top of mind. The album arrived last November, but “30” received the video treatment today, March 1.
Directed by Sarah McColgan, Nas’ “30” video is poignantly simplistic. Shot in black-and-white, Nas enters an empty warehouse alone. It’s dark, except for light shining through the slightly cracked door. Nas lets his longevity do the talking — melodically running through everything he’s overcome (“I’m done with star chicks, I survived divorces”) and asserting his resiliency (“I’m wild for keepin’ it so timeless / Almost half a century with a crispy lineup”).
“Goin’ on thirty summers,” Nas raps. “We been movin’ how you f*ck n****s want / And my ’30 for 30′ highlights doin’ numbers.” (Of course, his iconic debut album, Illmatic, dropped in 1994.)
Last week, Nas visited The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and explained that, to him, King’s Disease encompasses “over-indulgence” and detailed how he’s navigated its potential pitfalls over the years.
“I read about a lot of artists that came up in our time or before our time, and some of them were wild people. And I learned a lot from them, and it kind of gave me some of the guidelines in this business,” he said, adding that the only way to cure the King’s Disease is to “kill the ego” and “make it about the music, make it about the art, and live your life.”
That approach paid off. King’s Disease peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in 2020, followed by King’s Disease II at No. 3 in 2021 and King’s Disease III at No. 10 last year. The first of the bunch earned Nas his first-ever Grammy by claiming Best Rap Album at the 2021 Grammys.
And while it’s billed as a King’s Disease trilogy for now, 50 Cent hinted at King’s Disease IV.
Watch the “30” video above.